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Not Worth It - Pittsburgh, PA

I got an IPL 10 days ago to remove a few brown...

I got an IPL 10 days ago to remove a few brown spots on my face, using a Groupon. I ended up with painful burns and blisters. They've since healed, but I'm left with stripes on my face that are impossible to hide with makeup.

The doctor who owns the plastic surgery where I had the procedure done swears that the proper protocols were followed and the results would have been the same even if he had done it himself. I think they have a standard setting they use, and didn't take into account my Asian ethnicity.

I would urge anyone who wants to try IPL to make sure that they do a test patch before anything else. I would never recommend this to anyone. Groupon gave me a full refund.

Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon

He wants to see me again in a few weeks to make sure I'm healing properly, so I do think he has some integrity, but I'm so mad about this whole experience that I can't give him more stars.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (14)

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Can you give me an update on your skin? I had IPL two days ago and I have burns on my forehead (similar to yours in the picture) and under my chin-neck area. I had IPL before but at another clinic, and never had these results.
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They definitely should've done a patch test, too. That's insane that they didn't. Sounds like a lawsuit.
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They never should've given you IPL with Asian skin tone. I had it done recently and the first thing they asked about was my ethnic background because generally, the darker/more olive toned your skin, the less likely you are to be a good candidate for IPL and have hyperpigmentation as a result. For darker skin, they recommend the Genesis laser. Sounds like the people who did this were pretty incompetent.
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I had IPL 2 days ago (also from a groupon) and am left with 2nd degree burns on my chest and 1st degree burns and swelling on my face. I cant figure out how to post a picture here but I am really upset, too. Of course, who wouldn't be? I am in Philadelphia, do I have any legal recourse?
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Doctor-M, you might. Need more info, tho.
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Like with any laser treatment, there are risks and your outcome was one of them unfortunately. I always suggest doing your due diligence prior to any procedure as if something does sound too good to be true, it probably is. There are numerous machines in the market for IPL and some are just not as good as others. Some Technicians are better trained than others and have more day to day experience, and the same goes for Physicians. Groupon and Living Social are NOT places to buy these types of procedures... my take on this is a simple one... if these offices were so good at these procedures and were doing them regularly, why would they be offering such a discounted dollar amount? The offices that I am aware of that are the best for these treatments are not doing "deals" because they do not have to and their work speaks for themself. Be careful when you are trusting your face to anyone.
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Thanks!!! I'll keep that in mind.
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Dr. Golla is of Indian descent, and this still happened to me, so I'm not sure that a doctor's ethnicity is any guarantee that you're in good hands. I would highly, highly recommend against having this procedure done unless you are Caucasian and fair-complected. Good luck, and thanks for your post.
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Thank you for your info. I am in Pgh. too and am interested in IPL. However... my plastic surgon is Asian/Anglo and he would know how to deal w/ Asian skin, or skin of color. He ia a member of Real Self... and you can see one of his replies under "ulthera" here at Real Self. His initals(sp?) are P.L. (that's if R.Self won't let me put his name here.)Or... his 1st name is Paul. Or... his last name is Leong... i hope they publish this! He does ALL treatments himself... not an assistant!
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Oh gosh, I'm terribly sorry. Yes, you have a lawsuit to take care of! The first priority is your face. However, you may want to get the lawsuit started... because you could use the money you win (I'd sure hope you'd win) to pay for some top doctors and safe things that could help the scarring. Years ago I had something awful happen from a doctor who messed up and I was so focused on getting better that I never even thought to sue. Years later I wished I had, but there are statues of limitation on time. At least if I sued it could have helped pay medical bills. I wish you the best of luck!
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Oh My God! You need to speak with an attorney. This is NOT what is supposed to happen after a photofacial. I have had about 5 in the past few years and have NEVER burned or even blistered. The only symptom I have is redness for a few hours and I have extremely sensitive skin. In fact, so sensitive that the procedure was done by a nurse at an allergy clinic at Piedmont Ear Nose and Throat in Atlanta. You have a malpractice suit on your hands. Don't wait.

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I'm sorry this happened to you. If you have not, please file an adverse event report with the FDA. It is vitally important that all such events be filed with the FDA.

You can file on line:


You will need to know the manufacturer and which model of IPL it was.
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Hi K, Thank you for your courage to post this response. I am glad Groupon refunded your money, but I hope the Dr. can correct this matter for you. Are you permitted to disclose the office that you went to?


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HI K, 

Oh my that looks painful, I'm so sorry. That was cool of Groupon to give you a full refund though, and you are probably right, other community members have mentioned some doctors do not take into account ethnic skin. I'm glad it looks like it's healing hopefully you will be back to your old self soon. Your advice of a test patch is great for the community. 

Thank you so much, enjoy your week!


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