MONA LISA touch patient information
The Mona Lisa Touch is a treatment option for women who prefer, or have been advised, to avoid estrogen. The Mona Lisa Touch is a medical CO2 laser that stimulates both surface and deep layers of vaginal tissue to produce collagen and promote blood flow and restore vaginal lubrication and elasticity. In the Stanford University clinical trial, 96 percent of patients were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the treatment with highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms including dryness, pain, itching, painful urination and painful intercourse. The women in the trial experienced no side effects or adverse reactions and showed an escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment.
Below is information about the procedure and the answers to frequently asked questions. Of course, we are happy to answer any other questions you may have. If you are interested in more information, please go to nmvaginalhealth.nm.org. If you would like to schedule a procedure or simply would like more information, please contact Beth Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.472.0502.
Mona Lisa Educational Video
Video used by permission of DEKA.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a treatment like?
The treatment involves three painless five--minute sessions performed in a doctor's office and spaced six weeks apart. No anesthesia is required and most women report only a gentle vibration while the slender laser probe is in the vagina.
What can I expect on the day of treatment?
No preparation or fasting is required. After changing into a gown and a quick examination to evaluate tissue elasticity and dryness, local anesthetic cream will be applied to the vaginal opening to ensure that insertion of the probe is 19 completely pain free. The procedure is done in the same room where you would have a routine gynecologic exam, and yes, you need to put your feet in the stirrups and scoot to the end of the table! You will be given very attractive eye wear to protect your eyes, a routine precaution whenever a medical laser is used.
The laser wand is then placed in the vagina and over the course of 3-4 minutes rotated and repositioned to ensure that all tissue is treated. A different laser piece is then used to treat the opening of the vagina, and if necessary, external vulvar tissue. After the treatment you will rest for a few minutes with a cool compress on the vulvar area to assure no discomfort. You are then free to go about your day's activities.
When will I see results?
Most patients feel some improvement after the first treatment, and an escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment. Maximum results are seen after the 12 week, 3 treatment cycle.
How long does it last?
There are no long term studies since this technology has only been available since 2008. Patients should expect to come back annually for a maintenance treatment.
What are my limitations after the procedure is done?
Other than refraining from sexual activity for two to three days, there are no restrictions.
Is this procedure safe for women with breast cancer?
Yes, the Mona Lisa Touch treatment is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.
How many women have been treated with the Mona Lisa Touch?
Over 25,000 women worldwide have been treated. There have been no reported significant adverse affects and the overwhelming majority are pleased with the results.
Are both internal and external tissues treated?
Most women that have pain with intercourse not only have discomfort from dry vaginal walls (internally), but also have dryness and loss of elasticity at the opening of the vagina and surrounding tissue. (The vulva). While some clinicians only treat the vaginal walls, I treat both areas to ensure the best result.
Do laser treatments work as well as using a prescription local vaginal estrogen product such as a cream, tablet or vaginal ring?
In clinical trials, women who were treated with the Mona Lisa Touch were
evaluated using the same criteria as women in estrogen trials. Women who received laser treatments demonstrated the same tissue changes
(proven by biopsy) lowering of vaginal pH to a normal pre-menopausal level, and a significant decrease in pain with intercourse. Having said that, there is no published data directly comparing vaginal laser treatments with estrogen. That clinical trial is currently in progress. Results are anticipated in the next year, so stay tuned.
Will a lubricant still be necessary during intercourse?
The severity of dryness and tissue damage is different in each woman, and just as some women still need to use a lubricant after treatment with estrogen, some women may require a lubricant after laser treatments.
Will Mona Lisa Touch treatments help symptoms such as vulvar itching, urinary urgency and recurrent urinary tract infections?
In the Stanford University clinical trial there was a highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms including not only and painful intercourse, but also itching and painful urination. While this is promising, there were only 30 women in that trial and more data is needed to evaluate the effect on the urinary tract. At this time, I am only recommending treatment for women with vaginal and vulvar dryness and pain.
Is is true that Mona Lisa Touch also treats lichen sclerosis?
Preliminary data (not yet published) suggests that CO2 laser treatments may benefit women with lichen sclerosis. This is another area where investigation is ongoing.
There are other less expensive lasers. Why Mona Lisa Touch?
Mona Lisa Touch has the longest track record, not only as a company with other laser technology, but with vaginal laser treatments. More important, Mona Lisa Touch is the only vaginal laser system with data published in scientific peer review journals.
My plastic surgeon also offers this treatment. Should I have her do it?
Would you have your gynecologist do your face lift? Plastic surgeons use laser on other parts of the body (think wrinkly face) and some are now offering vaginal treatments. While it is not a difficult procedure to perform, only gynecologists have the expertise to evaluate the vaginal and vulvar tissue, determine the cause of your pain (sometimes pain during intercourse has nothing to do with vaginal dryness and will not be helped by a laser treatment), and routinely performs vaginal procedures.
Is the Mona Lisa Touch FDA approved?
The Mona Lisa Touch Laser system has been FDA cleared as safe to use, however it has not been specifically FDA approved for treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy) or painful intercourse. Therapy using the Mona Lisa Touch laser has been documented as an appropriate and efficacious treatment for vaginal symptoms due to menopause in the medical literature. This is an "off-label" use of a device which has been used in a medical setting in thousands of women. Doctors often use medications and devices
beyond the original FDA approval when supported by the medical literature. A good example of this is birth control pills which are often prescribed for treatment for treatment of heavy or painful periods even though birth control pills have never been FDA approved for this purpose.
Is the procedure covered by insurance?
At this time, the Mona Lisa Touch is not covered by insurance. Please visit our services and fees page for price information.