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Co2 Laser & More - Miami, FL

I wanted to write this review to help other people...

I wanted to write this review to help other people who want to have Co2 laser resurfacing due to the fact I found very little reviews online or actual experience with traditional Co2 laser resurfacing not Fraxel. I wanted to have Co2 for a long time as I knew it was the laser with the most productive results out there. I always had lots of fine lines under my eyes which progressed with time and unfortunately for a few years of my life I was addicted to tanning beds and tanning in general. So much that I would go once a day for an extended period of time. I can't stress enough how much damage that did to my skin and how this is one of the ways I had to pay for it years later. Nonetheless, one can't turn back time- so here I was and I had to improve it.

I did as much research as I could and found a doctor who is a laser specialist in Florida. Dr. John J. Martin came highly recommended by a former patient and two other doctors I know. I was mostly afraid of the pain involved and the downtime. In fact there was really no pain but there is a huge amount of downtime. First of all I want to say that Dr. Martin and his staff are beyond amazing. I have had A LOT, and I mean A LOT of plastic surgery and have known many doctors, have had consultations with even more-and the quality of care and after care I have received from this practice really is exceptional and almost second to none. I decided to have several procedures done at one time- the full face Co2, some scar revisions, upper lift reduction, platysmaplasty and cervicoplasty (in other words an extensive neck lift) and he reshaped my earlobes which had been left distorted by a previous facelift. The total surgical time was about 4 hours, and really what scared me the most was the Co2 laser, I was afraid it was going to burn like crazy. The only time I really felt any burning was directly after the surgery before the Flexan dressing was applied. I was complaining of the stinging right after and the nurses told me as soon as we put the dressing on it will not burn as much. They were right it did not burn at all afterwards. The wost part was my face and eyes were so swollen and the net put over the dressing was pulling my left eye down badly and when I got home my eye was really bothering me, however when I adjusted the net, it felt much better. Though the eyes were uncomfortable for several days. The most trying part was initially because you must care for the procedure by putting damp cloths constantly over the dressing to avoid it sticking to your skin and to relieve any burning or stinging and applying Vaseline to the lash lines. The dressing makes it nearly impossible to chew and sleeping is a challenge. As I mentioned there was no actual pain just a lot, and I mean A LOT of discomfort.

Three days later the dressing was removed and I looked like a tomato. The swelling was terrible and the bruising and swelling in my neck incredible. I never, ever bruise but apparently this type of neck lift causes a lot of bruising and swelling. Because I was religious with taking care of the Flexan, it came off very easy so cleaning was not difficult.

At Dr. Martin's office the after care is exceptional- you can go everyday and they will clean it and take care of it for you until you do not need to come anymore. The worst part of the cleaning was the under eyes, it was very sore at times. I was advised to apply Vaseline liberally at home and to keep applying the wet cloths, Which I did. The surprising part was that the neck turned out to be much more challenging than the Co2. I was not expecting that. There was no pain involved but the swelling seemed endless. It has been about 7 weeks post op and just recently has it begun to normalize but there is still a lot of swelling. I am still swollen over all but it is much better. What I can say about anyone considering the Co2 is that you MUST, MUST be mentally prepared for this procedure. It is very challenging mentally and you must be extremely diligent with your after care at home. I would say it is impossible to get through it the first week or two without help.

You will look ABSOLUTELY terrible for a long time. For me, I honestly did not begin to look better about 5 weeks in. As I said, it has been 7 weeks and I am still pink and the under eye skin it is still a darker pink/red. As I understand that area takes the longest, and it won't be about 6 months or so before I see the complete results overall. But now, the redness can be camouflaged with mineral make up. But I cay say I see an over all improvement in my skin already and the wrinkles under my eyes are pretty much gone. The skin is overall smoother, tighter, and very even- there are no marks or freckles from the sun left.

