Mona Lisa Touch
What is it?
In menopause, the lack of estrogen causes women to lose the nutrient rich cells lining the vagina, as well as collagen, elastin, and the healthy blood supply. The tissue then becomes irritated and scarred. The vagina can shorten and narrow as a result.
The Mona Lisa Touch is a laser that resurfaces the lining of the vagina and stimulates the tissue to regain the properties it had before menopause. This treatment has the best effect when administered three times, spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
How does it work?
Mona Lisa Touch is a CO2 laser that was specifically designed for use in the vagina. The laser and the fractional scanning technology create a controlled heating of the tissue, in a grid-like fashion. This stimulates a natural healing process for regeneration of healthy cells, as well as activation of cells called fibroblasts to actually produce new collagen. It also stimulates new blood vessels to form, which bring nutrients and hydration to the cells, so that they resemble their pre-menopausal state.
Who should have it done?
We will often try to treat genitourinary syndrome of menopause with local estrogen cream and vaginal moisturizers. However, some patients are unable to use estrogen cream due to conditions such as breast or uterine cancer. The non-hormonal moisturizers may help hydrate the tissue in the short run but don’t change the underlying problem. Sometimes, in patients who are using the estrogen cream, it simply doesn’t work well enough to impart a change in the symptoms. Mona Lisa Touch is a great option for vulvovaginal atrophy in women who cannot use or have failed topical estrogen therapy.
How does it feel?
You do not need to do anything in preparation for this quick office procedure. When you come in, you will be taken to the exam room and lie on the table with legs in stirrups. An anesthetic ointment will be applied in the vagina. A probe is gently inserted and you may feel a slight warm or stinging sensation during the treatment. The treatment takes about 5-10 minutes and you can go home immediately after. If you feel discomfort in the area immediately after, Dr. Kumar can recommend topical gels to minimize this.
Are there any side effects?
You should refrain from sexual intercourse for 2-3 days after the procedure. It is normal to have some redness or swelling in the areas treated.