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.

Update

Hi,

This is about 4 months out. I believe the doctor injected a steroid in the lumps which took them away. Skin is a light reddish brown color; Dr. says I have hyper-pigmentation. His suggestion is for me to use a bleaching cream, or to have different type of laser that treats the hypo-pigmentation. From what I understand, bleaching cream thins the skin. My eye area is already very thin. I am not sure what the risk is about the laser that removes discoloration (the doctor specified it is a different laser, and I think it might be the one for broken blood vessels possibly).

More observations: my "tightened" skin has started to show some laxity. I don't know if this is due to a lot of facial expression movement, or what. However, the skin around the corner of my eyes is drooping again, and one of my lower eyelids has reverted back to its droopy state. The skin texture under my eyes is awful; it has an orange peel texture.

I am very disappointed because I wanted this to remove the fine lines, and make it so I would not have to wear make up. Now it's like I don't look close to normal without makeup, and I still don't look normal with makeup. It's not so much the color difference, it is more so the texture difference. The orange peel texture around my eyes makes me look old. At times I see myself, I look like a burn victim. Also, it seems as I have a ton of little sliver like crinkles all under my eyes.

Though I noticed some slight improvement in tone, overall I my skin looks much worse after having this done.

This is not the type of result I saw in the YouTube videos of people posting their progress on their laser treatment. I don't know why my skin texture looks awful afterward and how to fix it.

I hope one day I can go without makeup again (or very little makeup) and be able to have smooth skin. However, I have read that orange peel texture skin after laser is common.

Does anyone know how to fix that?

I wish I would have never had this done.

It looks like I have traded nice smooth skin, with some lines, to skin that has tons of mini wrinkles everywhere under my eyes but with the lines I had before lessened (they are still there just not as pronounced). I wanted this so I could go without makeup, and / or not have makeup not settle into fine lines around the few lines I had around my eyes. Now, it looks like makeup is settling into tons and tons of tiny little lines under my eyes. My eyes look old. I looked better and younger before I had this procedure done. My skin looks dented in places and saggy with the horrible texture. My result looks nothing like the before and afters I saw on the doctor's website. From what I understand, other people have had similar experiences with laser. I am not sure if with this doctor, but with laser resurfacing in general. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't have had this done. You only have one face, this type of procedure seems to be a gamble. Some people get really good results, others get an obvious decline in how their skin looks. People use to think I am really young. I used to get told I was "gorgeous". Now, no one says that to me anymore, and I look much older. This is for anyone considering getting this done, especially if you are younger. I would gladly take back my fine lines over this horrible skin texture and many crinkled lines all under my eyes any day.

It gets worse...

Now it appears that the skin around my eyes is thinned in addition to the weird baggy/saggy paper like texture. I can see the blue purple=ish darkness under my skin in areas that I have never seen before, like the outer parts of my lower lids. I am only 33 but look like I am in need of a lower blepharoplasty like someone with more aged eyes would have. What a dissappointment. I really wish I never had this done.

Update from follow up

Doctor showed me my before and afters. To his credit I notice a prominent blood vessel almost gone, and slightly thicker skin over the veins I mentioned prior. Perhaps I didn't notice the vein in comparison to the broken blood vessels I had. However, my skin texture is still horrible (bumps - doctor said it could be oil glands) and also have leathery crinkled rough ugly looking skin texture. My smooth skin texture before is gone; I did not have bumps in my tear troughs prior that were noticeable, and now I do. An estetician told me that I need stem cells to fix the damaged DNA. Doctor said 2 months on skin lightener and then if skin texture does not improve there is another cream I will be put on. I explained to the doctor that I paid money to get an intended result, and that I did not expect to pay $250 more dollars on skin care to get the result I initally paid for. The doctor was gracious and gave me products for free to use until the next follow up. Doctor said I could do a certain type of laser that reduces the look of veins. Supposedly the Espionce that I am using should not "thin" the skin because there is no steroid in it, however, since I have been using it, I notice the skin on my upper eyelids has thinned out. I was able to see blood vessels on my upper eyelids prior to laser resurfacing, after I was not able to see them after just a mildly pink hue *(some evidence of skin thickening in that area), now I can see them again. Ughk... will this laser resurfacing nightmare end? I just want my skin back to normal.

Most Stupid and Sad Thing I Have Done in the Name of Beauty

So, my under eyes basically look like cooked meat; and / or like I have accumulated 20-30 years worth of sun damage under my eyes. I have hyper-pigmentation under my eyes and am using the Epionce that they provided, with no significant results. The texture is rough and bumpy. I guess my next step is using a bleaching cream with a steroid in it, that most likely is going to thin the skin. The opposite of one of the reasons you get laser treatment in the first place which is to thicken the skin some.
Witheld at the moment

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 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
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (18)

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It would be so helpful if you'd please share the name of this Dr.
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It would be so helpful if you'd tell us the name of this Dr...
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I am so sorry you are going through this. It's the worst when you attempt to do something to improve your appearance only to have it worsen. Hang in there...
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Thanks, it is especially disappointing as I did this as a treat for myself after going through so much losing two people and also being a caregiver. This was the way I was going to treat myself, and now this. I really wish I would have never done this. I don't look normal without makeup, and even wearing makeup doesn't cover the weird texture and dented look. All I wanted was to have smoother skin around my eyes. Now I have to weat a mask of makeup around my eyes just to be presentable.
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See Dr Obagi, he knows how to fix this if it is not too late.
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Thanks for letting me know. If I become rich being able to fly out to Beverly Hills to fix this, I would absolutely consider going to him. I just have no idea what the fix is supposed to be for these issues.
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Thanks for taking the time to update your review, sorry you are so disappointed with your results. Here is some information on Hyper pigmentation you may find useful:

HYPERPIGMENTATION
Regarding your question about orange peel texture check out this review:

HEALED SKIN!!! MY ORANGE PEEL/ENLARGED PORES SKIN IS HEALED!!

Keep us posted ok :)
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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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