2 Weeks Post!

Reviews on realself have helped me decide on this...

Reviews on realself have helped me decide on this process (Fraxel re:pair) and upper bleph surgery (as well as my dcotor of course!) and so I wanted to share with others my journey.

Having had a series of PIL fotofacials with Vbeam and been very pleased, I was ready to attack the saggy skin under my neck and the crepe-y-ness under my eyes, esp when I smiled. My skin is generally really good, esp after my IPL/vBeams, but laxity and some lines were beginning to bothe me. I will also say I've had two Sculptra injections spaced a year apart to fill in my cheeks (tear throughs ) and give me some nicer cheekbones and been very pleased with them as well. All my work is being done by the same doctor and aestetician, so it's not a cobbled together look, but address the bits and pieces for my particualr face....

Anyway, I'm 41 female, german scottich descent, and have been pretty good about not sun worhsipping too much, but was seeing my skin thinning and losing elasticity, esp around the eyes and some near the throat. hence, my decision after medical consult to go with fraxel re:pair for face and throat and Active FX around the eyes along with an upper bleph.  Many of my friends expressed their opinion "you don't need that" but I think it's best to do the work before you look like you need it!!

I live in Austin so waited until fall to have this done, since our sun is so strong and fianlly this morning was the morning! I had some nervousness, but had some chemical help in the form of valium and percocet. The nurse put numbing cream on most my face, save around the eyes since the Dr. was doing those first.  No general anesthetic needed--my blephs were done with local injecitons and I felt nothing. Nearly went to sleep.

The Fraxel Re:pair was more intense. Along my hair line I could feel it more, but passes were quick so it wasn't prolonged pain. Near my eyes was the worst. He did three passes in each area of my face and neck and it could be comaprable with getting a tattoo.

Both procedures took about 2 hours. and I had a friend drop me off and one pick me up--no way could have driven.  Right after I noticed my face swollen and more oozing blood that I expected. My eyes are taped together (no stitches) and were puffy.  The blood oozing got progressively worse after I got home... After being home a couple hours we did a vinager/distilled water gauze soak andlight cleaning followed with aquaphor/vaseline and it feel a lot better.  Eye drops in eyes help that and have ointment for the night time.

NO BENDING DOWN AT ALL!

and I'm on so much stuff--omnicef, valtrex, surgery vitamins, bromlain, arinica, percocet and not alcohol 4 days before and 14 after. Great reason to explain my rejuvenation...

Feel good enough to chat with people, write this blog, can't go outside, and find I'm needing more clean towels than expected!

Definitely get all the stuff the post op that's advised--you'll use it all.

And even though I have lots of swelling, I htink the supplements are a good thing to invest in.

more tomorrow. I hope I can see in the moring

 

Updated: Nov 27, 2008

72 hours post -op

(note--I revised the cost to include my blephs--2200 for upper bleph and 300 for face and neck fraxel re:pair with active fv peri-orbital)

well they say the turning point is Day 4, but I don't know if I'm Day 4 or Day 3--I am 72 hours post op. The swelling has gone down, although not very quickly--I'm a big sweller anyway. The day after my treatment my eyes were so swollen (more due to the active FX than blephs I think) I could barely see. Still now I wouldn't trust my vision to driving, but who's going out of the house--not me!.. Word to the wise, you won't be able to read, so all those books I thought I'd get to are still unread. Get your podcasts at the ready or books on tape! (also blaming that on all my typos)

Beginning to peel (hooray) and my eyelashes are becoming visible again. Unfortunately, after getting the blood clots (yes) out of my eyebrows, I've seemed to have lost a piece of one of my eyebrows, the hair maybe burned out. And have gotten a few whiteheads esp on my chin. That is the least of my worries! ha.

The vineager washes are the best--Vineager is an antimicrobial as well as a feel good. I'm not tugging at any of the skin flakes, but swabbing with gauze soaked in water vineager seems to help. 

My neck seems to be very smooth underneath, and the skin on my face seems quite red/pink under the scabs as well.

I'm writing all this because it's a process to go through and not easy to be so patient, so I hope it helps someone else.

