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having dermabrasion with Dr. Y!

dermabrasion

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#1 leopolda

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 01:03 AM

Hi everyone. I will be flying out to New Orleans in about a day and half to have my forehead dermabraded by the legendary Dr. Yarborough. I'm so excited and also extremely nervous. Anyway, I'll be there until Thursday evening, and I promise to update upon my return. Sned me good luck vibes!

--leo

#2 ann_a_bell

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 08:07 AM

Hey!!!!!!!!! I'm seeing Dr. Y too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I leave on 6/29/04 hopefully you can report back before then and tell me how everything goes. I am freakin' out b/c I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo scared!!

#3 ann_a_bell

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 08:08 AM

I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK!!!!! biggrin.gif

#4 ~craig~

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 09:50 AM

Good luck Leo...safe travels, happy healing! smile.gif

#5 OursFan

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 10:48 AM

Best of luck to you leo. I'll be sending you some good thoughts. I hope you heal well from the procedure. smile.gif

#6 alia1984

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 01:53 PM

My prayers and good vibes go off to you leopolda.....Youre seeing the doctor who is known for dermabrasion so im sure your face will be in great hands....I too have scheduled a consultation for dermabrasion and may have it done this summer so I will keep everyone posted......cant wait to hear about your results and good luck hunny smile.gif

#7 GoldRex

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 01:58 PM

At least you'll be in good hands, Leopolda. I'm sure the results will be beautiful!

#8 weornor

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 07:11 PM

Good Luck. I met him for the first time last week and have my dermabrasion scheduled for Jul 19th. Very professional and personable. So is his staff...great people. Once again, best of luck!!

#9 Moonsoon

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 10:01 PM

Hi. No wonder all the June dates were book up. I'm schedule for July 13. Thats the earliest date I could get. Please let us know leopolda your experience. Good luck!

#10 leopolda

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 10:23 PM

Thanks all so much for your kind words and good wishes. This is the last time I'll check in before leaving, so I promise to report back when I return (probably Fri. or Sat.) Wow, there are so many of us going to see Dr. Y--I had no idea!

best,

--leo

#11 leopolda

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 12:51 AM

Hello all. Well, I’m back from my trip to NOLA and my regional forehead dermabrasion with Dr. Yarborough. Actually, I got back late Thursday, but it took me a day or so to get my bearings, clean up, and rest (I was still a bit out of it when I returned). Okay, so just get ready, because I’m about to write a novel here. I’ll just narrate my whole trip if that’s okay, as I’m a writer and it helps me to process the whole thing myself by writing it down (helpful to you and me!) I’ll include a lot of info. (phone numbers, names, recommendations and general tips) that I would have liked to have had when I went out, and I’ll try to divide it into chronological sections, so feel free to skip through the slower parts. (Wow, I just finished writing it and looking back over it, it’s really long—it’s a memoir! Sorry, but it did help me digest it all. Hope it’s not overwhelming. Actually, it's too big to fit all in one entry, so I'll continue this in the next entry in this thread. Happy reading!)

FIRST CONTACT
First off, I wrote a LONG (you can already see I’m a bit “wordy�) letter to Dr. Yarborough, introducing myself and my concerns. I explained where my scars had come from, why they bothered me so much, what I had tried in the past and what type of skin I have. I included a list of questions for him and a few (poor quality) photos of my scars. To my shock, he called me back in person and left on my voicemail his HOME phone number. When I called him back, he spoke to me at length about the procedure, answered all of my questions, was very honest with me about what I could expect and gave me the number of a former patient of his out here in California. Most impressive, however, was his kindness—he was so compassionate and decent. Needless to say, I was impressed. I probably spoke with him 2 more times over the phone before going out there (once to ask him if it would be possible just to do my forehead, to which he agreed). I also spoke to his awesome nurse Cassandra about three or four times with various questions. She was equally as helpful and sweet.

