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mr. matt

Subcision and TCA Cross Method Completed - March 16, 2009

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HAD SUBCISION AND TCA CROSS METHOD DONE YESTERDAY !!!!

I had subcision performed on my rolling scars and the TCA Cross Method done on my ice pick scars yesterday afternoon.

My dermatologist started the session by reviewing exactly what he was going to be doing throughout the procedure.

After this was finished, he had his assistant clean my face with some type of sterile solution to clean any oil, soap, etc. from my skin.

After this was completed, he gave me a mirror to see my face with and begin to put "dots" on all of the scars where he was going to insert the needle for my rolling scars. I was given the opportunity to point out the areas that he hadn't seen that I wanted treated.

One this step was completed, he performed the TCA Cross Method on a number of ice pick scars on my face. He used a special overhead light that really made my scars stand out. He used a wooden applicator to apply an 80% TCA solution to each ice pick scar. It felt like a small pin prick each time he inserted the applicator into a scar. It was not uncomfortable at all.

Once the TCA Cross procedure was finished, he injected a topical anesthesia into the rolling scar portions of my cheeks. This was, by far, the most uncomfortable part of the entire procedure as the injections did hurt. However, this was very tolerable and nothing like going to the dentist and having shots in your gums.

After a few minutes, both of my checks were completely numb. He then told me that he was going to insert an 18 guage Nokor needle into the first scar on my left cheek and would "fan" the needle throughout the scarred area. I had given my doctor some research that showed the a smaller needle might result in less bruising and the possibility of subcutaneous nodules. He told me that the 18 guage Nokor needle was bowing because the fibrous bands were so large and a smaller guage needle might have broken inside of the scar. I'm glad that he didn't listen to my advice!

I actually heard the "tethers" snap as he performed this fanning motion. All in all, he did about 10-15 rolling scars on my left check.

My right check had the deepest rolling scars of my entire face. He injected the areas where he would be working with local anesthesia. Again, the injections smarted but were totally tolerable.

Because these were very deep and prominent rolling scars, he seemed to spend a lot more time with the Nokor needle. I could hear the tethers "snapping". It was an AWESOME feeling knowing that something was finally being done after all of these years to these hideous scars.

I have to admit that, psychologically, it was very chathartic to sit in that room and hear the tethers holding down my skin popping left and right.

The injections and subcision did seem to create a lot of blood. My dermatologist's assistant used several guaze bandages to control what bleeding I did have. She also put ice packs on both checks before I was finally bandaged.

My doctor was terrific and did several things I really appreciated:

1) he explained every step that he was going to take during the procedure

2) his staff allowed me to pay for the subcision procedure BEFORE rather than AFTER the procedure so I didn't have to face a waiting room full of patients with bandages all over my face

3) he allowed me to exit his office via a back door and avoid any embarassment

Right now, I can't tell if I have any swelling as I have guage bandages covering most of my face. The bandages will come off tomorrow and I have a follow-up visit this Wednesday, March 19, 2009 and again on March 27, 2009.

I don't expect to see 100% improvement, but I will take any improve at this point in time. The really cavernous depressions on my right cheek have been there for years and it was so good to hear those tethers snapping away!

My doctor said that he would review my progress and decide what future course of treatments would be necessary. I fully expect that I will need additional subcision treatments.

Later this year, I will have a Pearl Laser treatment done in his office to help with my overall skin tone.

My doctor took photos before today's procedure and even videotaped the procedure.

I hope to post photos this week as I know that I benefited from viewing the photos that other people had posted. I will also let you know what type of swelling and bruising I experience and will post photos throughout my journey.

Today's procedure last a little more than an hour if you were wondering. The prep work (i.e. cleaning my face, taking photos, marking the scarred areas to be treated, and the injections of anesthetic took a while.)

I have been taking 1000 milligrams of vitamin C and 50 milligrams of Zinc as I understand that they help promote Collagen development.

I also purchased Vitamin K and Arnica Cream as I understand that they are supposed to minimize bruising. Not to be outdone, I also bought Emu oil as this is known to reduce swelling.

If you are reading this blog and have acne scars that are bothering you, I would highly encourage you to do some online research and find a doctor that can help you.

I am so glad that I took my first step on my journey to getting my scars treated today.

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Hey Matt, thank you so much for posting your experience here. I have rolling scars on my cheek too and was thinking about getting subscision done as well. That would be great if you could update us on the progress of everything as well as post your pics. It sounds like you and I are in the same situation as far as our scarring goes. I just had a couple questions:

1) How much did the subcision cost?

2) You wouldn't happen to live in Southern California would you?

Thanks man and best of luck in your recovery. You give us all hope.

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good post Matt..looks like you took a really big step. sounds like at the very least your doc went out of his way to do what you wanted and then some..I think thats all you can ask..I had a derm do some procedures on me over the course of years..I saw close to no improvement over the whole time he did it..minor at best..how ever he was a great guy and out of many derms and docs I have been to, I still like and respect him most..he was just like your doc..he went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable..that means alot. He barely charged me either and I know he did his best..I could have done more as far as diet ect.. on my end to make it work out better then it did I feel.

however I did not have done what you did, so dont worry about my lack of results.

I have never had subcision done, did have tca done many years ago..several rounds..did not get much out of it to be honest..but I have seen several people get alot from it if you keep at it. guess it just was not meant to be for me..or I just was not healthy enough to get more out of it..

not quite sure how fast subcision improves the scars..in my experiences skin take alot of time to really start building itself up..so just be patient..you took the first big step obviously..it all starts with that first step..and it seems you got a good plan of attack..keep up the great work man..sending over the healing vibes. :)

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Hey Matt, thank you so much for posting your experience here. I have rolling scars on my cheek too and was thinking about getting subscision done as well. That would be great if you could update us on the progress of everything as well as post your pics. It sounds like you and I are in the same situation as far as our scarring goes. I just had a couple questions:

1) How much did the subcision cost?