I took benadryl tabs last night and the previous to help with swelling (check with you dr) and I think it helps. Been sleeping bascially sitting up. and have put neosporin on the tender areas near my eyes. They were oozing a bit and it seems to help. I like how it feels better than aquaphor or vaseline.

more to come...

 

 


Improvements are more gradual now, and almost all...

Improvements are more gradual now, and almost all the way peeled, red face, pink neck, still swollen, especially in the morning.

Went out to dinner (still no drinking for me, darn it!) with good friends last night. Like the episode of Sex and the City when Samatha gets the laser treatment and ends up with red face having to wear a veil. No veil, and no make up for me. Obviously looked like I was recovering from something, but it's a personal level of comfort how you feel going out in public. My eyes got tired, I got tired, but didn't get any weird stares or comments... except ran into a woman I worked with this spring and she didn't recognize me. oh my. I attribute it to my hair pulled back, as usually I have bangs.

Still doing some vinegar wipe pat downs--will until the last flakes come off today. Graduated to Remergent products, but still putting neosporin on the delicate bits. Used zinc/titanium oxide sunscreen yesterday and it didn't sting, but since it's white with blue base I looked a little purple. My skin is feeling quite tight--surely partly due to the swelling and partly to the redness (like a sunburn feels tight)

One thing, this is traumatic to your body. You will feel tired and need naps and sleep and rest. 5-7 day recovery is seeming appropriate for me, but it won't be total. Still will need a few more days to get back to normal.

Whew--had a day yesterday that was rough. My eyes...

Whew--had a day yesterday that was rough. My eyes were really dry and red and making the swelling feel worse. I had slept the night before without the eye ointment and that was an error.

And the tightness around my eyes wasn't helping with the dryness. So I resorted (on my own devices-not doctor recommended) to my favorite skin product, olive oil. Started with it near my eyes and then just ended up smearing it all over  my face and neck. (I do this anyway--I love it and no, contrary to what you'd think, it clear ups zits rather than creates them and makes skin sooo supple. Some people think it increases hair growth but I don't think so.. digression..)

Then last night put the lacrilube ointment in my eyes and went to bed with a warm cloth on my eyes and woke up today great! Eyes still get tired, but better. And my skin much less red! Olive oil helps with the tightness (I'm still using the Remergent Barrier repair and sunscreen--Blue Lizard is my favorite. I work outside a lot and it holds up through sweat, water, long hours. I  use the one for sensitive skin that is only zinc and titanium oxide, no chemicals. personal preference).

I cancelled a date today, more due to the stitches in my eyesthan anything else, but getting close to date worthy. ha.

And I bet I'll get carded (when I can finally have a glass of vino!)

2 weeks post now. Still peeling and pink. I blush...

2 weeks post now. Still peeling and pink. I blush super easily, too. I can feel my face get buring red (and see it) No hiding any emotions anymore.

Humidity is higher, which is helping the dryness. I feel like my skin doesn't absorb moisture very readily, but seems to be improving. Right now the worst is my eyes--still feels like another layer to peel off.

My bleph scars are heeling nicely, but still affected by dry eyes (the worst side effect of it all--I had Lasik 8 years ago and maybe that affects the severity)and occassional significant (to me at least) swelling at night. My eyelashes still feel numb (yes, a side effect) but today were a little sore, so I think the nerve is waking up.

here's pics--note my eye dynamic wrinkles--much smoother I think!

 

One more thing--except for mascara and blush...

One more thing--except for mascara and blush (believe it or not, seems to help with overall look-I'm using a more peachy color but sometimes a light pink highlight looks good on the cheekbones) and lip gloss --- I'm really not wearing make-up. Tried mineral powder over my moisturizer/zinc oxide sunblock and it didn't work out well. With the white over the pink it looked odd.

And the good news is--I don't need any. My skin is beginning to take on a nice texture and glow (maybe that's the pink!).

If you're trying to cover the red with make-up, you may get the same bad result as I did--all my colors were totally off.

Dr. Cameron Craven at Westlake Dermatology

Support staff excellent. Dr. Craven is an artist, not just out to make a buck.

