Thursday, May 1, 2008
Medical Reports: Laser Lowdown
In a climate where less is more, when it comes to clothes, many are paying top dollar to make sure the skin they're showing is smooth, but, as Belky's Nerey reports, some patients say they're not getting the Laser Lowdown.
WSVN -- They went in with high hopes and came out disappointed.
Nira Schlafly: "It doesn't work, the procedure doesn't work."
Rina Tsohn: "My hair growth is the same, probably even worse."
Orly Ciechanowiecki: "They gave me a goodie bag full of empty promises."
Rina, Nira and Orly are sisters. They say they were all promised, with just a few painless treatments they would be hair-free.
Rina Tsohn: "I've walked out of there with tears down my eyes because of the pain from it. It's very painful."
Rina and her sisters each paid $2,000 to have hair removed.
The company promised they would be hairless after six sessions.
Orly Ciechanowiecki: "I went to so many sessions probably, like 50 sessions."
Nira Schlafly: "I've had maybe 20 treatments."
And they are not alone. Hair removal is a booming business. There's so much demand there are medi-spas and laser clinics popping up everywhere. You can even buy lasers on EBay, but doctors say be careful because lasers in the wrong hands can be dangerous.
Dr. Steven Rosenberg: "In some situations, we are finding that totally unlicensed individuals are operating these lasers."
Dr. Steven Rosenberg says, in untrained hands lasers remove more than hair. Even moles have been lasered off.
Dr. Steven Rosenberg: "We no longer have the opportunity to evaluate that patient for early signs of malignant melanoma, and those patients can ultimately end up dying because someone lasered their mole."
In Florida, the law is very specific as to who can operate a laser.
Dr. Steven Rosenberg: "They are physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, electrologists, but electrologists only under certain levels of supervision."
Dr. Steven Cimerberg offers laser at his clinic. He says he never promises full hair removal.
Dr. Steven Cimerberg: "I think you really have to realistically explain to the patient that there is really no true animal as laser hair removal. What we are talking about is laser hair reduction."
Belky's Nerey: "And that's the problem, many clinics will promise permanent hair removal after only a few sessions. Patients can undergo dozens of treatments only to see the hair come back."
Dr. Steven Cimerberg: "Generally speaking, in the best of possible circumstances, 20-28 percent of the hairs will be reduced within visits."
Rina says she wishes someone would have explained that to her before she started.
Rina Tsohn: "Two years of my life, $2,000. A lot of stress and a lot of anger."
Belkys Nerey: "Doctors say your best bet is to ask questions and to make sure a doctor is present for your treatment, even if he or she does not administer the laser treatments."