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CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing Nightmare - Periorbital Area - May Be Scarred for Life. - Sarasota, FL

Hi, Here is my review. I opted to have CO2...

Hi,

Here is my review. I opted to have CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing done around my eyes, as I had fine lines and the undereyes crinkled when I smiled. Also top lids were hooded due to excess / loose skin most likely due to my brows dropping in the middle in the aging process.

The doctor I went to is a double certified plastic surgeon, with generally good reviews.

Here is my result:
During the procedure it sounded like he corrected someone about the downward direction? of the laser on me. When I completed the laser treatment, I noticed that the lasered areas on both eyes were totally asymetrical. Around the right eye it was a rectangular block with a straight edge that went further down my face. On the left eye, it was a narrow oval surrounding the shape of the eye with no straight edge but it blended out to the side, and didn't go down as far on my face.

Immediately after,I felt a thick fibrous band of skin in the eyelid crease; particularly above the left eye. I had extremely inflamed skin. They switched me from Aquaphor to Avene cream on the 4th day. Most of what I am reading now, doctors say they keep people on Aquaphor for the first 7-10 days! Also, they gave me no antibotic perscription prior to the procedure. While my eyes were still inflamed I was told I could stop doing soaks, and just use the cream. Well, when that happened my eyes dried out extremely, now I have bumps under both of my eyes that look like scar tissue forming. Despite the fact that these are individual raised areas, the doctor says it is just swelling, (milia has been ruled out). I am not a doctor, but it would seem to me that swelling would be a general area of skin and not individual raised hard areas that feel like scar tissue.

About 18 days post procedure, it looks like the initial thick band of skin that I noticed immediately after the procedure has morphed into a noticable thick scar. My eye looks mildly deformed in the inner corner compared to my other eye. When asking the doctor about it, he says it takes 6-12 weeks for a scar to form, and that it couldn't be a scar. It looks and feels like a noticable scar (a raised, white, waxy, bumpy thick braid like line different from the surrounding lasered skin) . When asked about a steroid cream, he said he didn't think I needed it. To give the doctor the benefit of the doubt, I had been taking lots of supplements (as I have been for a while) to help improve the skin and for health (MSM, biotin, Vitamin C); these supplements may boost collegen production in the body. I had also been taking a liquid bovine collegen supplement to help my skin, but from what I have read, this type of product would have minimal effect on actual collegen I think due to how the body assimilates the supplement, but would provide more protien, which can help build collegen. I understand that scarring is attributed to abnormal collegen production. I am giving the doctor the benefit of the doubt, as I am sure what is the case concerning this scarring stuff.

The doctor and the estheticians or nurses seemed to be in disagreement about certain things like when I could wear makeup, etc. Also, I was told that I would be given what I need for aftercare. It was an interesting surpise when I followed protocol but kept running out of gauze and misting spray; it was as if they needed to more carefully consider what quantity should be given to a patient for aftercare. I was never told I could not use tap water on my face or paper towels to soak the lasered areas if I ran out of their post care products before the next appointment, until later.

The website showed good before and afters with this procedure, however I asked to see more. I think I asked about 3-4 different times. First they couldn't show me them after the consultation because the office was closing. I was told I could make an appointment to come back to view a book, (well I work, I had already taken off to do the consultation). The person at the office said she could see about sending some over. When I called back to follow up on that, she said it was a HIPPA violation to email or mail patients photos. When I came to the office for the scheduled procedure, I asked the woman sedating me to see more of the before and afters; she said she would go ask on that... and never returned with the book of before and afters. My gut told me to cancel the procedure, but at that point I was already sedated and prepared to go in.

