Fraxel Re:Pair Procedure 3 Days Ago and Results

I am a 39 y/o female who had the Fraxel Re:Pair...

I am a 39 y/o female who had the Fraxel Re:Pair procedure 3 days ago, and while I would not recommend it for those with low pain tolerance (like myself!), it already appears the results are worth the intense pain. When I first arrived for my appointment, I was given one 10mg Valium and one Lortab. My nurse applied a numbing gel (with an infuser), which stayed on for just over an hour, then my dermatologist applied approx. 20 shots of a local nerve block. He began the laser treatment on my upper eyelids (where no nerve block could be applied, of course), and the pain was incredibly intense. The lower eye area (also no nerve block here) was worse, but I was assured the areas which had received nerve block shots would be less painful.

While they were indeed, the pain was still considerable, and I had to request a moment to 'catch my breath & grit my teeth' on several occasions. The doc made 4 passes (two horizontal and two vertical) over each facial area, and the pain seemed to intensify with each successive pass. By the time my face was finished, I told him I had changed my mind about the neck area, but he convinced me to at least let him make two passes over each neck area. He lowered the laser intensity setting for my neck (from 40 to 30; my eyes were at 20, I believe he said), and it was still barely tolerable, IMO.

I was a bit shocked when they had me look in the mirror after they dried my face & applied the Aquaphor, but at least after seeing the immediate result (redness, swelling, oozing, bleeding, eyes swollen nearly shut), I felt I had justification for all my in-procedure whining. *g*

For the first three days, I have applied the vinegar soaks every 2-3 hours (setting my alarm clock to do those during the night), followed by a thick coating of Aquaphor. I am also taking Arnica tablets to lessen swelling, and applying bags of frozen peas to my entire face a few times per day. I have, of course, experienced much discomfort, but no real "pain" to speak of. The vinegar soaks do sting like mad, but the stinging subsides quickly.

I had numerous facial acne scars, a high-forehead (touching my hairline) scar from a forehead lift (5 years ago), an under-chin scar from a chin implant (6 years ago), the beginnings of crows feet at my outer eye corners, and crepey (not 'creepy'! *lol*) undereye skin from an overzealous lower bleph about 8 years ago. The forehead/hairline scar has already disappeared (though I did lose some hair in the front where he made contact with the laser), the chin implant scar is 100% gone, and all but 3 of my acne scars (the 3 deepes/largest ones) have filled in nicely. My upper and lower eyes are still considerably swollen, so it's difficult to say how those will turn out; based on the early results to my other areas of concern, though, I'm cautiously optimistic.

Besides the eye-area swelling, my face is still a deep purplish-red, but given the ablation level of this procedure, I suppose that's to be expected. I was told I could expect things to 'tone down' to the equivalent of a 'bad sunburn' within 5-7 days. *fingers crossed*


It has been more than six months since I had...

It has been more than six months since I had Fraxel Re:Pair, and my skin has now reverted - almost entirely - to its pre-FR state.  The single exception is the improvement to the hairline scar I had from a previous brow lift; it has remained less noticeable than it was pre-FR.  I followed the recommended post-procedural protocols, but after about 14 weeks, I began to notice my previously-improved areas looking more like  they did before I had FR.  I at first thought it may have been just because I had become accustomed to the "new & improved" version of my skin, but after taking photos and comparing them to both my pre-FR face and my 6 weeks post-FR face, it was glaringly obvious the favorable results were indeed diminishing.  Unfortunately, they have continued to do so.  While I'm not implying my skin is now worse than it was before I had FR, I am implying that $5,000 is a LOT to pay for less than 3 months worth of improvement. 

Even the doctor who performed my FR agreed there is very little visible difference at this point.  Of course, he followed that by stating I should let him do another treatment (at a whopping $400 discount - LOL!) using higher settings.  I am willing to bear my share of the responsibility for spending the money on the initial treatment without having known more about it; I am not, however, willing to do so again.  Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice, shame on me.

