Quanta Discovery Pico Plus
what is it?
Quanta Discovery Pico Plus is a non-ablative triple wavelength Q-switched picosecond laser that produces ultrashort laser pulses. The laser energy is absorbed by the targeted pigments producing photomechanical breakdown into tiny particles which are then eliminated by the body’s immune system.
Quanta Discovery Pico Plus produces pulses that are >10x shorter than traditional nanosecond Q-switched lasers. This means that the laser pulse is better confined to the targeted pigmentation, breaking it up into smaller finer fragments with less collateral damage. Less collateral damage means a lower risk of complications such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Overall, it means faster results with fewer sessions or side effects.
what makes it special?
Highest Peak Power
Discovery Pico Plus, an FDA-approved second generation picosecond laser, uses Quanta’s patented Pico-Boost technology to generate the highest peak power among available picosecond lasers such as Picosure, Picoway, Lutronic Pico Plus, Enlighten, etc.
Discovery Pico Plus has 1.8GW peak power, which is many times higher than regular nanosecond Q-switched lasers such as the Fotona Starwalker MaQX (which has a 5 nanosecond pulse duration and is not a picosecond laser) that have peak powers ranging from 0.2 to 0.5GW.
Higher peak power laser pulses are able to break up pigments more thoroughly and at a deeper depth in the skin, making it more effective for stubborn pigmentation.
Adjustable pulse duration with 4 emission modes
Unlike many other picosecond lasers that can only produce picosecond pulses, Quanta Discovery Pico Plus is able to produce picosecond, nanosecond, Optipulse (double nanosecond) to quasi-long pulse 300us pulse durations.
This adjustable pulse duration allows Dr Wan to customize the desired effect of the laser, using ultrashort pulse durations for photoacoustic effects (for breaking up pigmentation, scar treatments) and longer ones for photothermal effects (to treat acne, stimulate collagen production)
Fractional Micro-Lens Array
Quanta Discovery Pico Plus laser uses a special fractional microlens array handpiece to further concentrate the laser energy into tiny spots. These areas of extremely high energy are able to generate laser-induced optical breakdown (LIOB) leading to plasma formation, cavitation and shockwave formation. This effectively breaks down scar tissue and old collagen and activates intense collagen stimulation leading to skin renewal, improvement in skin texture, scarring and pores.
Triple-wavelength with full powered Ruby wavelength
Green (frequency doubled Nd:YAG – 532nm), red (ruby – 694nm) and infrared (Nd:YAG – 1064nm) laser light can be emitted.
Quanta Discovery Pico Plus houses a full powered ruby laser. Other q-switched picosecond or nanosecond lasers use dye convertor handpieces requiring a two-step wavelength conversion with high conversion losses, leading to inadequate power and hence slower and less effective treatments.
For example, a full-powered nanosecond NdYAG laser with 1600mJ energy per pulse would only be able to produce a 220mJ pulse after conversion, compared to the 1200mJ of the Quanta Discovery Pico Plus.
For tattoo removals, a third wavelength with adequate power is essential for treating notoriously difficult to eradicate green, sky blue, and blue tattoos effectively.
The higher melanin absorption of the ruby wavelength also makes it more effective for clearing pigmentation without producing complications such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or blistering.
dr wan’s perspective
Quanta Discovery Pico Plus is a powerful yet versatile laser that is one of the most utilized lasers in Dr Wan’s arsenal of devices. It can tackle troublesome pigmentation, tattoos, acne scarring, etc. with less downtime and risk of complications than previous nanosecond q-switched lasers and even current picosecond lasers.
To Dr Wan, it is important to produce visible results quickly for patients, while ensuring that the treatment doesn’t cause extensive downtime, discomfort during recovery or complications such as white spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), etc.
Laser toning with traditional nanosecond lasers may lead to white spots over the long term. Pico-Toning with the Quanta Discovery Pico Plus has less chance of producing these due to the ultrashort pulse duration that produces less collateral damage to the skin.