THE DECISION
If you are coming from out of town, you can combine your consultation with the procedure. The consultation fee is $125, and for my forehead, he charged me $1500 (a full face is $4500), and there are no other “extra� fees like hospital fees or anesthesia fees or anything like that. For me, the price was quite reasonable, as a local, far less reputable and far less kind plastic surgeon offered to do spot dermabrasion to certain scars for $1700. Though, the $4500 would, I have to admit, have been hard for me to swing right now. So, after I had heard what Dr. Yarborough had to say, I called the reference he gave me. She was the sweetest person and spent an hour on the phone with me on her dime (she insisted). I posted in great detail else where exactly what she said, but to sum it up, she couldn’t be happier with her results and she couldn’t say enough nice things about Dr. Y. She was so passionate and her story was so moving, that I think she came close to tears on the phone (I think I was also close to tears hearing her story as well). After that, I spoke to another woman who used to post on this board, from whom I first heard about Dr. Y. She kindly pmed me and gave me her number. When I called her, she had equally wonderful things to say about Dr. Y, both as a person and as a practitioner. Finally, there were two others on this board who I only managed to communicate with once or twice each, both of whom said glowing things about him and the results they got. Finally, Richard from Loganwood, who has proven himself to be an eminently credible source, attested that he had seen several of Dr. Y’s former patients and pronounced him an “artist.� So, that means I had spoken in person (well, over the phone) to two former patients, had e-communicated with 2 other former patients, and had heard a vote of confidence from a very reliable source who had witnessed several other former patients. Now, just to recap, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I talked to not only had positive, but absolutely glowing things to say about this man and the results he got. I found not one negative thing—NOT ONE! And, I trust former patients more than anyone else because if anything we scar sufferers tend to err on the dissatisfied side. These testimonials and my own impressions of Dr. Y from my conversations with him made this decision easy. The only thing that would have made me even more confident would have been if I had been able to see before and after pics (which I did see at his office—more about that later). But, Dr. Y and his office are not very internet savvy, which is kind of in line with the low key tone of his office. Notice he has no website, and so therefore if you want to see the photos, you have to see them there. But, I will say that that old-fashioned sensibility is all part of the charm of that office. Anyway, after all of that and MUCH (too much—neurotically too much) research, I made my decision: I was going to “Nahlins!�

GETTING READY
Once you make your appointment, they will ask for a down payment (I think for a full face they require $2000) over the phone. Then they send you out a package of information (this is the info that “LOVE� so kindly scanned in and posted in an earlier thread—you can find it at this link: http://www.tennessee...s.com/derm.html ). You will probably arrange all of this with Stephanie. She will reserve the date for you and if you want she will make reservations for you at the adjoining McFarland Guest Inn. She has to make the reservations for you in order for you to get the $40/night rate (an amazing rate for what you get) I highly recommend doing this as it will save you much trouble and it’s very nice—more about this later. I would recommend calling them direct. The number is (504) 897-5947 to confirm everything. I think the woman’s name is Lovita who makes these arrangements. If you will be arriving on the weekend or after business hours (after 4), you should let her know and you can pick up your key at the security office.

You will also at that time give Stephanie the name and number of the pharmacy where you would like your prescriptions called in. Next, Cassandra calls in three prescriptions for you to your local pharmacy: dalmane for sleep, zovirax, which is an antiherpetic so that you don’t erupt into cold sores (I think if you are prone to them, they prescribe an even stronger one, but I’ve never had a breakout, so for me it was strictly prophylactic), and methylprednisolone, a systemic corticosteroid to reduce swelling. The first two, you can get the generic versions of, but they want you to get only the brand for the last because apparently the generic ones don’t work well. Make sure you read all of the instructions they send you and the directions on the bottles, as you need to start taking some of the medications before the procedure.

PACKING FOR THE TRIP AND STOCKING UP FOR WHEN YOU RETURN
First of all, let me tell you what I packed: I decided that since the majority of my time there I’d be hiding out in my room, and I was thinking I may want to take everything as carry-on on my return flight (which, in the end, I didn’t do), I packed very light. Remember, in the summer, NO is HOT and HUMID!!! I brought one nice outfit for eating out on Sunday night, jammies, toiletries, the three medications they prescribe, several different tee-shirts, socks, undies, all of that, a headband and rubber bands to keep the hair off of my face, a big ole’ fishing-style hat to wear on the plane ride back (hangs down low over my brow and my eyes) and of course my aftercare products (1 can of unmedicated, unmentholated shave foam, a bunch of gauze squares, a tub of Vaseline—these are all he things they recommend that you bring). I also brought more after care stuff, but didn’t use it (too early, though they’ll come in handy now that I’m home). I also brought some non-perishable food items (bottled water, several power bars, some bread and peanut butter, etc) I also brought music and several books for the flight and the long hours in the hotel.

