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Advice appreciated; Dermabrasion caused increased scarring.

Advice appreciated; Dermabrasion caused increased scarring.

Postby t.d.a. » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:23 pm

Hi all,

First, a little about me: I'm a 29 y/o male living in Nova Scotia, Canada.
I've either had acne or have been using medications to treat it my entire life.
I've also been trying to correct the damage acne has left behind and have had many procedures (some invasive some not) in an attempt to correct it.

Backstory: In 2011, I had CO2 laser resurfacing and the result was fantastic. I no longer needed to seek cosmetic correction. I would/will pursue other things to improve the look of my skin, (IPL, fillers) since I have invested so much time in it, but the emotionally devastating pursuit of trying to improve my scarring was over. I could finally live my life! 4 months after the procedure I got a small pimple directly in the area I was most self conscious about...it turned into a gigantic one. I received a cortisone shot for it and a few days later the damage was greater than what I had originally sought CO2 for. I was extremely depressed. I felt so free and ready to live life and then I felt like my life was over. I'm 5 feet 9 inches tall, and I weigh 140lbs. Unintentionally, in the months that followed, I ended up 120lbs. After many more months, some improvement was visible but it was much worse than it had ever looked in my entire life. And prior to this, a lot of my life was spent avoiding a lot because of how it looked. The fact that it was even worse now overwhelmed me. Eventually, I got back to 140lbs but the weight loss had done a number on my body. Previously, I had taken very good care of it and had been in great shape. Now the skin is loose, among many other things. It definitely upsets me, especially combined with my acne/scarring. Eventually, I felt better enough to start working and got a job in a busy clothing store so that I could get myself out there, as much as I didn't want to.

Eventually, I started thinking about what I would need to do to correct it. I went back to Active/Deep Fx laser resurfacing which I had previously considered for my skin before this new issue. I met with a plastic surgeon and he agreed to perform the procedure. He was a little too quick, so I ended up meeting with him a few more times just to make sure he understood my situation and that this had very real consequences for me.

I wanted to make sure that I was making the right choice, as well as trying to convey that whatever I was doing needed to be the last thing I did. I couldn't take the stress of chasing results and so whatever procedure I did would need to give me the best possible result so I could just live with what wasn't corrected. Needless to say, he knew my skin was extremely important to me. During the 3rd or 4th visit, he said his opinion now was to perform dermabrasion and not go forward with Active/Deep Fx. He said that was a lot of damage and he said he wasn't sure if my skin could take another big dose of heat/energy and that I would benefit more from abrasion without heat.

On Feb 12th, 2013 I had the procedure on both cheeks. During the procedure, he said that in the area I was most concerned about (middle of my left cheek) was very damaged and when he went over it, he uncovered a grainy white, "fishy" flakiness and didn't abrade any further in that area. He finished the rest of the face and I went home. I was incredibly swollen, but the area in the middle of my left cheek was even more swollen. I asked if that was just because they went harder in that area cause it was my area of concern and they said yes. (Later, they said that he barely did anything in that area because he discovered it was so damaged.)

6 days in, my right cheek had re-epithelialized and was just pink. The left cheek was doing ok, except for the middle. It had sunken in a bit, and was still oozing and bloody. I kept in email contact with the office and sent the plastic surgeons nurse assistant photos of the area. She always showed them to the doctor and he said everything was fine, just slow to heal, etc. 3 weeks later, the area was a bit better, but bloody and not entirely healed. They said it was fine, the area was damaged by prior treatments and was just slow. It was sunken in, sharply shaped, etc. They said as time went on it would constrict and tighten up and it would be ok. In between the photos sent weekly I also saw them in person. That area kept changing, and one day a red line of pigmentation appeared diagonally over the area. They continued to say this was ok. Then the area started getting redder and the texture was a bit different. They maintained it was still healing. It's been almost 3 months and it is now completely red, sunken in in places, and has a cigarette paper texture. I went in and showed them a bulbous, red, jelly-like lesion and they debated on what type of scar it was. They were leaning toward keloid but weren't 100% sure. The doctor still wanted to give me an injection to shrink it though. I declined, in part because he didn't really have a diagnosis and also because of my experience with such injections. They ended up doing a BBL procedure to decrease the redness.

I haven't seen them since, but will see them again in a week or so. I do think they are at fault here. They had full knowledge of my medical history, my personal struggle with my skin, and said that everything was fine up until it was super obvious that it wasn't. My question is, Canada isn't as litigious as other countries and I am not sure what to do. Now I have an honest to god scar in the area I've cared about the most, and was most embarrassed about. Prior to that, it was just an acne scar with typical depth and contour issues. It will need further correction (I demand it) but I don't think I should be responsible for paying for it. What can I do? What is realistic?

All of the photos I have are too big to post.
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:20 pm

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