Laser Resurfacing After a Facelift 10 Months Ago - Minneapolis, MN

Very deep wrinkles ariund my mouth that required...

Very deep wrinkles ariund my mouth that required more than a fraxel laser treatment. I had a co2/ erbium laser that has the most downtime, but best results. I did not want to go through this and only get minimal results. I consulted with several people who had this procedure done and were very happy. I just had this done today, so couldn't really rate if I felt it was worth it. But I trust this doctor who is very experienced with lasers. I wouldn't have had it done if I didn't feel it was going to be worth it. It doesn't hurt right now, but is burning. I have medications to take, so hopefully it will go away. Feels a little bit like a really , really bad sunburn. Gross looking though I know.
I am not sure why these photos are upside down as they are not upside down on my camera roll...just don't know how to fix it. Sorry.

Day 2 of CO2/erbium resurfacing

I had the facial resurfacing done yesterday under anesthesia. I had no complications and after doing so much research on the procedure, I was not shocked with how I looked. I have antiviral medication, as well as an anti-inflammatory , antibiotic and pain meds. My face does not hurt, just kind of burning like a sunburn.

Day 3

Today I woke up with a swollen face, but no pain. I guess I thought if I didn't have swelling right away, I wouldn't have any. I went in for my 'after visit' with Dr. Tholen today and he assured me everything looks as it should. I assumed I would have scabs and peeling like I've seen in some resurfacing videos, but was told that isn't the way this laser treatment works.
I researched the different resurfacing types a lot and am so thankful I went with Dr. Tholen and his laser. Even those that had fractional lasers used still had a face that needs to heal like mine. Because I had such deep wrinkles around my mouth, I know I would have had to have several treatments if it were a fractional laser. I talked with 2 patients of Dr. Tholens who had this done previously, which gave me the confidence to go ahead with it because both were very pleased with the results. If you're in your 40s with mild wrinkles and sun damage, a fractional laser may work...but I wanted to be assured that I would see improvement so went with the best laser for the job and a surgeon that has the knowledge and experience to know how to use it.

Day 4

We are up at the lake today but I am hiding out inside when the neighbors come over. Not much change from yesterday. Still swollen but for the next 3 days I go down to washing my face only 2 times a day. It doesnt sting when I wash it like it used to. Sleeping fine, no peeling or itching.

Day 5

Home from the lake today. Tried to stay out of sight and out of the sun as much as possible. So many warnings to not let the sun get on my face that I may be taking it a little overboard. Washing face only 2 times a day now. Took a shower to get some of this Vaseline out of my hair. No itching or pain, but some weird white spots are appearing under my eyes and around my mouth. Not sure what that is about...just hoping it is normal.

Day 6

About the same today, but really, really red. Went to see Dr. Tholen today and he reassured me that I am healing normally. The fact that I had such deep wrinkles and he tried to do his best to eliminate them, meant I may have gotten a stronger laser treatment which will take longer to heal. I can only was my face ONE time a day now as Dr. Tholen says even though washing my face 'feels good' water is not the best thing for skin cells that are trying to heal. I go again on Friday for him to check my face, it doesn't hurt or itch, is not peeling...I just need to keep it always covered well with Vaseline.

Day7

One week ago today I had the laser resurfacing. I guess I thought I would be a little farther along on recovery. I'm not noticing much difference from day to day. Just trying to be patient as I know it was an aggressive treatment so takes longer to heal. Getting sick of not being able to go out and also this very messy Vaseline stickiness everywhere. Still worried about the white blotches under my eyes.

Day 8

This is beginning to really suck.
I don't see any improvement in healing.
I'm going crazy not getting out of the house
Unpredictable how long it is going to take before I look presentable.
Vaseline slime is everywhere...on me, my clothes, and throughout the house.

Day 8

Updated photo. I took it really close up so you can see what I'm dealing with.

Day 9

Went to see Dr. Tholen and he changed treatment plan, thinking a May be having a reaction to the Vaseline, which was making my face flaming red. Also started putting cortisone cream on white patches under eyes and taking a steroid. I also started using Crisco on my face in place of Vaseline. Sounds gross, but much more tolerable. Just getting the Vaseline off my face made me feel better and it started improving by evening.

Day 10

Just the few changes has really helped. Not perfect yet, but a whole lot better.

Day 11

Just some really dry patches and a few scabby areas left. Still putting cortisone under eyes yo help with the white patches which seem to be decreasing in size, but very, very dry. Feels good to have a light layer of Crisco all over my face since it is so dry.
I wasn't sure Dr. Tholen was going to make the timeline of 7-10 days recovery...but I'd have to say I was pretty well able to leave the house on Day 10. Although, when he saw my swollen , flaming red face on Day 9, I bet even he didn't think it would improve so quickly.

Day 12

Just continuing keep dry areas moisturizer and cortisone under eyes on white patches.

Day 17

Pretty much totally healed. I don't find my face to be noticeably red...or even pink. Wrinkles seem to be diminished as well!

One month after resurfacing

Still waiting to see improvement. In some places I feel like I can see wrinkles more than I could before ( crows feet and between my eyes). Those were not my worrisome areas before, but I see them more now. Also, I am still very concerned about the area under both my eyes. They are extremely red so it looks like api have dark circles under my eyes...again not a concern before the resurfacing.
Going to see Dr. Tholen tomorrow so will see what he thinks.
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

The BEST! I checked out a lot of plastic surgeons. If you live in the area...this is the guy to see.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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