At home, I stocked up on food that would last at least a week after my return, and more reading material. Also, I stocked up on DVDs I’ve been eager to see (gotta love Netflix). Finally, I have my extra stuff like my Amino-plex and my emu-oil for when my skin is ready for that, but I plan to be very careful not to use anything too early. And, as much as I adore my husband, I am happy that he is out of town for the next week or so, as I can just colonize the place and lick my wounds (so to speak) by myself. He checks in on me every night though =)

MY FLIGHT TO NOLA
My flight out of Oakland at 8:00 am on a Sunday (my return flight was at 6:00pm on Thursday) . My husband was out of town and since public transportation is difficult at that hour, I opted to drive myself to the airport and park in “off-airport� parking. One of the best decisions of the entire trip. The charge is $10/day and they drive you over to the airport (about a 3 minute drive) and then pick you back up again when you return. I thought about taking the door to door shuttle (in the Bay Area it’s called the Bayporter), but it’s like $24 each way, plus tip, plus you have to ride with a bunch of people, plus they have to pick you up REALLY early. This was much more efficient, for a cheaper price and much more private (which was important to me for the trip home).

I flew Southwest (way cheaper than any of the other airlines, at least from where I am) and since SW has no pre-set seating arrangements, it’s just the earlier you get there, the earlier you board. I always make a bee-line straight to the back few rows, as, if it’s not a full flight, you are more likely to get a row to yourself, which I did on the first leg of my flight (OAK-LAX). Grabbed pillows and blankets on the way down the aisle, buckled myself in and as soon as we took off, I flipped back all of the armrests, lay down and took a snooze. The second leg of my flight was also fine—a completely full flight, but I sat next to a nice guy from New Orleans who gave me all sorts of recommendations for restaurants. I had to be vague (okay, I lied!) about why I was going, but he was fun to talk to. Here’s the strange thing. I was wearing ratty old jeans, my old chuck taylors, a hooded zip up sweatshirt over a tee-shirt and a baseball cap—not in any way glamorous and in fact meant to convey a “don’t mess with me� sort of attitude (I always get stuck next to really chatty wierdos on planes). As I said, I headed straight to the back of the plane, sat next to a window, and began reading my book. I could not have been projecting any more clearly “do not talk to me!� with my body language. And somehow, this really attractive (and a bit younger!) guy sits down next to me and strikes up a conversation with me, which I reluctantly got pulled into. And, not to sound immodest, I’m pretty sure he was putting the moves on (at least in the beginning). He kept asking me what I would be doing while I was in town, gave me his number in NO in case I needed anything and invited me and my friend (the one who I was visiting HA HA!) to give him a call for a drink.! After I made it clear that I was happily married, we just had a nice conversation and he turned out to be a sweet guy. But my point is that because of my scarring, I guess I have not felt attractive for a LONG time (except from my sweet husband who tells me I’m beautiful all the time). I am, I think, a fairly attractive woman, but since my most severe scarring in the last year and a half, I have just not felt that way. So this was a truly remote feeling for me. It also made me realize that I had been emitting this vibe of non-confidence and insecurity so long and that maybe because I was so excited and hopeful about my visit to see Dr. Y., I was lacking that vibe on that flight. Interesting and a nice and much needed boost to my confidence.

GETTING TO THE BAPTIST HOSPITAL AND THE MACFARLAND CENTER
Okay, once I landed, I headed down to baggage claim to pick up my bag. Now, down in that area, there are all of these little booths for the airport shuttle (I think there’s only one company), and you can purchase a round trip shuttle ride to and from the airport for I think $26.00 plus tip altogether (a very good deal in my opinion, as the airport is about a 15 or 20 minute drive on the freeway to the center of town). You tell them where you are going (Baptist Hospital 2700 Napoleon), and they will drop you off and pick you up at a designated time at the same place. Now here, I think they were a little short of drivers because I found my way to where I was supposed to stand and there were a lot of people waiting and it was, as I said, HOT and HUMID (like nothing I’ve ever felt). I waited probably half an hour, but I think that was unusual. Everyone else was going to a hotel and I again stretched the truth about why I was going to a hospital instead (one of the things that goes along with Lousianna friendliness is also nosiness “�Why y’all goin’ to the hospital?�, but that’s ok). So they dropped me off at the Clara Street steps entrance to the hospital (very convenient). As soon as you enter the hospital, there is an information desk. Just to the left of that are these dark windows with a sign that says “security.� Knock on their door and tell them that you have reservations for the McFarland Inn. They’ll give you a card key. Then you’ll have to ask a bunch of people how to get to your room—it’s not that far, nor really that difficult, but it’s difficult to explain. Basically you need to get up to the second floor of the facility, then maneuver your way across breezeways, etc over to the Woman’s Pavillion. Once there, you’ll take those elevators up to the seventh (top) floor. My room was 759 and I was amazed at how nice it was. I mean it wasn’t the Ritz, but it was much nicer than I expected. Two queen beds, a big TV with cable, and very useful to know, a tiny little refrigerator. Also, just around the corner is a lounge with a microwave.