One of the issues I did have was slight hyper pigmentation under one eye and on a small part of one cheek. Dr. Martin gave me a product which resolved that in about two weeks. I have also been using a steroid topical (one week on and off) and started IPL laser to help with the redness. There are a tons of little 'things' with this surgery that you will deal with. Through it all, the doctor and his staff helped me deal with all of them. I can't stress enough how important it is to find someone EXTREMELY skilled to do this type of laser. It is very difficult and requires so much after care that I think a lot of plastic surgeons don't want to deal with it. Yet, you will not get the resurfacing results with any other laser that you will get with the traditional Co2. You will also need what will seem like an endless amount of patience. I am 7 weeks post op and still recovering and improving.

I hope this helps with anyone who has questions about the Co2. I will try to update it after a few weeks to provide improvements. Best of luck.

Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon

Answers emails and calls right away, excellent pre-op consultation (non rushed), excellent post op care (the the best I have received from any plastic surgeon). Excellent staff. Excellent anesthesiologist.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (15)

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Hi always new can you plesse post recent pics and if doctor did your neck for $4000 and if u has sun dark spots? I want to go to the same doctor after I read your review. Thank you.
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Thanks so much for your post. My dr. Is recommending CO2 resurfacing after my facelift. He really doesn't believe in any of the fractionated types...but this type does sound pretty extreme. I am 63 though and have pretty wrinkled skin. You are the first person I've found that has experience with this type, so I appreciate hearing your experiences...even though I really don't want to go through it. At least I'll be prepared for what lies ahead.
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Hi Ckiesch....I am happy to share my ongoing experience with the CO2. I am still dealing with acne and milia to some degree although it has subsided. I have spent plenty on lotions, potions, peels and facials...expenses I did not expect to incur. On a positive note, my lines and wrinkles are greatly diminished. I have had some injections in my nasolabial folds and in other facial areas to add volume. If you have read my past posts, you will see what I have been through. I think that you will probably do very well but be prepared for lengthy downtime....however, you may not experience that or what I have been going through and I do hope you escape. The CO2 definitely surpasses any other lasers. Hang tough during recovery and do your facial maintenance to get you healed quickly. If you decide on the procedure, please keep me posted on your progress. I wish you well and a sensational result.
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It definitely doesn't sound like a very fun journey....but the good thing for you is that it's all done! You can reap the benefits now. How do I find you again in a year when I begin this process? I'm new to all this technology.
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Hi Ckiesch....Please don't allow my experience to discourage you. You can email me at jeaniegreer@verizon.net in the future if you wish. I would love hearing how you are managing and hope that all goes smoothly.
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Your pigment is likely a thing of the past. Sun will always be a problem. It takes away wrinkles and minimizes lines but the price can be heavy. I am 8 months post-laser and the milia and acne that I developed are still with me. I have tried everything you can think of. It developed about 6 weeks after the tx and it was BAD. It is still unsightly. I am 67, believe it or not, and have acne. Ridiculous. Expect a year until you think you look normal and pretty.
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Hi when did your skin return normal colour after laser ? 2 monts , 3 monts or 4 monts ? Which one?
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I had CO2 laser in 1997 then again a couple of months ago. When I removed my mask I looked lovely but not for long. Picture yourself as this ugly caterpillar who hopes one day to be a lovely butterfly. But there is a walk through hell before you get there. The procedure itself is painless. Your'll wear mask for 5 days. When it's removed the work begins. Every day when you wake up there is something else to deal with. Expect to spend at least 2 weeks in the bathroom removing exudate so as not to scar. You MUST keep your face clean and moisturized. You are miserable. Not kidding. After that is resolved, you may have little superficial scratches, ugly redness, rough patches as the skin continues to slough and recover. But the ALL TIME WORST thing that happened to me was the milia and I am still dealing with it after nearly 3 months post-op. These are little white bumps under the skin that come to the surface, turn bright red, then scab. Do not squeeze them as they can leave scars. They resemble acne and as fast as you get rid of them more come forth. I spent tons of money on creams, and even did mild exfoliating which was not a good idea. But the best remedy of all was ordinary Witch Hazel. Believe it or not it calmed my skin. It wasn't an overnight sensation but at least I am seeing some blotchy redness going and the milia seems to be disappearing before it comes to a head. Milia is ugly, very ugly and I think it is more common than the doctors report. If you knew you would look so ugly for such a lengthy time you would never do it, that is why they don't tell you. In the end, the result will be phenomenal. I swore I would never go through CO2 lasering again....but, guess what, I did. It restores collagen, elasticity, takes away lines and minimizes the deep folds. There is nothing like it. Money spent on Fraxel lasering...which I also had....is a waste. Put that money towards CO2 but in the hands of someone you trust and has plenty of experience but not only that as there is a lot of "handholding" that your surgeon may be required to do and hope he/she is willing to do it. Even though I am currently fighting the milia, I can cover it up with good Foundation. Tarte makes one that is excellent. First though, get a good loose foundation powder to neutralize the redness first. Whomever is reading this and you are considering the procedure, know the score but also know that your attention to your face will be well rewarded....good luck!
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I wish I had read your review before I had my procedure done 4 weeks ago. I did not anticipate so much downtime. I had the periorbital resurfaced and am still unable to wear makeup to camouflage the redness because it just wants to clump and sit on top of the skin. What makeup are you using? I was told I would be able to wear makeup about 3 wks. after the procedure and so this was a surprise to realize that it could be much longer. Thank you for your realistic review. I'm hoping that down the road I will be glad I did this but so far, I'm not so sure!
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Did Dr. Martin do your botox and fillers? Would you say that he's an expert in these areas?
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Wow amazing. Thank you so much. I have another question that I really hope you will answer. I need to have a tracheal shave (really badly). In your opinion who is the best Dr. to do this?
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Thank you for sharing. I am black and im having Lower trans belph (eye bags removed). Im 30, my PS says after the procedure i should have any or many wrinkles because of the elasticity of my skin being youthful and able to bounce back. he says but if needed he can do a C02 Fraxel to tighten the skin. im worried about the hyper pigmentation with me being African American. Your thoughts??( My skin color is a shade darker than yours. )
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This was a very interesting review for me, as I am starting to become very interested in CO2. Have you done any botox or fillers before this? If so I'd be really curious to hear how the results compare between the different treatments.

