Had Abd lipo & fractional laser skin tightening for small area of wrinkling above my navel. What do I do? (Photos)

I ended up w/ a 2.5 by 2.5 inch area that I believe received 2nd degree burns. It is now scarred, raised, wrinkly, and hypo pigmented. The dr never told me any s.e. Or risks associated w/ laser. I was under anesthesia & was not aware of the size he lasered. I have had 2 2nd opinions which one involved surgery to cut out scar and other recommended tattoo over it. Is there anything that can be done to fix it. And I am thinking of pursuing legal action. Do you think I have a legitimate case?

Doctor Answers 3

Skin burn from laser skin tightening

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Thank you for asking about your laser skin burn.

  • I am very sorry this happened to you.
  • the area looks too large to remove surgically - 
  • A tattoo over it seems a better idea - based on the photo.
  • Re legal action - this is a decision that you and a lawyer have to make but research shows that people who sue over poor results are further traumatized by their experiences with the legal system. Just be sure it's the right step before you do this.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Scar on Body After Laser / Liposuction

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I suggest medical tattooing to your skin color and consider fractional nonablative lasers for textural improvement.  Please see an expert, I am so sorry this happened to you. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Scars and depigmentation after laser

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Hi jmiller

I am so sorry that you have the scar.  I am at a disadvantage because I don't have benefit of exam.

The burn appears to be a deep second degree burn which acts similar to a 3rd degree burn in many regards.  I say this because of the texture and pigment changes, along with the apparent thinning of the skin.  At about a year, you are not likely to enjoy much more improvement.

That said, camouflage tattooing done well should help with the pigment/ color differences and that should go a long way to improving your appearance.  The texture problems will not be improved.  

Surgery to remove the scar to my eye is not practical.  A tummy tuck would not completely remove the scar, and in fact, may not even be able to remove the scar at all.  A direct excision will likely not be possible due to the size of the scar, and will leave a scar that is worse! Therefore this is a very difficult situation, filled with options that are sub-optimal.

Whatever you choose, I would advise that you will not be happy with the outcome compared to what you expected, and I totally feel for you about this, and I am deeply sorry.  My advice is to try the least risky path and take it step wise.  I would suggest investigate the tattooing first.  If you can get a good result, see if this will make you happy and go from there.  See how this goes, and then think very long and hard before trying additional remediation weighing the expected results versus risks.

Regarding legal action. This is your choice to investigate for sure.  Regardless of a suit outcome, it won't change your outcome or make you happier with the result.  It will take years, will be frustrating, and the outcome is anything but assured.  I don't know the doctor or the specifics, but if you feel that legal action is for you, consult with a lawyer.

I'm hoping that things get better soon.



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