I am afraid I am now scarred for life. My old skin even though it was wrinkled and somewhat loose, at least didn't have scar-like protrusions from it. You can't cover that with makeup. I feel ugly. I have returned to work (and am wearing the makeup they told me I should wear on lasered skin to cover the redness, and it's covered). Some people knew I would be out of the office due to a procedure but not what kind of procedure. The swelling has subsided and the red can be covered, but the bumps are there. I am getting looks from people at the office, like they look at my face and stare almost as if to say "what... happened to your face..?" (not in a good way). This could also be due to the fact I am wearing powder on my face which I never do. As mentioned, one of my eyes looks slightly deformed compared to the other due to the raised scar / scar-like protrusion above the inner corner of the left eye. If I could go back in time, I would have never had this done. Supposedly the results get better over time, however I am not sure that applies to scar tissue. Also, there have been people who complain of some of the issues I am having (rough texture, scar like tissue, discoloration) several months out. Yes, there are people who have this done who get a great result, but if you are not one of them you cannot go back in time. And any "fix" may not be an actual fix but just minimizing the damage, with a possibility of having to pay money for another procedure.

Also, if you plan to get this done, prepare to have to spend more money afterward on special products (skin care, sunscreen, makeup) sold at plastic surgeon's office to use on lasered skin. More than likely you would spend a few hundred dollars on up. I wish I would have been made aware of this so I could have properly planned financially for it.

I live in Florida, so I have no recourse for a botched cosmetic procedure.

You only have one face, it's probably wise to proceed with caution.

A couple of pics

A couple of pics. It looks worse in person. Notice the hard lumpy mass on the inner corner above my eye. When there is no ointment on it, it looks like a braid-like bumpy white scar that is pulling the surrounding skin around it in. I believe this is a contracture scar from what I have read. Also notice below the eye, it looks like a scar is starting to form in a line going downward from the lower lid of my eye.

New photos - what looks like scars on face

Here are some more photos of what looks like scarring around my periobital area. I have a second opinion scheduled with another doctor for next week before my follow up with the first doctor.

Update - 2nd Opinion

So I went for a second opinion, and the doctor has no idea why there are certain areas around my eyes that are raised hard and fibrous. Then indicated that these raised areas are not following typical scar formation process; (I think she was refering to time); and said that she had never seen any instance like what I am experiencing. She then indicated another Dr. I could go see if these are infact scars needing revision, at around the 3 month mark. I am so surprised that doctors are not able to look at these raised hard areas and diagnose what they are.. I guess I would imagine one of the doctors would have so much experience, that they would be able to look and say "oh, that's xyz and this is how it needs to be treated." I go for my follow up with the original doctor who did this on Thursday. For now I guess it is a waiting game. I wish some doctor could give me an answer about what these raised areas are around my eyes. I'm feeling another area start to form a lump. So frustrating.
Witheld at the moment

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (11)

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As I live in Sarasota and am considering this procedure, do you mind providing the name of the doctor who performed your procedure
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Do Not Do It
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Yes, if I can find any who will do that for free that is an option. Usually though there is a consultation fee.
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Yes, if I can find any who will do that for free that is an option. Usually though there is a consultation fee.
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so sorry this has happened to you. i am only 7 days post op and felt the Plastic Surgeon used too high of a setting on my eyelids and cheeks. I too am worried about scar forming bands. did you apply an hydrocortisone? how noticable are they now? I have a dermatology background and derms are better in regards to skin. I would recommed seeing a well known derm in town with laser experience to consult about scar revision.
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I was not given a hydrocortisone, but I asked about a steroid cream but the doctor said he doesn't think I need it. I feel like my hands are tied, because he is my doctor who did this.
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Thank you so much for taking time to share you experience with the community. I understand this must be very hard for you and I am so sorry to hear things didn't turn our as you had hoped. I know the feeling of not listening to your gut when it sends you a signal...I believe 110% that we have a mind-gut connection and our mind sends us a signal when something is not feeling right, but going forward you will remember that. My fingers are crossed for you that in time you will see some healing and the issues you see now will resolve. How long ago was your procedure?
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Hi Eva, I'm 20 days post procedure. At this point it looks like the scars are going to need a procedure on them to correct (= more money out of pocket, + more time out of work + more fears I will look worse). What a nightmare. I'm obviously scared to go back to the doctor who did this to me.
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I don't blame you for feeling scared, remember to listen to your gut... have you thought about getting opinons from other doctors?
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Yes I've thought about it, but my finances are exhausted.
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But can you just talk to them to see what your options are.
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