In most cases, Dr Wan prefers to use fractional picosecond or fractional ruby laser treatment instead of Pico-Toning as the fractional treatment has even lower chance of producing noticeable white spots. Furthermore, the focussed laser energy (particularly ruby laser, due to the higher melanin absorption) is able to break up pigments more effectively leading to more visible results.
Pigmentation such as birthmarks
Most aesthetics clinics, including those with picosecond lasers, have q-switched lasers that only have 2 wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm). These can be useful for certain types of pigmentation but many times, 532nm doesn’t go deep enough and has the risk of PIH in Asian skin while 1064nm doesn’t have high enough melanin absorption to clear superficial pigmentation while it can produce petechiae and sometimes PIH or blistering. Quanta Discovery Pico Plus has a third ruby wavelength which overcomes these limitation producing better clearance in fewer sessions with fewer complications.
With the highest peak power available, Quanta Discovery Pico Plus is able to break up tattoo pigments buried deep in the skin, making it effective for even faint remnant tattoos left after traditional nanosecond laser tattoo removal. The 3 wavelengths available are able to cover all tattoo colours effectively.
Moreover, the ultrashort pulse duration confines the laser energy to the tattoo pigment, reducing collateral damage and the risk of scarring. Dr Wan feels that this improved safety margin is very important as it is pointless to remove a tattoo only to replace it with a scar.
Dr Wan combines Quanta Discovery Pico Plus picosecond laser tattoo removal with fractional laser and shockwave therapy to further synergize the effects for fast, effective and safe tattoo removal with low downtime.
Scarring and Coarse Pores
Fractional picosecond laser treatment with the Quanta Discovery Pico Plus utilizes the high peak power and special fractional microlens array handpiece to generate very concentrated tiny beams of laser energy that break up scar tissue and old collagen, activating collagen renewal.
Fractional picosecond laser has minimal downtime compared to traditional fractional CO2 or erbium lasers which can produce 3 to 7 days of redness, peeling, pain and discomfort. Dr Wan feels that it is suitable for busy patients who cannot take time off from work or tolerate downtime.
Unlike most picosecond lasers, Quanta Discovery Pico Plus has a quasi-long pulsed laser emission mode, which is able to generate photothermal effects. This kills acne bacteria, reducing inflammation. It can also be combined with the fractional handpiece for more intense effects and collagen stimulation.
Carbon laser peel with microscopic carbon particles can also be performed to treat acne, coarse pores and brighten the skin. The microscopic carbon particles enter the pores and absorb laser energy, concentrating it in the pores and skin surface. The carbon particles absorb the laser energy, producing heat and controlled damage to kill acne bacteria and stimulate collagen production. The picosecond pulses explode the carbon particles more explosively than nanosecond lasers, producing more intense and effective photoacoustic stimulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
let us clear your doubts!
Most patients are able to tolerate the lasers sessions without much discomfort. The laser feels like tiny warm pricks on the skin.
A small portion of patients can experience a pinkish flush or mild itchiness after the laser, which goes away within a few hours. You can return to work or daily activities immediately after the laser. However, it is advised to stay avoid prolonged or intentional strong sun exposure for a week after the laser to avoid hyper-pigmentation.
For certain patients, some greying/browning/darkening of the existing pigmentation may be expected before it fades off. This is normal and one shouldn’t be worried as it will fade off in time.
Depending on the condition and the type of pigmentation, the number of treatments can vary. A few factors influence the outcome of the treatment; nature of pigmentation, skin type, skin health, hormones and sun exposure etc.
On average, about 5 – 10 treatments will be required for best results.
Most pigmentation, like tattoos, will not return after removal. However, due to sun exposure, ageing and hormonal changes (mostly in women), new pigmentation can develop. Certain pigmentation conditions such as melasma tend to recur and require long term management
It is important to apply sunscreen to prevent new pigmentation from forming. Regular maintenance treatments with the Quanta Discovery Pico Plus will benefit some patients.