Now, since you are staying in the hospital, you may use the cafeteria, but the hours are strange and the food looked pretty gross (and smelled worse). Plus, even though it was a hospital, I wanted to stay hidden as much as possible. So I decided right then and there that I was going to stock up on frozen foods, yogurt, juice, etc. before my surgery and store it in the fridge.

Two other considerations about getting food. I didn’t really see any places outside the hospital within walking distance. Also, even though I only had my forehead done, bear in mind that if you have the full face, you will be both swollen and bandaged in such a way that opening your mouth too wide would be difficult. Keep this in mind when you think about food. You could eat yogurt, mushed up bananas, runny mashed potatoes, soups (a can opener and plenty of straws would be good)

ONE NIGHT OF FUN IN NOLA
I had decided that I would treat myself to one nice meal out on the town (Sunday night) before my surgery. The guy on the plane recommend a few places and I have heard that Dr. Y recommends Brigtsens (723 Dante St. (504) 861-7610) and Gabrielle (3201 Esplanade Ave. (504) 948-6233). But, the last time my husband and I were in town, we stumbled upon one of my favorite restaurants anywhere, Oliviers (204 Decatur Street, between the French Quarter and Downtown (504) 525-7734). So good, so quaint. My personal recommendation: the roux gumbo and the Shrimp Scampi (NO is where the dish was created!) YUM! Personally, I have no trouble eating by myself—I just brought a book with me and enjoyed my meal and the ambience. Or, you can check out the online Zagat guide at

http://www.zagat.com...1&PID=55&LID=13

By the way, each of the 3 above restaurants are relatively nice (not Tavern on the Green nice, but also not jeans and tee-shirts casual) Anyway, I called a cab from United Cab (I recommend them as they are very clean, fast, friendly and reliable) (504) 522-9771, and headed to Oliviers. After dinner, I walked up Decatur (Northward I think), through the French Quarter. Even at that time on a Sunday, everyone was out and having fun. What a great city! In addition, there are many many bars and places to hear great NO music in the FQ, but I didn’t do any of that. Also, if you have the time, there is this super cool bowling alley, of all places, that is really funky and is more of a music club than anything. I don’t remember the name or location, but it’s famous, so you could ask anyone about it. Okay, now this is a must. About 6 blocks up Decatur, right on the riverfront is the famous Café du Monde, open 24 hours. You’ll recognize it by it’s huge green and white striped outdoor tent. New Orleans is famous for its beignet (French-style, doughnut-like pastries), and this is the most famous place that serves them. Make sure to eat them hot—they are SO GOOD. Also, if you can deal with the caffeine that late at night, try the distinctive chicory coffee. A great after dinner combination. Then, I found a small market and bought some yogurt, juice, and a few frozen dinners to store back in my fridge. At that point, I hailed a cab and headed back to the hospital. If you return after 8:30 (which I hope you do!), you’ll need to enter through the emergency room, which is very easy. When I got back to my room, I went right to bed and read myself to sleep (though it took me longer than usual because I was nervous and excited).

