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Fraxel Laser: Can You Live with the Worst Case Scenario? - La Jolla, CA

I easily had skin in the top 5% of all skin I've...

I easily had skin in the top 5% of all skin I've ever seen. I was grateful for that, and eager to take the best care of it. My doctor said I'd be "treating" my condition/minor flaws, and "rejuvenating" my skin, making it "better". I regret this everyday. I have lost my healthy skin that people always guessed made me 5-10 years younger than I really am. My options in life have diminished. Doors have closed. Think carefully about how you would live your life if you emerge looking 10 years older with scars and lines streaking down your face, or loss of fat/skin tone causing your skin to hang on the bones deflating the fullness of your face. How will you cope when you look in the mirror and instead of seeing your "self", you see something so painful that you can no longer look at yourself? How will you cope when the people who love you tear up because they feel helpless to help you, and fear for your future and the changes that may come to your relationship as you process all the grief and loss of your identity as you knew it?

My results are not as bad as others I've seen in person and I have met so many. I try to feel lucky. The truth was misrepresented to me and distorted, and I was used for money, but I refuse to be a victim. I speak the truth on my experience so no other human being has to walk this path. Several doctors I've sought help from have told me this has harmed so many people and they are "concerned" about the way this laser has been "sold to the public". They "don't know" what to do about it.

Whatever you see in the mirror that bothers you, remind yourself it can always be worse, and be grateful for a feature you have that you love. Then tell yourself you are ok the way you are. Walk out of anyone's office who tells you this laser is "good" for your skin. I have yet to meet one person who's results support that (1-2 years out) except for nurses who were not treated at near the same treatment levels as patients. At worst, the people I've met, are disfigured and regretful.

At best, they "traded one problem for another" or lose their money and a lot of peace of mind, with zero to minor "results" at the end of an arduous recovery. Swelling creates illusions. So do marketing and pictures taken at the peak of swelling. Be informed. Ask yourself if you can live with the worst case scenario? And whatever you're told that will be...imagine it possibly worse, before you make this potentially life-altering decision.


Name not provided

Much of what I was told, turned out to be not true. I've met other patients of his who were scarred and he told us all in the "selling" phase that he has never had anyone get scars. He proclaims he is an expert but frequently didn't know what to do to help me heal and for almost 2 years I've been waiting for my skin to get better. Several of his recommendations (guesses) caused more damage. He talks about the importance of being board certified, but several patients (including me) have been burned/scarred nonetheless. I had several complications and once I started reporting them to him, sending him pictures he asked me to send, he did not respond. I lost a year of my life/career. My face will not recover or go back to what it was. The issues his laser was supposed to "treat"... it did not. Nothing was gained, but immeasurable loss. He did not disclose that he is a researcher and developer of the laser, and shareholder in the laser company.

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Are you able to private msg me with some names of doctors willing to admit it has harmed many people? My doctor argues this awful laser doesn't go deep enough to cause damage. But I have severe premature aging, nowhere else (not arms, hands, neck, anywhere) except where I had Fraxel and Fraxel only. To correct this I would have to have surgery for drooping jowls, a lower blephraplasty as Fraxel got rid of all fat under my lower eyes, probably a facelift and a year of various skin regimes and light injections.
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Did you have this on high settings?
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The doctor claim he used the lowest settings. I however do not believe this. I had three sessions. The first one was bearable but the second, and especially the third, was simply unbearable and almost impossible to finish. The clue to this came from another doctor who told me the higher the settings the more painful - which tells me my treatment had a very high setting. Mind you, I did have a good experience with Fraxel on the lowest setting (my first treatment). It healed quick and results were good. The other treatments were bad and never healed properly. Now my skin is ruined and I am not exaggerating. A few weeks ago I got the before pictures from the doctor's office. The impact of the treatment is even worse than I had imagined before seeing these photos. Comparing the actual photos pre any Fraxel at all and the post photos plus the ones I took was a shock. It's dramatic changes to the skin in merely 1.5 years.
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Eek.
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Thank you so much for this review... I am one of those as you said "lucky" I got a minimal improvement for acne scars... and I gave up my healthy skin texture...lines, squares, missing texture discoloration. It truly is ALL about money... and when you notice that you are having complications... they have no idea what to do...and tell you youre "STILL HEALING" fraxel recovery is the longest in the history of recoveries. Please let me know if something help you... Im desperate to even out my skin...smoothing out the areas that laser deepened more than the others. what a nightmare.
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Did you get high settings? How soon did the problems show?
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realist, i'm here just to let you know i read your review and hear your pain.

i am going through the same thing.
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Please PM me the links to where this info is on the doc's website, Realist, about the dangers of lasers. I cannot find them on his website.

Thank you.
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www.garthfisher.com

Look under the Naked Truth Series of Videos. Chapter 11 and 12 are titled "Laser Complications" and "More Laser Complications" respectively, so you have to "play" the video, its not written in the text of the website itself. Hope that helps.
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It's not well known but the Fraxel Laser can melt fat in your face.

THIS IS NOT GOOD. The face over the years is continually losing fat and it's one of the major contributions to an aging face.

My girlfriend lost some of the fat she had injected under her eyes to remove the bags and the Fraxel destroyed a lot of that fat.
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Did the doctor who recommended Fraxel for her know that she had had fat injected under her eyes? He should reimburse her for what she paid for it, if so. Since he's a doctor and should know better (or not be doing procedures he does not understand)...
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Thank you for posting your difficult experience.  It sounds like you've had treatments prior to Fraxel.  What were these?  Do you see your skin problems attributed to the combination of these procedures, over time?

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No, Fraxel Repair was the first and only "procedure" I've ever done at the recommendation of my board certified doctor. I had never even done microderm and have only had one facial in my whole life. I was in my early 30's and loved my skin with the exception of some minor (as minor can be) acne scars (maybe 8-10 small indented pit marks). The Fraxel was way too aggressive for my condition. In retrospect, I can't imagine what he was thinking risking what he had to know could happen (since he's an "expert"), to treat something so minor with such an aggressive modality. I did not get informed consent. I would never have risked what I now know can happen for such a small issue. The acne scars by the way, are still there, and now so is alot more damage. The other doctors I consulted with afterwards, were to help me fix the damaged skin and related issues since my doctor and his recommendations kept making it worse. He eventually admitted "I don't know". I'm now told, my skin is so compromised, it can't undergo any other procedures. I don't consider anything that damages your skin to this degree, a "treatment". I have hundreds of pictures over this long recovery that clearly document the connection to Fraxel, not to mention, several other women have the exact same problems after this laser, whether they've done other procedures or not. Read Dr. Garth Fishers website and watch his video's to get the truth about the risks on these lasers. I wish I had seen this site beforehand. He provides informed consent in the most honest, thorough way I've seen or heard yet.
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Wow! I agree with you about this procedure! it does age your skin. I twice as many wrinkles around my eyes, equal or more 'creping'. loss of volume & it DEFNITELY does not take the place of a face lift! I am sorry I did this - it did not do a bit of what was promised
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How soon did you see problems and did you have a high setting?
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In my case I began to notice something was wrong quite soon after the third treatment. The skin would not heal. It stayed blotchy, discolored, sensitive and itchy for months - almost a year. I had never had sensitive skin. It was so bad I could not even use ordinary skin lotion or it would sting really bad. After that the skin never looked the same and I have lines all over my face. But I don't have these same lines on my neck, arms or anywhere not Fraxeled. I now look older than my age.
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Gosh. I am so sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Did you, too, have a high setting? Lorna says she did.
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Who was your doctor that did the Fraxel?
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