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Hi Megan,

I started Botox back when it was first introduced and I have had it in several places on my face including the neck. I have had fillers in my laugh lines, cheeks, temples, under eyes, and lips. Personally, I don't think any amount of filler or Botox can do what the Co2 does as they serve different purposes. I am sure that I will still need Botox when movement returns back to my forehead as I had some put in a month before the surgery. I have had filler under the eyes and though they helped, it never took all the lines away like this has. As well, I don't know how much tightening I will have yet until this fully heals. However, I will still need fillers in certain areas no matter what. I almost went for the Fraxel Restore (I believe it is called?), the most aggressive of that Fraxels, but when I learned you would need several with a week down time each time that equals the amount of initial downtime with Co2. The transformations I have seen from this laser have all been incredible when done by a skilled hand and when one takes care of it. I have also had TCA peels and nothing really came of those that I noticed. For me, I wanted a complete aggressive overhaul with dramatic results for my skin I can maintain after. I wanted to sort of 'start fresh' from all the abuse I caused my skin. This may not be the best way for everyone as of the n amount of downtime that is involved, but I have yet to see another laser that offers such dramatic results after one treatment in all the research I have done. I was able to take plenty of time off to have this done, but I do believe you can begin to wear make up three weeks after. I just put on make up for the first time a few days ago and it looked very nicely and the make up did not settle in wrinkles under the eyes as it used to, and as I said I am not fully healed.
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Thank you so much for sharing this info with me!! I'm fortunate that no one here would care if I came to work right after a laser peel, so the downtime wouldn't be a problem. I'm kind of feeling like I need a fresh start with my skin to, after abusing it with tanning beds for far too long :-/

Please keep updating. I really want to hear your thoughts on this!!

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