Fraxel Re:store - Alabama

Throughout high school I had a few cystic acne...

Throughout high school I had a few cystic acne pimples and they eventually went away without scarring (pockmarks). I went through a traumatic experience at 27 that, for whatever reason...stress, emotions, hormones, something...caused extreme cystic acne that led to scarring. I still experience acne today at age 32.

I did some searching and decided that Fraxel technology was the way for me to go to remove these horrific scars. I found a local plastic surgeon and decided to go for it. Unfortunately, I had a very bad experience. The plastic surgeon I used actually had some acne scarring himself, but his beard covered it (lucky guy). He was friendly, but didn't fully inform me of everything I should expect. I thought there was just ONE Fraxel. I wasn't aware that I wasn't receiving the strongest treatment for my scars. The staff were friendly and loaded me up on medications to prevent pain.

The doctor also did nerve blocks (injections through my mouth, like a dentist does) to prevent pain (even though I DID feel it, lol). I had had about several treatments and I just wasn't seeing what I wanted or expected (especially with the amount of money I was spending). I was extremely frustrated. Aslo, after each session, my face seemed to be getting more "used" to the treatments...I'd swell some, flake, then go back to normal...almost TOO quickly if that makes sense.

During one session -- I don't remember which one, as I would estimate I had at least 10 to 12 -- the doctor's assistant burned me. Even high as a kite I remember it. She burned my chin and the side of my face along the hairline and jawline. I didn't realize the full extent of the burn and didn't treat it as I should have. I work in a public environment were I am exposed to a lot of germs, so I'm sure I picked up some kind of infection...as stated, I wasn't fully aware of the extent of this burn and didn't treat it as I should have.

When my poor worried mother finally persuded me to return to the doctor, he was horrified I didn't come to him sooner. Well, I didn't KNOW. I probably could have sued him, but he told me he'd give me MORE treatments for free. Naive, trusting, emotionally shot, and foolish, I allowed him to continue to treat me. They showered me with free treatments and all the medications I wanted, and the assistant who burned me even LET ME BORROW some things of hers for a trip I took, but it doesn't excuse the fact I wound up with hyperpigmentation on my face along my hairline and a large, raised keloid scar at my jawline. In fact, the scar is what convinced a nurse at a different plastic surgeon to convince her husband/doctor to NOT give me a Fraxel Re:pair treatment, which is what I wanted in the FIRST PLACE to treat my acne scars!

Throughout various other treatments -- from other doctors, mind you -- the hyperpigmentation has gone away. The scar obviously hasn't. I've received numerous other treatments to the scar that have helped curb its EXTREME sensitivity -- I couldn't touch it...WATER from the shower would even hurt it -- but it doesn't excuse the fact that it's there, the acne scars I went to treat in the first place are there, and I've been fleeced of thousands of dollars.

Bottom line: the Fraxel Re:store does not work for people with moderate to severe acne scarring. The doctor I went to DID NOT inform me of all the risks, the fact that I probably should NOT have had the treatment in the FIRST place because I STILL have active acne, the fact I should have had better wound care instructions to follow, and the fact there are different forms or types of Fraxel lasers. His assistant burned me and nothing was done. I've learned my lesson the hard way.

Fraxel Re:store does NOT work for people with moderate to severe acne scarring

Just a quick update for everyone...just as I said in my last paragraph above and now as the title of this update...Fraxel Re:store does NOT work for people with moderate to severe acne scarring. I apologize in advance if you read this update as being extremely negative. That is not my intention. My intention is to inform others out there suffering from moderate to severe acne scarring who are looking for help to NOT be suckered into paying for treatments that won't provide you with the results you are looking for.

Through this experience I will always feel that I was fleeced by the physician I put my faith and trust into. Regardless of the "extremely high settings" he said the laser was set to...the number of passes he took over the scars...the medication and nerve blocks he provided me with to deal with the pain during and after the treatments...the number of treatments he provided me with...I did not see the results I expected for the amount of money and time I invested in these procedures and physician.

Bear with me as I repeat myself...

There is no doubt I AM angry and bitter at the amount of money and time (along with faith and trust) I put into these procedures and physician...but I think what continues to hurt me the most is how the sick feelings of depression and disfigurement I have from these pitted acne scars were compounded by the fact I have a hypertrophic scar along my jawline that resulted from the physician's assistant burning me while performing a Re:store treatment. This hypertrophic scar pulls somewhat on my surrounding skin, which makes me feel even more like a freak. I struggle every day with these feelings because of what I've gone through.

My husband tells me he finds me beautiful regardless of what I've been through, but he didn't know me before all of this happened. I constantly long for the smooth skin I had once before and will probably never have again. Some may think with my experience I would swear off laser treatments altogether, but that's not the case. I still search for a physician who can provide me with smoother skin -- although I know I will probably never have skin as smooth as I had before my traumatic experience at 27 years old -- I know there are improved treatments constantly developing as well as physicians who are truly skilled in their work.

I REPEAT...Fraxel Re:store DOES NOT work for moderate to severe acne scarring

A brief update (and REITERATION) to my previous entries...please don't waste your time, money, and HOPE on getting dramatic, life changing results with the Fraxel Re:store laser if you have moderate to severe acne scarring. I went to this particular doctor after doing what I felt was quite a bit of research and I thought I was in the most knowledgeable, capable hands when in actuality I wasn't. He was "teaching" his assistant to perform laser treatments and it was during this time that the assistant burned me (from what I recall, the doctor wasn't even in the room overseeing her). The burn resulted in a loss of pigmentation and an ugly raised scar.

I've gone through numerous other skin treatments with different physicians since my experiences with this doctor (including a Fraxel Re:pair...feel free to check out my other reviews for more), and I now realize how odd -- and potentially unsafe -- it was that no one at this doctor's office ever provided me with any sort of specific, detailed post-treatment care instructions. As I naïvely (foolishly?) continued to visit his office for further sessions, they began giving me samples of medication to bring home and take to reduce the swelling and downtime from the procedures. When it finally dawned on me that the procedures weren't FIXING the scars, I'd still accept the sample pills and bring them home, but didn't take them...the swelling temporarily plumped up and helped camouflaged the pitted scars, making me feel somewhat "normal" again. And as I've stated, the physician's assistant burned me quite badly, but she nor anyone else there that day acknowledged how bad the laser burn was...nor was I provided any sort of post-treatment care instructions or WOUND care instructions.

The best advice I can offer you -- seeing as I've bought, paid for, and experienced a LOT -- is this...do TONS of personal research, get consultations from several different physicians to determine what course of action is best for you and your personal, particular situation, stay focused, and be realistic.
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Beside manner was excellent...but too general and broad as far as answering questions and giving me instructions. Staff were friendly... even "sisterly" to the point of chatting about relationships with men and cussing... I guess they thought I was so high I wouldn't remember it.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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