Johnson City Dermatologist

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Hi AliGrace, It's been 5 years since your Fraxel treatment. I was wondering how you're doing and if you've noticed any long term negative effects from the Fraxel. Do you believe the Fraxel treatment was neutral or do you think it actually caused damage and pre-mature aging? I am three years out from Fraxel repair and it totally destroyed my skin and caused accelerated aging.
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Hi Dr P Sorry to keep bothering you, but could you please explain to me the different types of pigmentation eg superficial pigmentation etc and judging from my photos is my pigmentation superficial or deeper? Further more what is the risk of aggravating the hyperpigmentation Thanking you R
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HI christine, My email address is {edited} if you wish to correspond privately. It is now 7 days since my restore session and my face colour is nearly back to normal (?) Unfortunately I have not really seen any real improvement as far as my pigmentation is concerned. I too am being treated at very low energy levels and really didnt experience any peeling as I expected I would. My skin did feel slightly rough and is now smooth so i expect I did have a bit of flaking. At this rate I think I am going to need 10 sessions! Take care R
Editor note: This user can be contacted privately by clicking on their username.
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I have heard from so many people that have had bad effects from the repair laser. I just don't think it was ready or tested.
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Christine, How are you now? Didn't you have restore to try to alleviate the effects of the Repair? I have not been following the chat lately.
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HI Christine, I had my re:store session today. I'm soo red, but nothing like the re:pair.I was talking with the nurse at my Dr's clinic (we have become good friends-since she sees me so often) and apparently they have had another patient with the same side effects as me after the re:pair. This woman was being treated for acne scars, not wrinkles like me.can you believe this??? I tried contacting the real self providers in terms of allowing certain individuals access to my email address but I didnt hear back from them. Take care R
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Hi r, Got them and emailed you back directly. Be well. Dr. P
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Dr P I hope you received my photos am looking forward to your response R
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HiR, I have not received any of your photographs. Please try to send again to drpersky@aol.com. Thanks. Dr. P
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Hi Dr Persky, I have sent you more photos. Hope they are more evident of my ongoing issues Reddy
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My Dr is not charging me for the re:store although he originally wanted to, but the tears put an end to that,furthermore I met up with the fraxel rep who sold my Dr the machine and he told me that if my dr did not do it free of charge then he was going to contact him. I will try to work out how to email you personally. Take care
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Make up can make it seem worse, i still can't click on your email, wish I could. Is your doctor going to charge you for the restore laser?
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Christine, I really feel for you,I think I am going to need multiple sessions as well as I will be treated at very low energy settings. But I am too scared to ask my physician. I just want this over!Its nearly five months since I had the original procedure and I have become a hermit due to the way my skin looks. Makeup does very little to mask the hyperpigmentation. Good luck reddy
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he thinks 6 , i have only had one'
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HI christine, How many restore sessions do you need to have and how often are you having them?
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Hi Christine did you have to wait for your face colour to return back to normal before you had the re:store, my face is still a tanned colour, with darker hyperpigmented areas that look like I have spent years in the sun (which i never have)
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Yes Reddy, he didn't want to use the restore until i healed more. The v-beam really helped to get rid of the redness. I had the restore, and think it helped, but with the settings so low, it will be a long rode. to heal.
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Reddy, To remove redness, a very effective laser is the v.beam (pulse laser?). My doctor had to rent it, and it worked very well, he was concerned that the fraxel might be too strong. THe v-beam definitely helped the redness. Although, redness will go away on it's own with time. It's the hypo pigmenatation that is not fixable.
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Hi Christine, Reddy I am so glad that you are receiving good care and treatment and are seing some improvements. Hi AliGrace, I am sorry to hear that you skin has reverted back to pre fraxel repair state that is a lot of money spend for very little time of improvement; I feel for you. I have read other simular comments. I have finally decided not to have the repair treatment in view of all the issues people had. I will try the Pixel and have my first treatment booked for 9th Jan and when the time is right I will write a review. I am planning on 3 treatments initially and then review this. Happy New Year to you all!
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Will do, and Thank you. Best, Fair & The 7
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Hi Fairest, How are the Dwarfs? Facial beauty is all about volume, color, tone, and texture. Fraxel re:pair addresses all of the above. When adjusted properly for the individual, the results are very good. In fact, they may have used Fraxel re:pair on Brad Pitt in his current movie, "The Extraordinary Case of Benjamin Button". The movie is about Brad's character being born looking old, and looking younger as he "ages". The settings do need to be individualized, the results will vary depending on the individual ( for example, smoker's do not get as good of results as non-smokers), and some patients may need more treatment. They can be treated at much lighter settings and still see marked improvement with nearly no downtime (Fraxel repair Lite). Or they may choose to have another full treatment. I work with my patients to ensure that they can achieve their best results possible. Lastly, it has been recognized that many patients will look their best during the first 3 to 6 months, with maybe a 5% drop-off once all of the swelling and inflammation from the treatment has resolved. Working on the "Good Guys" side is the continued increased production of your own collagen over the 3 to 6 month period after the treatment. In the 60 or so patients that I have treated thus far, I have not seen one with "very little to no results", especially after the before and after pictures are compared side by side. Realistic expectations between physician and patient should be well established before treatment, as well as the possibility of needing more than one session in anyone who wants to see more results. The technology is safe (I can only vouch for myself and other properly trained, experienced laser physicians), and effective. It's all about expectations and goals. Enjoy your holidays, as well as "The Extraordinary Case of Benjamin Button". Be well and regards to Sneezy and Doc. Doc P
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Hi Dr P Me again! I am due to have a restore session in one weeks time. I am now four and half months post re:pair, and am concerned that it is too soon to have the restore. Not one bit of my face has returned to its natural colour and still feels as if its sunburnt.My skin is now very oily and I have small broken capillaries on some parts of my face furthermore whenever I wet my face with water or apply moisturiser it turns quite red. Is my skin still recovering from the repair? Although I am anxious to rid myself of the hyperpigmentation I do not want to further damage my skin. My treating physician does not think it is too soon, but than again he has never had to treat someone suffering the side effects of the re:pair procedure.What is your opinion on the matter? Reddy
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Hi reddy, It's difficult to answer without seeing you. If you can send a photo to my email drpersky@aol.com I will be better able to answer you. I agree that V-beam is very good at treating vascular redness. Speak with you soon. Dr.P
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Hi Dr. P, I've been reading quite a few cases where people are reverting back to their pre-fraxel state 6-7 months after going through the procedure. Is the setting too low? Would it be their skin type? Aligrace had mentioned...it's too expensive of a facial. What are your thoughts? I'm looking to have this done, I just wouldn't like to be disappointed with the cost and the downtime to see very little to no results.
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Hi R, C, & A, We are all helping each other. Thank you, Happy, healthy holidays! Dr. P
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