Very very good. I did this because at age 45 my...
Very very good. I did this because at age 45 my eyes were looking heavy and tired all the time. Botox and fillers only last approx one year. I researched all pros and cons before procedures. I do not have to explain that the pros are excellent tightening and renewed skin. The cons could be hyperpigmentation (permanent or hard to correct darkening of skin especially in med to dark skinned pts) Asymmetry (uneven healing of shrinked skin), over tightening that could cause the eyelids to retract and not close! Infection or scarring. My experience was so great, I may do it a second time.
I had only local anesthesia. They rubbed lidocaine into the areas and let me relax in a recliner for at least 30 minutes while the numbing process began. Gave me one valium to relax, and I asked for a second coating of lidocaine just to be certain I was as numb as I could get. (Ha. Speak up if you are scared.) In the surgical room they put numbing drops in both eyes, protective lens over my inner eyes, and gave me several numbing injections around each eye that I could not feel. I barely felt little zaps.
The next day, the first shower where you must wash and gently exfoliate the dead skin, and especially the middle of the first week, when the blisters and weeping stage developed it was painful. It stung, oozed yellow drainage and ached. By day 7 it was much better, and even though I hyperpigmented because I am jewish, I was able to treat that with hydrocortisone 2.5 and vitamin c. I'm completely healed before my 2 month period.
Before and immediately after the surgery I took Super B complex, Biotin 2,000 mg, I ate chewable fruit flavored 500mg vitamin C like candy (about 2,000-5,000mg per day), vitamin D3. I could only use Vitamin E after the surgery.
Before my 2 month checkup, my skin has returned to flesh color with only minimal pinkness. The procedure did great tightening, feels very dry and leathery now, but that is supposed to improve over the 6 months. I would like to do it just one more time because after the swelling goes down near the second month the bottom inner eye area near my nose still needs a little tweeking. Then, I will feel beautiful.
My doc will not even attempt to do it again for 6 months. He said he can not put a burn on top of a burn. I'm 45 and have zero botox or fillers. Only the CO2 done on my eyes and It made me feel instantly brighter and more awake looking. I am happy I did it. They say it takes about 2 weeks to wear makeup and be okay to go out. In reality it really took a full month caked with makeup to camouflage the redness. If I get overheated a pinkness returns. It looked skin tight the first few weeks, and first month, but then a few wrinkles come back about 1-1/2 months after the procedure when the swelling goes down.
So in my case I will repeat the process a second time. People say it looks excellent now, but I am a perfectionist. People say just get botox or fillers, but why when this is instant permanent tightening. The downtime is worth it.
I wanted to add add'l notations that this...
I wanted to add add'l notations that this procedure looks worse than it hurts. I was given 20 narcotic pain pills,and only took 4 of the whole prescription. The first 1-2 day is not so terrible. I just took Tylenol. On the third day when the blisters appeared and started to ooze, crack and slightly bleed ...I will admit I needed to take some of the narcotic pain pills. The skin started to sting, and itch and throb. It hurt to put the Aquaphor on it. I took one pain pill in the morning, one at night the 3rd and 4th day then was okay on the 5th day with minimal pain. 16 of the unused pain pills sit in my cabinet. I never needed them.
I was hyperpigmenting (developing a dark reddish purple color around my eyes. I was given Hydroquinone 4% (skin bleach), and Hydrocortisone 2.5.
The Hydroquinone (skin bleach) irritated the skin more, and the hydrocortisone really stung and only slightly changed the redness. So I took it upon myself to research would healing. I came across one woman's story of being a medical student and her research with topical Vitamin C (absorbic acid) healing wounds and burns mostly because of it's anti-inflammatory properties, and that absorbic acid is also a natural skin lightener.
So I took a small jar and squeezed the hydrocortisone 2.5 in it, and crushed 1,000 mg of dry Vitamin C and made my own compound paste to apply around my eyes. The absorbic acid stung the skin a lot, but I had faith if I could tolerate that it would heal. Within 24 hours of wearing this paste, I saw significant reversal of the hyperpigmentation, and within 48 hours of wearing the paste nearly all of my hyperpigmentation and irritation was gone. When I went to Dr. Clariday for my 45 day follow-up he said the healing was great and my idea might help other pts.
I have heard that collagen continues to build over the 6 months, so I will be excited if I get more improvement as he months go by.
Dr. Clariday's price may be slightly more, but not much more. This was a price for local anesthesia. If you choose to be asleep it would cost more. It was so easy, I can't imagine anyone needing to go under. Also, I love that the CO2 laser resurfacing tightens, but does not give you the traditional scar of eye-life surgery.
I am posting photos of 60 days (2 months) after...
I am posting photos of 60 days (2 months) after CO2 Laser Eye Resurfacing. Here is what happens, when your swelling goes down from the first month and a half, some wrinkles come back. I will repeat this procedure one more time in August when a full 6 month healing is finished. I want my eyes tighter than this. I guess this is not terrible for a 45 yr old.
It's a few days past my 3rd month of having the...
It's a few days past my 3rd month of having the Co2 laser eye resurfacing. I am healed. No problems. The Co2 laser did improve my eyes, but I don't really see any increasing improvement or quality like I have read about where some pts say in the 3-6 to one year after the collagen gets better and the eyes look even better. In my opinion this is as good as they are going to be. I posted the 3 month photo. I have zero botox or fillers. I use sunscreen daily, I avoid tanning of any sort. I never drink alcohol or use drugs or smoke. The only thing I've done is tattoo permanent makeup to my eyebrows, eyeliner, and full lips, and then do this Co2 laser. I think it looks pretty good for 45 yr old eyes.
It did not fix the sunken in area below my eyes, so I am thinking of re-doing the Co2 lasering around my eyes one more time at the 6 month waiting period this August.
Trouble is that I just signed a contract for a new job at the hospital and I don't want to get fired for showing up with Red Raccoon Eyes. I quit my last position to stay home when I had the 1st laser treatment. So, if my supervisor frowns on me doing this, I might have to ask the realself docs what is the next best laser treatment that I could do and not have to camouflage redness and be able to return to work? I'll have to ask if other lasers can really tighten as well as the Co2? I might try filler in the lower lid for the first time, but will still want laser treatment done too. I'll have to ask the realself docs if I can get filler then do lasering on top of that? All these questions need to be answered so I can make the best decision.
Nearly one yr later...I followed up with tear...
Nearly one yr later...I followed up with tear trough injections and awesome lip-injections. I love the result. I do want to re-do the CO2 or hope for technology to create the same effect with a better laser, less down time. See my current photo, 6/2012 posted below. Not terrible for late 40's.