THE CONSULTATION
I woke up, and first off I went down to the lobby find Lovita to pay for my room. Be aware that check out is 11:00 (though she pushed it back for me to noon), which was a bit of a pain because the shuttle wasn’t even going to pick me up until 4:00. I just hung out in the lounge up by my room and read and dozed, so it wasn’t a problem. But it’s good to keep in mind when planning your flight and making your reservations. Then I went back up to my room, ate a decent breakfast, took a shower (this will be you last shower in about 3 days so scrub up), and brushed my teeth (if you’re having the full face, you’ll also want to brush well as you won’t be able to brush your teeth again until you have your bandages changed the following day). Then I threw on my clothes, threw on my hat and headed down to Dr. Y’s office (Suite 990 in the Napoleon Building--the McFarland Inn is in the adjoining Clara Building). I filled out the forms, and then Cassandra called me to the back room. She is just the sweetest person—she is so down to earth and so comforting. She’s the greatest. She showed me to the exam room and then left and said the Dr. Yarborough would be in a second. I remember sitting there trying to imagine what he would look like and how I would respond when I met him. Then he walked in. He said in his charming southern drawl “Well, Miss (my first name), I am so pleased to finally meet you!� And I stood up to shake his hand and he walked over to me and gave me the biggest bear hug. Not to sound cheesy, but I almost started bawling right then and there. At that moment, all doubts I may have had (there were already very few), just dissolved and I knew I was in good, skilled, caring hands. He spent some time asking me about my trip and if I had had a chance to get out and see New Orleans, etc. He also asked all about my life back in CA and my husband, and my teaching, and …. He absolutely took his time with me. Then we got to the consultation. He looked carefully at my scars (without making me feel like a specimen). First of all, he explained to me that we were going for improvement and not perfection (which I already knew). Then he told me that I would “probably be happy� with just one procedure, but that if I felt that I wanted a touch up, I should wait at least a year. What many people don’t understand is that dermabrasion works on two levels: it sands down surface irregularities and it stimulates collagen from underneath. You’ll see the smoother surface more quickly but it will take up to a year to see the full effects of the collagen stimulation. He then explained what I can expect afterwards (initial swelling, and oozing, followed by the emergence of new, very pink and very delicate skin). He also emphasized the importance of sun and wind protection (high SPF sunscreen, hats, or best just staying out of the sun). He also explained exactly what the procedure entailed (see below).

THE PROCEDURE
Once he left the room, Cassandra gave me two tiny shots of Demerol in the rear (one on each side)—no pain, had me slip a valium under the tongue (ick), and then I put on a smock and held an ice pack to my forehead for about 15 minutes or so. During this time, the Demerol and valium took effect and I started to feel just fine =). Then Dr. Y came back in and introduced me to a really nice young Dr. and asked if I would mind if he observed the procedure, to which I readily agreed. The Dr. was very grateful. So then, with the three of them in the room all wearing what looked like welders masks, they began. First they spray frigiderm (a really cold liquid aerosol) onto the area to be abraded and then Cassandra stretches that part of your skin really tight, and then “zing�, you can hear and feel your skin being abraded. The skin is so cold that although you can feel what’s going on, it didn’t hurt much—just a little sting. Now, you may be thinking “but if they pull the skin so taught, wouldn’t that make the scars disappear and then they wouldn’t be able to capture the pitting?�, but I think the frigiderm temporarily freezes the contours in place preserving them even when the skin is pulled tight. He moved methodically across my forehead, spending extra time on my individual scars. And then, in about 15 minutes or so, it was all over!. Then, the observing Dr. said “Wow! That was really great!� I have to say, what a comforting thing to hear. Dr. Y said that it looked really good and that I was a really great patient (“aw geeze�). Then sweet Cassandra bent down and whispered to me that it went really well and that it looked really good. By that time, I was pretty happy, very loaded, and extremely chatty. So we all spent about another 15 or so minutes just gabbing while Cassandra bandaged me up. First, they place an antibiotic ointment all over followed by vigilon dressing (sheets of gelatinous, moist pads that were first used for burn victims) on the abraded areas, then she wrapped my whole forehead thickly in gauze, and taped it as best as she could into place. Then she wrapped the whole thing again with that tan self-adhesive Nexcare coban medical wrap. Then, she put me in a wheelchair (!) and wheeled me back to my room. Once at my room, she helped me out of the chair and into my room, told me to call if I needed ANYTHING, and told me to come back at 8:00 the next morning.

RECUPERATION IN THE INN
Once back in my room, I was WAY out of it, so I just lay down and tried to read, but I’m pretty sure I fell asleep almost immediately. At about 5:00, I awoke to a phone call from Dr. Y. asking me how I was doing and if I needed anything. We spoke a bit more and then he bid me a goodnight and told me he’d see me the next day. So, to spare you every excruciating detail, I spent the next few days sleeping a lot (your body’s been through a big trauma, so you should get as much sleep as you can and don’t worry about sentencing yourself to insomnia at night because you have your sleeping pills), reading a lot (although wearing my glasses or contacts was a bit of a challenge), and I have to admit, watching far too much TV (I don’t have cable at home). When it was time for meals, I just went to the lounge and heated up my dinner, or made PB sandwiches or ate yogurt or power bars, etc. I never even went down to the cafeteria after the first time (it sort of made me nauseated). Cassandra gave me some extra coban wrap and I would recommend bringing a little pair of scissors to cut some, because as the night wore on, my mask slipped and scooted around, so I just cut off a bit more and re-wrapped it so that it held it in place?

