This is the third, similar laser procedure I've had in the last 16 years. I did it again to mitigate extensive sun damage while younger and to reduce pore-size appearance more than minimize wrinkles, of which I'm fortunate not to have many, amazingly enough (perhaps thanks to previous the previous procedures, as well as Botox). In any event, pretty much everyone has told me for years that I look 10-15 years younger than my age.
During the first one, I was put under completely; the second one was much lighter, similar to Active FX; and last week I had Total FX, at the age of 63, on my face, hands, and decolletage, with only one percocet and numbing cream. So here's my advice: Either pay the extra to be put out completely or insist upon stronger drugs. It was incredibly painful, but I guess the good news is that the subsequent few days seems much less so in comparison. I looked like I'd been in a terrible fire, but fortunately, I was prepared, so didn't need to leave the house or do much of anything other than listen to books on CD and watch DVDs.
A couple of "helpful hints", as promised:
1) Sleeping pills really help; I don't know if I would have been able to for the first several days otherwise;
2) Placing saran wrap on my chest, in particular, and sleeping without a top, also helped;
3) I used Calendula topical ointment after the first two days of Aquafor, which I think promoted better healing and diminished the itching.
Other than that, I followed the doctor's instructions and was very careful to ice at first, stay hydrated and moist, and avoid sun as well as picking at my flaking skin until it was ready to slough off on its own.
Since I had such an aggressive procedure, it took a week before I dared go out in public, and I was still quite red even then, so don't plan on going back to work in any shorter period of time. I realize it will take several months to see results; hence my "undecided" rating after only a week.