I was my surgeon's first patient for the fraxel treatment two years ago. I had years of sun and smoking damage to my face. Very wrinkled lower face and around the mouth. I had 4 treatments about 2 weeks apart and it was amazing the difference in my skin. It took YEARS off me.
I have a very high pain tolerance so I did not find any of the treatments bad but I would believe how you are preped has a lot to do with it. In each case I returned to work the same day even though I was very red.
I also agree with all the reviews that the surgeon is a major difference. Mine only works on the face and neck.
Do your research and I don't think you will be disappointed.