THE FOLLOW UPS
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I went back to the office to have my dressings changed at 8:00 or 8:30 am. It’s nice because there are few people out and about that time (fewer stares), and immediately I was whisked into the exam room. Cassandra always brought me some chicory coffee and we just chatted up a storm while she changed and reapplied my bandages. We talked all about her kids, her husband, Dr. Y., my job, my life back in CA, and this board! More about that later. If you have a full face, you should remember to bring your toothbrush and toothpaste with you to these follow-ups, as it will be difficult to do this with your mask. Also bring a hairbrush if you care (which I didn’t—I just looked like Medusa and didn’t care a bit). You may also want to bring a muffin or something if you are craving non-liquified food—something you can wolf down though. At that point, you have the option of looking at yourself in the mirror. The benefit of this is that you can gauge for yourself day by day how your skin transforms. I opted not to do that—I just didn’t want to see myself like that. Plus, Cassandra kept assuring me that I was healing well. The cleaning stings just a little. First, she pulls off all of the mask. Most of the vigilon has disintegrated into the skin, but she uses tweezers to carefully pick off the remaining vestiges of it. Then she uses shaving foam and gauze to cleanse off all of the crusts (this feels great), then she reapplies the whole thing all over again. On Thursday, the day I was to leave, she cleansed the area, and I took a look. I was really pink (still red and raw looking in the areas where he had to go deeper), there were wet crusts on parts of my skin and I didn’t look terribly swollen. I could still see my two biggest scars (which Dr. Y warned me that I would be able to see at first, but that they would begin to fill in), but it looked to my untrained eye that I was healing just fine. Much less gory than I expected. Cassandra then applied Vaseline, applied these thin nonstick pads and then more of the Coban wrap. I tried my hat on, and it fit perfectly and when I pulled it down, you could barely see the bandages, and when I put on my glasses, I looked completely incognito. Dr. Y came by to say goodbye to me and to tell me to make sure to call Monday to let them know how I was doing (then again every few weeks). He also said that I could call with any more questions or if I had any concerns at all. He also told me about a few things to watch for and whether to be concerned about them or not. He and Cassandra bid me farewell and they both gave me a big goodbye hug. Finally, he invited me to come back to NO with my husband and to pay them all a visit—I think he was sincere.

THE BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
Strangely enough, although I had been looking forward to the before and after pics for so long, something about my first meeting with Dr. Y and Cassandra put me so at ease, I just forgot all about them. I didn’t even ask to see them until about Wednesday or something. Probably not advisable to see the pics after the procedure, but a strong testament to my ease and confidence with these people. So I saw the pictures. There weren’t a ton of them (maybe ten or twelve), probably because people don’t always return to have “after� pics taken, but the ones I saw were quite impressive. There was one man who had perhaps some of the worst scarring I’d ever seen. He had to have three procedures, but by the end his skin looked fantastic. Another man had a big, red, traumatic hypertrophic scar on his forehead and in the after shot, you could not tell it had been there. There was another one who had lots of pigmentation problems along with ice picks. Apparently, she was unconcerned with the picks, but wanted to be rid of the pigment. Her skin tone was completely even in the after pic, although she still had her ice picks (Cassandra said that had she wanted to be rid of those as well, they would have done punch excisions on her). There was also an older woman who had severe wrinkling and the after shot looked better than any facelift I can imagine. There was also a woman with many many raised mole-like keratoses, and they were all gone in the after shot. Also, there were a few pics that I recognized from the internet (in my neurotic research) that I did not know should have been credited to Dr. Y. Here is the link to them. His are the bottom two pics (I don’t know about the top pic).

http://www.yamhillva...itions/scar.htm
In any case, the photos I saw were all quite impressive. And I didn’t notice any pigmentary or textural problems. The lighting was pretty consistent and nothing was retouched, of course. Oh, and as to the issue of skin coloring being a criterion for dermabrasion, there were at least two African American woman in the photos and they looked just fine, so I wouldn't necessarily be discouraged from considering this procedure if you have darker skin.

