What is MonaLisa Touch Really Like?

Lesson 4

Welcome back to our series on managing menopause. In our last video we talked about the MonaLisa Touch and I introduced you the concept of how laser light can treat the genitourinary symptoms of menopause. We talked about its effectiveness and safety. In this video, the last in our series, we're going to talk about exactly how the procedure works, how it happens, how much of your time it takes, what's it going to feel like during the procedure, what it is going to feel like afterwards, and the ongoing follow-up that we provide.

What happens before my MonaLisa Touch Treatment?

The MonaLisa Touch treatments take place at Avantia Restorative Health. Even before your treatment, we will have lots of interaction, not only organizing your treatment, but ensuring that I know all about your medical health, and your genitourinary symptoms by having completed our in depth health questionnaire, which I will have reviewed before your appointment. When we get together in the consultation room, we will have an opportunity to go through your health questionnaire in detail. You'll have an opportunity to ask me any questions that haven't already been answered. I will then explain to you again in detail how it is going to work and what you can expect afterwards when you come for your treatment. At Avantia Restorative Health, your treatment will take place at one of our private exam rooms. In the room with me will be one of my assistants to help me operate the laser. I'll be the one doing your treatment. You'll find that Avantia is a calm, respectful, clean, warm environment, where you'll feel comfortable undergoing your treatment.

What happens before my very first MonaLisa Touch Treatment?

When you come for your treatment, the first thing I'm going to do is answer any questions that you may still have outstanding. Then I'm going to talk you through the procedure itself, and explain the laser to you, show you how it operates. I will demonstrate to you and show you the probes that we use to do the treatment. That whole process doesn't take more than five minutes or so. Once you've decided to, to uh, proceed with your first MonaLisa Touch treatment, then we would ask you to get changed from the waist down. There's no other prep that you need to do at home before you come. We will then apply a numbing cream to the vulva and that will stay on for 10 or 20 minutes to ensure that when we do the vulva treatment component that there's minimal sensation.

Once that numbing cream has had its effect I'll remove it with some tissue. Then we'll proceed with the first component of the treatment, which is the vaginal component of the treatment. Just like having a pap smear your legs will be in the stirrups in our comfortable exam chair. I will then review with you the settings on the MonaLisa Touch equipment. Just like a pilot copilot before takeoff. We ensure that the device is set for the appropriate settings for you and that level of treatment.

How is the vaginal treatment performed? What does it feel like?

First I will insert the vaginal probe. We will ensure that the machine is ready to go and then I will do the treatment inside your vagina. Most people at that time tell me that they feel vibration. It's not painful. It doesn't feel anything worse than feeling some sense of vibration or a hum. The time to treat the vagina is between one to two minutes.

How is the vulvar treatment performed?

After the vaginal component of the treatment has been completed, we then turn to the vulvar component of the treatment. I will change the probe that's used to treat from the vaginal portion to the vulvar portion. We need to change the settings on the machine. So again, we'll go through that checklist just like the pilot and copilot, make sure that the settings on the machine are appropriate for your treatment, and then I will treat the area around your vulva, around your urethra and around your clitoris to get that new blood flow coming back into that area to support the skin of the vulva. Again, that treatment takes one to two minutes.

Is MonaLisa Touch treatment painful?

When we treat the vaginal area with the MonaLisa Touch, most women feel a vibration or a hum-like feeling. It's not painful. When we go to treat the vulva, women will feel a light electric shock feeling or a buzzing sensation. The reason that we use the numbing cream on the vulva in advance is to try and reduce that sensation. But most women feel something. They don't describe it as being painful, but everybody's sensation is different.

How long do MonaLisa Touch treatments take?

When you come for your MonaLisa Touch treatments, it's important to understand that this is not a long drawn out thing. You're in the examination chair for no more than five to 10 minutes and there is some time in advance to answer any of your questions. There's time afterwards built in, again to answer questions and give you advice about what to do and not do over next few days, and what to watch for. Then people are back home or back to work right away.

What is recovery like after MonaLisa Touch treatment?

After the treatment, many women will feel some warmth in the area of their vulva. We give them a cool pad to wear that lasts for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the person. After that, women don't really have any symptoms at all. It varies from person to person. If there's some mild sense of irritation then we have provided them with some petroleum jelly to apply to the area. But when I call women the following day, almost everybody talks about having some mild sense of warmth afterwards which goes away quite quickly. I know after my wife had her first treatment, she rode her bike home!

How much downtime do I need to recover from treatment?

It's really important to understand that when you come for your MonaLisa Touch treatments you don't need to clear your schedule. You can return to your normal activities afterwards, whether that's going cycling or going to yoga or going back to work. You don't need to feel like there's any downtime associated with this treatment.

Are there any side-effects after treatment?

The side effect that is most common that women talk to me about within the first one to two days after, in particular, the first treatment is the sense of of having an irritated bladder. A lot of women will already have previously experienced a urinary tract infection where perhaps there's a bit of sense of urgency or some irritation when you actually pee. A women may experience that for the first couple of days after the treatment. So don't be alarmed, we haven't caused a urinary tract infection, but that sense that you have something there that's a bit irritated is not unusual.

This doesn't happen to everybody. I would say in the patients that we've been treating about half of women will experience that, but usually just at the first treatment.

Are there any risks or uncommon side-effects I should be aware of?

As I've mentioned that most women after this procedure don't have any side effects at all. Maybe a little bit of warmth for an hour or so after the treatment. Maybe that sense of a bit of bladder irritation, particularly after the first treatment. With respect to rare complications, maybe some bleeding or spotting. With respect to significant complications like ongoing damage to the vagina or vulva, that's never been reported with the MonaLisa Touch. I think it's important to watch out for copycat lasers that are being offered at other sites, even being provided by medical personnel. All of the serious medical literature that's been performed, looking at the value of laser light for the treatment of the genitourinary symptoms of menopause has been done using the MonaLisa Touch and not other devices.

How is the MonaLisa Touch equipment kept safe and clean?

We take the cleanliness of our environment and the sterility of the treatment probes that we're using very seriously. After every treatment, not only is all of the equipment sanitized but the probes that are used to treat inside your vagina and on your vulva are sterilized in our autoclave. All of the equipment has been cleaned and sterilized to the provincial standard.

What's Next?

Thanks for joining me for this video series on managing menopause. I hope that I've helped to give you some new information and some interesting things to think about. 

If you're curious, and want to learn more about the MonaLisa Touch, you can begin by requesting a free consultation with me. One of my team will then contact you and have you complete the health questionnaire before you actually see me. I'll review that information before we chat. I want you to use your time efficiently. I want you to feel like you're spending money on something that's going to be of value to you. I want you to know that when you come to discuss MonaLisa Touch with me that we're prepared, that we're ready to answer any of your questions, and that you can go into this process of using the MonaLisa Touch to improve or cure your symptoms with the highest confidence that you know you're in the right place with the right people.

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