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You look great
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congrats you look beautiful
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How long until the pink went away and how did static lines do (wrinkles as in permanent lines ... did they soften?)?
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Hi Rebex, Thanks for sharing your story with Fraxel repair. Hope that you love your results. Best, Dr. P
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i see, you're 41. Your results are amazing!
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when I saw your first picture (where you were healing) I thought, why did she do it, she is like in her 30s. Then I saw your before picture. how old are you (if you don't mind) You look ama-zing. I'm still afraid of re:pair though.
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What a great post. Thanks. Can I ask....Why did you do this, regardless of all of the horror stories on this site and others. I want to do it, found an excellent dr. (Dr. Persky from this site) but I'm not convinced my face will heal and all will be well.
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Could you please tell us how your results are lasting....or anyone that had the treatment two years ago. I hear mixed reviews about how long the results last.
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Thank you so much for this, Rebex!
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Today is day 5 for me. Most of the skin has peeled ,apart from around my lower lids and corners of my mouth. However, forget Mr Potatohead I look like Mrs TOMATOHEAD!!!Boy cant wait for this redness and swelling to subside. Iam in Australia and we are having heatwave which adds to the heat in my puffy cheeks! Great to read all your comments
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Hi
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Good news went to clinic last night.Was applying to much cream this is why i had an outbreak of small white spots.Must say today is mass improvment,swelling has gone down.Redness starting to go.Im taken back today at the improvment.Looks like by the end of the week i should see a difference!
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I am on day 3 of fraxel repair.Unlike rebex im not so far on in the healing process.The first day was the less painfull after treatment.The second day started off quite comfortably but by the night time was in fair amount of discomfort and needed to take painkillers.I became quite swollen.Day 3 I contacted the physician as I had white spots appear.Was advised to wash them off with vinager water.Im off to see the doctor at the clinic i had the treatment tonight for them to check there is no infection.But needless to say im not looking too good and feel it will be more than a week to settle down.I will keep you posted!
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Hi Rebex, Congrats on your successful Fraxel re:pair treatment, thank you for sharing your patient experience with others. You look great! Dr. P
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Excellent news. I'm pleased as well. It's amazing to think that back at Thanksgiving I was looking this bright red-purple face with an inch of Aquaphor. Going to do the eyes, just going to wait until Thanksgiving again. Darn, really wish I did them together. Ah...such is life...
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Oh yes, I am at 2 months... Color is normal--I still wear blue lizard sunscreen every day--before going out it goes on. Sometimes my eyes get red underneath if I rub them, but generally normal. I got carded twice last week--which was funny, still. I was like, "really?" and the response was "uh, yes, really, show me your ID" (I'm 41). I get the most compliments funny when all I'm wearing is sunscreen (zinc oxide base so it does make my skin a little white/porcelain) and a little powder. I think my eyes from the surgery look amazing. It's definitely a package deal--you're not going to get the same results with only one or the other. No visible scars on my eyelids now.No lax skin either! Do have some more smile lines (when I smile) around my eyes than initially post-treatment, but looks totally natural. thanks for asking!
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Hi Rebex, I've been checking often. Any update now that you're passed the 2 month mark? How's your color and any change in wrinkle improvement? Thanks!!
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You had Active FX ..And Fraxel repair?? Why both
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Why did the Doc(s) use Active FX and not the Fraxel RE:Pair around ur eyes (too ablative??)
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I had Active FX around my eyes only and Fraxel Re:pair on my face and neck. Yes, two different lasers.
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You look great now that the healing process is more advanced. I guess time and patience are of the upmost importance with Fraxel Repair. But really, you looked absolutely fine before youre so young!! Good Luck!
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Thanks so much. You're a star for posting all of this. By sharing our riches we all grow richer and wiser. Thanks again.
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Rebex, it is very brave of you to post your photos. I don't have the nerve to show my Fraxeled face online -- just write about it. You look great, and you healed well, which gives me hope. My forehead on day 10 is about the same or worse as yours was on day 5. (And the dog photo is very funny. One of my dogs lay across my feet for much of the time I was in bed post-Fraxel. He was very concerned.)
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you had pretty good skin b4. what made you decide on the full face re:pair?
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Rebex -thanks for the detailed explanation on bleph. All the little details do help because I do detailed computer work. I didn't even think about the nerve you mentioned, I just assumed it was skin/fat over the eye. Seems like this is something I could only consider over an extended Thanksgiving break.
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