--okay, I think I've hit some sort of limit for this entry, so I 'll post the rest in the next entry--

#12 leopolda

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 12:56 AM

--okay, part two:

THE FLIGHT HOME
Because, as I explained, I had about 4 hours to spare before my shuttle picked me up, I just hung out on a couch right by my room at the McFarland Inn. In fact, I fell asleep and awoke at 4:05—5 minutes after the shuttle was to pick me up. ARGHH! ran down there and called the dispatcher, but I had indeed missed the shuttle! CRAP. Oh well, they said that I should call a cab and that they would refund my money for the return trip (which I thought was very fair given it was my screw up). So I called United cab and they were there literally within 3 minutes. It’s a $28.00 flat rate to or from the airport with any cab company, so that was fine—a bit more than I had paid with the shuttle service, but I was grateful for the privacy. I made sure to get a direct flight on the way home. Got in the first boarding group (yay-a good seat), and 20 minutes before we were to board, there was a HUGE thunderstorm—WOW! We don’t get those out in CA. I was thinking “Oh #@&*! I’m gonna get stuck in the airport forever.� Luckily, down there, storms wind up, are intense, and then are over fairly quickly so we got out there only about 1/2 hour late. I boarded quickly and made my way to the very back row (I knew that it was not a full flight so I was hoping to get a row all to myself), but alas two mothers each with multiple screaming children (normally I love kids), sat all around me. Oh well, I just bundled up and listened to music. We got in about an hour late. Went down stairs, called the shuttle to come take me to my car and was out of there in a jiffy. And really, no one on the whole trip home even took a double-take. (This of course, would not be the case if you had a full face, but you could probably make up some cool excuse—and the best part, no one could possibly recognize you!) Either they didn’t notice or were being polite (probably the former). In fact, I was feeling so well-hidden, that I stopped by a grocery store where I knew I wouldn’t run into anyone (it was 11:00 at night anyway), and got more food for myself.

ONCE HOME
It was so nice to be home. The first night I just fell into bed almost immediately. And these next few days, I’ve just been cleaning the house, reading, watching movies, and basically taking a “vacation,� and of course writing this monstrosity. Everyone I know thinks I’m out of town at a conference, so I haven’t had to deal with many phone calls (except for my husband), or people wanting to see me. So I’ve been cleaning my skin now about twice a day with the shave foam and gauze and then liberally applying the Vaseline. As of yet, I have not put anything else on it. I’ve also been drinking lots of water, eating fruit, trying to take some of my supplements, etc. And each time I cleanse the area, I can literally see new skin and my scars filling in—it’s very exciting. Dr. Y said that I should be able to go out with makeup on by Monday (with sunscreen of course), but I’m in no hurry. I have to call their office again on Monday or Tuesday to give an update.

TOTAL EXPENDITURE
Okay, since money is certainly an issue for me, I thought it’d be useful to try to tally up what I spent on this trip:

Essentials
Prescriptions: $15 (this would vary with coverage)
Off Airport Parking: $40
Flight: ~$200 (varies of course)
Accomadations: $160 (4 nights at $40/each)
Shuttle: $26 RT + tip (minus $13 for my screw up)
Cab ride back to airport $28 + tip (if you don’t fall asleep you can omit this)
Consultation fee $125
Procedure $1500 ($4500 for a full face)
Food, etc $20-25 or so
__________________
~$2106

Nonessentials
Cab rides to/fro FQ: ~$25
Nice dinner at Oliviers ~$25 + tip
___________
~$50

Sorry to be so meticulous, but when you’re a teacher living in SF, every dollar counts!

