Will I Be Able to Drive Immediately After Fraxel Repair?

Hi. I am thinking of going for the Fraxel Repair because besides acne scarring, I am 54 yrs old and now have some sagging. The problem is that the closest doctor is 5 hrs away. (I live in Albuquerque).

My question is, it possible for me to do this procedure out of town and after one night in a motel be able to drive home the next day? How soon would I have to go back to see the doctor again?

Doctor Answers 1

Fraxel Repair for acne scarring and immediate travel post treatment

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Fraxel Repair is not a "no downtime" procedure and I would not advise your staying in a motel alone following the procedure -- or attempting to drive for 5 hours the following day.

Since you mention the treatment is for Acne Scarring, there is the strong likelihood that you will have had some kind of oral or injected pain control medication - and many patients take some type of anxiety-reducing medication even if they don't opt for prescribed pain control meds. This makes it unsafe for you to drive and illegal for a doctor to release you unaccompanied if you have taken a controlled medication either orally or by injection.

You should ideally return to your doctor a day or two following the procedure and then again at least one more time - many doctors will want to see you the next day and then again two or three days later. You will have some oozing for up to 48 hours after typical Repair treatments and it will be imperative that you maintain all the followup rules for keeping the skin safe from potential bacteria contamination and protected from sun exposure and dryness.

Fraxel restore has some proven results for acne scarring when provided in a series of treatments, have less after care requirements, and may be a good alternative for you if you have a physician nearby who offers the Fraxel restore. Even with the treatment capabilities of Fraxel Repair, one treatment will likely not be enough if your scars are of typical depth.

I understand how you would be willing to make such an arduous trip to minimize acne scars, but your first consideration needs to factor in your safety and the ability to properly follow up with your treating physician.

If you decide to undergo this treatment so far away, it may be useful to talk to the treating physician who can recommend lodging and make sure you are fully aware of what you will experience and the aftercare needed. If they know you are coming from such a distance, I'm sure they will make sure you are scheduled in such a way that you can have the necessary followup visits. Perhaps plan the trip for several days and take a good friend who is patient and willing to "hang out" with you inside a hotel or motel for a few days to help with the post procedure requirements and make sure you have your followup doctor visits.

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