I have lived forty three years with a large port wine stain covering my chest. My Mom was always so sweet when I was a child calling it a stork bite ( the stork didn't want to let me to go). As I got into middle school I was teased about it, having hickeys ect. When I got engaged to my fabulous husband John in 1990. I wondered how could I get rid of this hideous birthmark for the special day. I decided to go to the University of Massachusetts Hospital.That is where I met an experienced dermatologist. It was unfortunate that this type of laser removal is not covered by medical insurance. I paid about $1500.00 for two visits.
I had to wear red sunglasses along with the Dr. and staff. I thought I was in good hands being 25 years old getting before photos and having the best Dr. in New England At the 1st treatment, my Dr. thought he would get rid of broken capillaries on my face, before attacking the latter.1st for instant gratification. I called the next day because of burns, swelling and pain (Saturday) he wanted to see me immediately. He then told me he had never seen such a reaction! In all of his years as a practitioner. My eyes swelled shut , my cheeks puffed out and my nose swelled intensely I also have to mention my friend had to drive me because I couldn't see with the swollen shut eyes or the tears. He started taking pictures for his album as I started to cry. He also mentioned "whatever you do don't drink". He explained alcohol would make the blood vessels swell even more.
The reason I decided on laser treatment was to finally wear pearls around my neck so they would be noticeable. Fast forward to the year 2008. I was referred to Dr Bentkover by an aesthetician. Dr. B told me about the VBeam laser. He also mentioned it was painless with no scabbing swelling ect. I felt so comfortable with Dr. Bentkover. I worked with him at the Fallon Clinic on Plantation Street (he doesn't remember me:)). He was just starting out as an ENT he was well respected and kind. He also performed my husbands sleep apnea surgery in 1993. I never researched him.We didn't have info at our fingertips. I'm older and wiser and decide choices with my gut instinct. Dr.B also mentioned the port wine stain was thickening and could possibly become cancerous. That got the medical insurance my husband pays premiums on to get on board.
At the age of 44 my birthmark didn't make me feel insecure anymore. It was the cancer possibility and I knew how much I had abused my skin through sunburn to try and match my skin to the wine stain. I now have college aged children and would never spend money on something that had become my "trademark". I now see Dr. Bentkover pretty regularly. The treatments with VBeam (my choice to go slow) took a little over a year.
I love the fact that I can wear blouses with a necklace that shows up on my skin and is recognizable. He helps me age gracefully. I can't really say I would have not attempted the laser removal in my 20's, but realize at that point in my life that was so important to me. I am now a mature woman who doesn't mind a little help aging gracefully as long as I have Dr. Bentkover on my side to help me make wise, safe decisions with his input like it or not. I know he doesn't want me full of fillers and Hollywood scary looking. I will say many of my friends don't even notice. They do say my skin looks great!