A FINAL NOTE ON THE BOARD (ACNE.ORG)
Dr. Y and Cassandra are both aware of acne.org. It’s sort of an old-fashioned environment out there (not in terms of the medical technology but in terms of how people relate to each other—in a very good way), so I don’t think they are really that familiar with the internet. In fact, he came back in to see me on Tuesday morning and said that he had spoken to someone the day before on the phone who asked “has that girl from California had her forehead done yet?� (BTW, whoever you are, thanks for checking in on me! =) Anyway, he said that it seemed that almost everyone who contacted him these days mentioned the board. I was a little worried that maybe he might feel a little freaked out by this. So I told him what a great board this is for mutual support and for exchange of information. And I told him that people are only saying the most wonderful of things about him and his office, and that even though it might feel like a zillion people are talking about him, that in actuality there is a relatively small number of us interested in dermabrasion with him and it’s just that we’re all contacting him now. I just didn’t want him to feel uneasy about any of this. He assured me that he was not, and just said he hoped that it didn’t compromise people’s confidentiality, for our sakes. I explained to him that it was all anonymous and that people only revealed their identities to each other in private and shared their personal experiences if they so chose. He seemed fine with it and I think that put his mind at ease, but I’d just say that I think that we should all try to be mindful of the fact that this board may be a bit foreign to him and not to overwhelm him with it (I include myself in this as well). Though when I did explain how much this board had done for me, he did seem very happy that something like this existed.

A POSTSCRIPT
Although it is still too early to see the results, things seem to be coming along very well and from what he tells me they will only continue to improve. If I haven’t already communicated this, I could not be happier with my decision to fly out there. Dr. Y and Cassandra are two of the most decent, caring, compassionate people I’ve ever met. They manage to strike this incredible balance of laid-back, mellowness with absolute professionalism and seriousness when needed. And from what everyone tells me, I am in for some major improvement. I don’t know whether I will need/opt for a follow up, but in any case, I will certainly be going back out there in about a year, at least for a vacation and to show them my progress and let them take after shots. Whew, okay I’ll end now. Thanks for reading—it really helped me to write it out, and I certainly have the time on my hands now. Hopefully, this can be of help to some of you. Thanks again for all of your good wishes!

--leo

#13 bm

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 01:14 AM

I'm very appreciative of the information leopolda. Thank you and here's to a speedy-successful recovery.

#14 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 01:57 AM

Thanks for posting all of that! I really appreciate it. biggrin.gif

I hope your skin ends up looking awesome. :angel:

Emma

#15 Derek7.2

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 07:51 AM

Who is this DR Y? And why is he sooo hyped? $4500 for a derma? That's
excessive & I live in manhattan. So explicate & dont get long winded. Why is
he THE big deal?

#16 Rossignol

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 09:02 AM

Hey Leo,
Just wanted to thank you for posting all of that information - I am considering undertaking dermabrasion at some point in the future and I'm sure your logs will prove a valuable source of information for me and for others in similar situations.
Hope you are recovering well and are thrilled with your improved skin!
Thanks again,
Paul smile.gif

#17 animegirle

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 10:01 AM

user posted image Here is to an AWESOME recovery!

#18 ann_a_bell

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 10:20 AM

Thank you so much!!!! I am so excited that you had a good experience. I leave tomorrow and hearing from you really eased my soul. I hope that you have gotten the results that you wanted from your treatment. I sooo neverous, but excited to go now that I know that everything will be fine. Thanks for your detailed explaination, and advice. I wish you the best, Ann Marie

#19 ann_a_bell

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 10:28 AM

QUOTE(Derek7.2 @ Jun 27 2004, 09:38 AM)
Who is this DR Y?  And why is he sooo hyped?  $4500 for a derma?  That's
excessive & I live in manhattan.  So explicate & dont get long winded.  Why is
he THE big deal?

It's your face dude!!!!!!!!!! He's is supposed to be one of the best. I would pay more than $4,500 if I had to. You really do get what you pay for, haven't you ever seen an inexpensive boob job, I have seen a few, and some are really bad!!! In addition, my referring dermatalogist said that it was not something I wanted done more than once, that's why he insited that if I was to get it done, to see Dr. Y.

#20 leopolda

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Posted 27 June 2004 - 11:35 AM

Thanks everyone for the kind words and thanks for reading what turned out to be more of a travelogue. I think I'm finally getting back into the swing of things here (as much as I can while completely sequestered in my apartment that is) To all of you who are planning a trip, rest assured, you are going to be in good hands.

Derek,
If you haven't heard of Dr. Yarborough, then you simply haven't done enough research on this procedure to be considering it. You can search this site using his name or you can simply google him--his name is everywhere. Simply put, he is the best in the world (I think that's safe to say), and a sweatheart to boot. Yes, $4500 is a lot, but clearly he's worth it when you're dealing with your face and with such a risky procedure. And FYI, I don't generally respond too well to imperatives commanding me to "explicate" (wrong word) and not to get "long-winded." If you want thorough, personal information, you may want to be more polite.


cheers,

--leo