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MonaLisa Touch-The New Laser Therapy for Vaginal and Vulvar Atrophy

What is vaginal and vulvar atrophy?

 

Atrophy is a condition in which the walls of the vagina and vulva become thinner and dryer due to a decrease in estrogen.  It affects around 40 percent of women, particularly after menopause, and can cause painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, burning and decreased urinary tract health resulting in pain with urinary frequency and even recurrent urinary tract infection.

 

What treatments are available for vaginal atrophy?

 

Until recently, traditional therapies for vaginal atrophy included administration of hormones such as estrogen, an oral medication called Osphena, as well as a variety of vaginal moisturizers and/or lubricants.  Many women, such as breast cancer survivors, cannot take hormones or have previously tried hormone therapy with minimal to no success.  Fortunately, there is a new non-hormonal treatment called the MonaLisa Touch TM that has been shown to be very successful in treating this problem.

 

What is the MonaLisa Touch TM Therapy?

 

MonaLisa Touch TM is a minimally-invasive treatment utilized to improve the health and pliability of the vaginal mucosa or innerlining of the vagina.  A specially designed CO2 fractional laser is used in an office setting to treat an atrophic or thin and sensitive vaginal wall.  The laser has unique characteristics of penetrating light or laser energy deep into the layers of the vaginal wall in such a way that it stimulates collagen and returns the vaginal tissue to a state that was present prior to the changes induced by menopause or other conditions.

 

Has MonaLisa Touch TM been clinically studied?

 

A multisite study was conducted by two leading Urogynecologists who are experts in the field of postmenopausal gynecologic health at the University of Cincinnati and Stanford.  Additionally, recent results from a trial evaluating the laser treatment on postmenopausal women and breast cancer survivors who are experiencing gynecologic health issues shows positive results and a high patient satisfaction rating.

 

How many treatments are necessary?

 

The treatment cycle that is recommended is three treatments, six weeks apart.  This usually allows a significant or complete relief of symptoms for approximately one year, after which another treatment session is usually required.

 

Is the treatment painful?

 

No anesthesia has been necessary for any patient prior to or during treatment.  The procedure is done in a simple fashion by placing a small probe in the vagina (see illustration) with minimal to no discomfort.  The treatment session lasts approximately five minutes and no post treatment pain medicine is required.

 

Are there any post-treatment restrictions?

 

As mentioned, most women have minimal to no pain with the therapy; however, a few women may note some slight localized discomfort.  Full activity is usually resumed within 24 to 48 hours.

 

Are there any side effects or complications?

 

Even though this therapy is relatively new to the United States, patients in Europe have eperienced no long-term side effects.  Also to date, no patients treated at Women's Health Consultants have reported any serious side effects or adverse events.

 

How much does the procedure cost and why is it not covered by insurance?

 

Because this procedure is relatively new to the United States, it currently is not covered by managed care and therefore, it is considered an out-of-pocket expense.  You may contact us for pricing.

Histology Comparison HISTOLOGY before

The Histology of Vaginal Atrophy (before treatment)

Histology courtesy of Prof. A. Calligaro, University of Pavia, Italy

A. Atrophic Vaginal Mucosa Before Treatment

B. Vaginal Mucosa of the same person 2 months after treatment.

C. Normal Vaginal Mucosa of fertile-age woman reported for comparison

Histology courtesy of Prof. A. Calligaro, University of Pavia, Italy

MonaLisa Touch HISTOLOGY after

The Histology of Vaginal Mucosa (after treatment)

Histology courtesy of Prof. A. Calligaro, University of Pavia, Italy

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