This post originally appeared on the ARSC Insight Blog.
Planning for your wedding is a monumental task. There are so many important decisions to make and many tasks to add to your wedding planning checklist. Who to invite? When to send out the invitations? Where to honeymoon? What laser-based procedures to have? Yes, that’s right. Modern couples are including cosmetic and medical procedures featuring laser technology, such as LASIK, on their wedding planning checklist. They want to take advantage of the latest technologies to improve their skin, teeth and eyes so they look their best on one of the biggest days of their lives.
While some couples want extensive makeovers such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks, others seek out less-invasive procedures that use lasers instead of scalpels or harsh chemicals. Lasers produce high-energy, focused beams of light to cut or dissolve tissue with precision. With only the laser beam (not a scalpel or other surgical instrument) touching the tissue, the result is less pain and swelling, minimal bleeding, and less recovery time.
We’re going to take a look at three popular pre-wedding laser-based procedures – laser eye surgery, laser skin resurfacing and laser teeth whitening – and what they involve, including recovery time, so you can add them into your wedding planning checklist.
6 Months Before: Laser Eye Surgery
If you want your wedding day to be free of troublesome eyeglasses or contact lenses, having LASIK eye surgery before your wedding can help you create the vision you want, not just for the big day but for your future lives together.
LASIK is an outpatient procedure and uses topical (eye drop) anesthesia. Your refractive surgeon has the option to use two lasers to perform LASIK: a femtosecond laser, which uses infrared energy that operates at extremely high speeds, and a wavefront-guided excimer laser, which emits a cool ultraviolet light beam. With the femtosecond laser, your surgeon will make a thin, circular flap in your cornea and then fold the flap out of the way. He will use the excimer laser to remove microscopic pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it, before laying the flap back in place. By reshaping the cornea, light rays are in proper focus –providing clear vision.
- Six months or more before your wedding: research refractive surgeons in your area, schedule consultations with one or more to discuss the procedure, and select the surgeon with the most experience and the right approach for you.
- Three months or more before your wedding: Have the vision correction treatment performed. There is a healing process with LASIK and some people may experience minor side effects such as glare, halos or dry eye in the days or weeks after surgery, but they generally disappear as the eye heals.
1-3 Months Before: Laser Skin Resurfacing
If you want to say goodbye to wrinkles, sun damage, acne and other facial blemishes before your wedding and hello to smoother, healthier and younger-looking skin, laser skin resurfacing treatments can help you do just that.
Your cosmetic surgeon will use either an ablative laser to remove the outer layer of your skin and sub-layer, or a nonablative laser to beam heat into the skin without removing the top layer, instead treating the tissue beneath it. This will stimulate the growth of new collagen – collagen gives our skin strength and elasticity.
- Ablative: After surgery, your skin will be will be raw, swollen and itchy. Add to your wedding planning checklist to schedule your procedure two to three months before your wedding to make sure your skin has fully recovered and the improvements are visible.
- Non-ablative: While there is minimal to no downtime, if you’re getting a series of treatments, factor that in.
2 Weeks Before: Laser Teeth Whitening
There will be lots to smile about on your wedding day. And having white teeth will make feel good about smiling all the time.
With laser teeth whitening, your dentist will apply a bleaching solution to your teeth and direct a beam of light from a laser onto them. This will activate the bleaching chemical, accelerate the bleaching process – and whiten your teeth.
- Add to your wedding planning checklist to first schedule a dental checkup one month before your wedding. If you have any cavities, you’ll need to get them fixed first.
- Then, add to your wedding planning checklist to schedule the procedure two weeks before your wedding. Your gums may feel a bit sensitive afterwards, so this will give them time to recover.