Quick summary on the day of the procedure: I took the valium and had numbing cream applied. The procedure took about 1/2 hour. I have a high tolerance for pain and I would say I was mildly uncomfortable during the procedure. I wanted my Dermatologist to go as deep as possible to get as best results as possible. I made her aware I wanted her to do as much as possible because I was hoping for a "one & done" procedure. I could not afford to do a 2nd and 3rd procedure as each treatment was over 3k.
I did this procedure over 2 years ago now. The only things that I notably recall is using a ton of Aquafor all over my face after cold water / vinegar face washes multiple times a day. Sleeping was horrible for me as I am a side sleeper and tried to keep my face off the pillow. I was fearful my face would dry out and stick to my pillow (which did not happen). I ate a ton of popsicles (like 4 boxes in 6 days) the cold pressed on my cheeks helped the swelling at the beginning and the itching towards the end. I had to use baking soda and vinegar to get the Aquafor out of hair. Every 2 days I drove to my Derm's office to get my face thoroughly cleaned to avoid any infection.
I have to say I was so incredibly astonished at how are bodies have the ability to heal. When I was on day 1 & 2 I never thought my face would be completely healed at 1 week. I was quite amazed at this healing process but it's not for the faint of heart sort of person. It's hard to walk through this transformation. Even though I was in no real pain, it's just real uncomfortable. I was grateful my mom helped me do the face washes and prepared ice packs for me. Having someone to help you is strongly recommended!!!
Now to the results... if there are any noticeable? I was very excited after a week to apply makeup and I noticed a huge improvement :) at that time. I had been told by the Dermatologist not to get excited too soon as there will be swelling. She was right :( After 2 weeks my face was red and seemed like it went right back to the way it looked before the treatment. I had such high hopes for this to help my scarring as I was told up to 50%. I was told my "orange peel" chin would get the best results. Which now that I am 2 years post op still find it hard to see any real improvement in the texture of my skin anywhere. Mostly I am left bummed out by this experience. I had high hopes and the doctor feed into that hope by saying 50% results but it's more like 10%. I notice since the procedure the huge pores on my nose are not as full of oil as it was before. However after years dreaming about having this procedure I do feel like I got that check off my bucket list.
I want to clarify that the Total FX CO2 (fractionated) is not the same as the old school UltraPulse CO2 (non-fractioned). The newer fractionated lasers are in my opinion not effective from acne scarring (unless maybe you do multiple treatments). If I had it to do all over I would have kept searching for a doctor who still operated the old school "gold standard" UltraPulse CO2. Then I would have had a chance to get the results I was dreaming of. I wish I was not so scared of it... BE AWARE of the patient satisfaction results on the fractionated lasers, it's in the 50% range for a reason.