Rethinking the Techno Vagina: A Case Series of Patient Complications Following Vaginal Laser Treatment for Atrophy

Catherine Gordon, MD; Savanah Gonzales; Michael L. Krychman, MD

Disclosures

Menopause. 2019;26(4):423-427. 

In This Article

Conclusions

Four cases of complications following vaginal laser treatment for GSM are presented. Although the FDA cleared the use of such lasers in certain dermatologic and gynecologic settings, the lasers have not been approved for use for vulvar or vaginal atrophy, vaginal laxity, decreased sexual function, or dyspareunia. The FDA commissioner and several organizations have since issued a warning statement to providers and patients regarding the risk of using laser treatment for this purpose, and the FDA has contacted a number of companies regarding possible false claims of treatment benefits. It remains critical that health care professionals and patients alike understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives for treatment. Patient education remains paramount. Laser treatment for vaginal procedures shows excellent promise; however, complications such as fibrosis, scarring, agglutination, and penetration injury are beginning to emerge.

Although a study shows that the laser may be nearly as effective as vaginal estrogen, further research is needed to assess the long-term safety of laser treatment procedures. Health care providers have a professional responsibility to educate patients on the potential risks, benefits, and alternatives of laser treatments to empower them to make informed health decisions. Innovation is the future of medicine, however, long-term, prospective clinical trials should be encouraged and conducted. Current FDA-approved products for GSM should be considered frontline treatment for this condition.

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