Have Heard Different Answers About Fraxel Recovery Time During Consultations, Which is Correct?

i have received two very different timelines from doctors i consulted with about how long the healing time would be from a fraxel repair treatment. one doctor said 2-4 days... another said 2 weeks. why such the difference? and the one that said it was 2 weeks quoted me 1,200 dollars... the other with the shorter downtime was even more expensive! what are the facts here!!

Doctor Answers 4

Fraxel Recovery Time

After a series of 2 to 4 Fraxel treatments, the cumulative cosmetic improvement is near more aggressive lasers, but unlike more aggressive lasers, redness and swelling eliminated within 2 to 4 days after each treatment.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Fraxel Recovery Time

Recovery time depends on the type of Fraxel laser used.  There is Fraxel Restore (or Dual) and Fraxel Repair.   The "original" Fraxel laser (Fraxel Restore) causes less superficial ablation of the skin, but can achieve deeper collagen effects.  This is the that requires 4-5 treatments spaced approximately 1 month apart to achieve optimal results.  It can be performed under topical anesthesia.  With this Fraxel, you will experience swelling and redness for 1 day, and dandruff like peeling for up to 1 week.  For the most part, "social" downtime is just a few days.  For individuals who work Mon-Fri, we do our Fraxel Restore treatments on Fridays.  By Monday our patients are able to go back to work.

Fraxel Repair  was developed later as a fractional alternative to full CO2 Ablative Resurfacing, which was associated with much longer recovery times.  Still, the Fraxel Repair recovery time is usually 1-2 weeks, requires more sedation, but often only requires 1 treatment to achieve significant results.

These are two different types of treatment altogether!  It is possible that the two different physicians you consulted with were referring to two different types of Fraxel.

Narin (Joe) Apisarnthanarax, MD
Houston Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Downtime after Fraxel Dual is variable

Downtime after a Fraxel Dual depends on the settings and the individual.  Obviously if your have more aggressive settings, you will have more swelling and downtime.  Also, different people have different degrees of swelling and redness.  Typically, after about 4 days, the peeling is done and there still is mild swelling.  The skin is intact.  Some of my patients go in public throughout their recovery, it depends on your comfort with the recovery process.  I would say it would be unusual for the downtime to be 2 weeks though.  You will have pinkness of the skin for several weeks, but I don't consider this downtime.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Fraxel repair down time.

I would be very sure both doctors are talking about the actual Fraxel brand Repair laser. There are many different fractionated ablative and nonablative lasers. Fraxel is one brand. There are other brands that are good, but you can't directly compare them to Fraxel as there are significant differences. I am guessing tht the doctor that gave you a down time of 2-4 days is talking about a non ablative Fraxel treatment (Fraxel Restore).  The prices you were quoted do not make sense. 1200 dollars is a reasonable price for a Restore treatment and you will need a series of treatments to see significant result.   The Repair treatment is a one time treatment which may be repeated after a year or more. 1200 dollars is a very low price for a thorough Repair treatment. The low price you were quoted raises a red flag for me. Please be sure you are seeing an experienced physician. Look for amemeber of the American Society of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine as well as a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon. 

Jacqueline Calkin, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.