Returned from my Day 1 check-up, and doctor was very happy with how everything looked. Since I had no crusting or bleeding on my neck, they decided that they didn't need to soak my neck for me. In the meantime, I still need to apply the Aquahor at least until my next check up which will be in another 3 days. It is early evening as I write this, and my neck has gotten tighter feeling and a little itchy. Nothing I can't ignore. Hope that the tight feeling means that the peeling will start in the next few days.
Active FX on Neck - Mountain View, CA
Returned from my Day 1 check-up, and doctor was...
Since I used this site as a great resource in...
Since I used this site as a great resource in researching my own treatment, I thought it only fair to provide my own experience to help others. I am 57 years old, and yesterday had Active FX done on my neck and upper chest to tighten the beginnings of crepey skin and some sun spots.
I also had a number of other procedures done at the same time: Varilite spider vein removal on checks, nose, and upper eyelids, clogged pores on forehead removed, mole removed on side of nose, Botox between eyebrows, and Restylane at corners of mouth. Yes, I had the works!
The price I listed is only for the Active FX. The price for all of yesterday's treatment was $3,700. I had all this done at my dermatological surgeon, who I have been going to for many years. He also did my mini-facelift in Feb. 2008, which turned out beautifully (no one could tell that I had it done..just received lots of comments on how wonderful I looked).
In brief, my whole experience yesterday with the Active FX was outstanding.
Procedure Day: Arrived at clinic about an hour early. Had my vital signs taken, signed a few additional papers that had been missed at my pre-op consultation, took a Valium, and had the numbing cream applied on my neck and chest. About an hour after I arrived, the doctor came in and did all the other procedures, except the Active FX. Then I was moved to the surgery room, where the Active FX was performed.
With just the numbing cream (which had been on for more than an hour), Valium and the cold air being blown on my neck, I had no pain during the procedure. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most painful), I would say the whole procedure was a 2. I knew something was going on, but it was not painful in any way. The doctor did say that he used a lower setting, since the skin on the neck is thin, and he has had better results with this approach.
My husband drove me home, I took a Vicodin (which in retrospect I probably didn't need), and I settled in for a day of putting cold compresses on my neck and eyelids, and napping. Neck was red through out the day, but not beet red. I made sure that my neck was always closed with the Aquaphor and starting take a 500mg Bromelain tablet at each meal. My doctor did not recommend Bromelain, but another cosmetic surgeon that I know did. It is an extract from pineapple and has anti-inflammatory properties which is supposed to help any swelling or bruising. Did sleep upright using an airline neck pillow to help prevent any swelling.
The biggest challenge so far is trying to keep the Aquaphor from getting all over everything. I finally used a clean, soft t-shirt over my neck so that I could pull the blankets up while I sleep during the night. The rest of the time, I have been wearing some v-neck t-shirts and keeping my neck open to the air.
Day 1: Woke up this morning, feeling very good. There is no swelling on my neck (or anywhere else that was treated). My neck is still red, but not as bright as yesterday and it is starting to get tight and brown. I have a doctor's appointment later today, when they are going to soak my neck and check on everything.
Although I am not presentable to the world yet, I am much less swollen and red than I expected. So far, an excellent experience and I am very hopefully about the outcome. I will post more as my recovery continues.
Day 2-3 As other have posted, the...
As other have posted, the itching increased over the evening of Day 2 and Day 3. It was finally bad enough that I took some Benadryl which did help so that I could fall asleep. No peeling yet, and I am starting to get a bit of that "will this ever end" feeling.
Went in for my 2nd post-procdure visit, and this time the nurse did soak my neck and exfoliated quite a bit of dead skin. Found out that I was probably not be aggressive enough when I was cleaning the area myself. Nurse said healing was progressing well, and that by Day 7 my neck would look great. At that point, I had my doubts, since honestly I looked even worse when she finished and for the rest of the day. Also was advised to continue with the Aquahor for the rest of the day instead of switching to the CeraVe moisturizing cream, which was disappointing. Keeping the Aquahor out of my hair has been a losing battle. Almost wish that I had left my hair long, so that I could just pull it back (hair is about chin length and not really long enough to put in a ponytail). Finally had a moment of panic that this was not going to turn out well, but got over it quickly since I do have great faith in my doctor.
Woke up this morning, and when I saw my neck should not believe the huge leap in improvement that had happened overnight. I even woke up my husband to look, just because I couldn't believe it. Did the soak and exfoliation process that was done at the doctor's office yesterday and lots of brown skin pealed off. Although my neck is bright pink, I can actually see tighter, newer skin. Switched to the CeraVe moisturizer, which means that I could again style my hair which helped my spirits even more. I am now going to put on a turtleneck and go out to dinner tonight with family to celebrate my in-laws anniversary.
Day 6-13 Every day, my neck continues to...
Every day, my neck continues to get less pink although I am still glad that I can wear a turtleneck to cover it up for now. Saw my doctor on Day 8, and he says that it is healing fine and that I could put sunscreen and even makeup on if I want. I also found out that the setting he used were 80mj, 200 Hz, Density 1. I don't know if that will help anyone else or not thinking about this procedure.
I have noticed in the last few days that my neck rings look less prominent and the skin seems smoother. Judgement is still out on how much the crepey skin has improved. My plan is to post again at Month 1, 2 and 3 to provide updates on improvement.
Month 1 Anniversary It has now been 31...
Month 1 Anniversary
It has now been 31 days, since I had the procedure. When I saw my doctor at week 3, he agreed that I still have some pink color that hasn't gone away. He said that it was not uncommon at that point, but that it was not hyper pigmentation. Although I can tell that there is still some pink color on my neck, I starting wearing regular tops (non-turtlenecks) last week and no one at work commented on the pink color (including my girlfriends, who I hadn't told that I was having Active FX done) . Even my hair stylist, who notices any change on my face didn't say a thing. At this point, I am using my normal skin care products and sun screen on my neck without any problems. My opinion is that I do have some mild hyper pigmentation, and I will talk with my doctor again when I see him on Feb. 4th. If I do, I am not overly concerned about it and figure I will just have to use bleaching cream for a few months.
As for my neck improvement, the skin texture is differently smoother. My neck rings are softer and less obvious. Judgement continues to still be out on the improvement in the crepey skin. Will post at Month 2 with another update.
Doctor and his staff fully explained every aspect of the procedure and what to expect during recovery. All of my questions were answered, and I could email the Patient Coordinator at any time, if I thought of something afterwards. I had a nurse with me at all times during my procedures, in addition to the surgical nurses during the Active FX treatment. The doctor even send flowers to my house wishing me a excellent recovery.