2) You wouldn't happen to live in Southern California would you?

Thanks man and best of luck in your recovery. You give us all hope.

Saleena:

1) My dermatologist is REALLY nice and gave me a substantial discount. I paid $200 for the subcision and TCA Cross procedures. I've been a long-time acne patient of his and I think that he took this into account.

2) I live in the Mid-West.

Do you know of any free sites where photos can be posted? I've only seen a couple of acne scar sufferers who have posted their photos and they aren't recent ones.

I want to chronicle my journey through my acne scar revision to offer others hope that their appearances can improve.

Today is Day Two and my wife and kids cannot believe the difference in my appearance.

My older son told me, "Dad, the craters are gone."

I guess that it can't get any better than that......

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that's great news! i'm happy to hear about your recovery going smoothly, and it is very insightful that you want to offer others help also. Please keep up updated on your recovery!!! And good luck!!!

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that's great news! i'm happy to hear about your recovery going smoothly, and it is very insightful that you want to offer others help also. Please keep up updated on your recovery!!! And good luck!!!

Can you suggest any websites where I can house my before and after photos?

I want to post them in about three weeks so people can see the improvement I have at the one month mark.

I'm just not sure where to go from here to post the pictures. :wacko:

Thanks.

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Excellent post matt please post after a week or so to see how your skin is fairing as the 1st week is normally swelling of the skin which makes out the skin is scar free

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Can you suggest any websites where I can house my before and after photos?

I want to post them in about three weeks so people can see the improvement I have at the one month mark.

I'm just not sure where to go from here to post the pictures. :wacko:

Thanks.

You could use Photobucket to host your photos. Or, if you just want to post them here, you can post them by using the attachments tool that's available just below where you type your posts. That way, you just browse through the folders on your computer, upload them as attachments, and add them into your post--no hosting site required!

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Please don't forget the before and after pictures. There is another site called makemeheal.com where you can document your procedure.

I am having subcision via surgiwire done in May along with fat transfer. Total cost of procedure, $2000.

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Hey Matt, I am scheduled to have subcision two weeks from today. The doctor recommended to use fillers, however, I am skeptical...did you use fillers or just straight subcision? Also, how does it look now?

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Hey Matt, I am scheduled to have subcision two weeks from today. The doctor recommended to use fillers, however, I am skeptical...did you use fillers or just straight subcision? Also, how does it look now?

Saleena:

It's now day five since my subcision procedure for my rolling scars and the TCA Cross Method for my pitted scars and my wife, kids, my brother, and I all think that my complexion looks pretty amazing.

I have had these scars for over ten years and began to hate looking at myself in the mirror.

My mother had rolling scars all over her face: forehead, temples, checks, and chin. Back in her day, dermabrasion was the route to go. She had it done twice and a face lift while she was in her twenties! My mom really suffered from her acne scars and would not turn the light on when she would go into the restroom because she didn't want to see her face in the mirror. I always felt so bad for her.

My dermatologist did not use any fillers for me, just straight subcision.

I have been absolutely AMAZED at the results so far. On my right cheek, I had an area that I called "Crater Lake". It was an area where I had had multiple cystic lesions that caused a portion of my cheek to look as if it had "caved in". To the lower right of my cheek, I had had a very deep and long cystic lesion that left a deep scar. I called this scar the "Grand Canyon".

The "Grand Canyon" scar has completely filled in and I can't see any remnant of the scar. "Crater Lake" has improved so far by 90%.

I keep looking at myself in the mirror because I can't believe the reflexion that I'm seeing.

I'm hoping that the collagen is re-modeling and that I won't be disappointed in a couple of weeks.

I will be posting pictures in about three weeks of my before and after pictures. I was able to capture the depth of my scars in my "before" photos and made me look pretty hideous under the lighting I used.

I took some pictures today with natural light, no flash, and was still amazed at how smooth my skin looked.

I went to see my dermatologist on Wednesday and he cancelled my follow-up visit for next week because my healing was so advanced.

If you're going to have subcision done, I would encourage you to:

1) take 1000 mg of Vitamin C for at least the next three months

2) take at least 50 mg of Zinc. Both Zinc and Vitamin C aid in the production of collagen and help with wound repair.

Also, you may want to purchase some Arnica cream or vitamin K cream for bruising. I bought some EMU oil before my procedure and have been using it for several weeks. Apparently, it is an anti-imflammatory and reduces swelling and serves as a natural moisturizer.

Also, I have been doing 70% lactic acid peels for the past year every other week. I believe that the lactic acid has greatly improved my overall complexion.

I wish you great success with your procedure and please post before and after photos.

I learned a lot by looking at a site that Tamara Madden had set up about the healing process post-subcision.

Please stay in touch; God bless......

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Hey Matt, I am scheduled to have subcision two weeks from today. The doctor recommended to use fillers, however, I am skeptical...did you use fillers or just straight subcision? Also, how does it look now?

Saleena:

It's now day five since my subcision procedure for my rolling scars and the TCA Cross Method for my pitted scars and my wife, kids, my brother, and I all think that my complexion looks pretty amazing.

I have had these scars for over ten years and began to hate looking at myself in the mirror.

My mother had rolling scars all over her face: forehead, temples, checks, and chin. Back in her day, dermabrasion was the route to go. She had it done twice and a face lift while she was in her twenties! My mom really suffered from her acne scars and would not turn the light on when she would go into the restroom because she didn't want to see her face in the mirror. I always felt so bad for her.

My dermatologist did not use any fillers for me, just straight subcision.

I have been absolutely AMAZED at the results so far. On my right cheek, I had an area that I called "Crater Lake". It was an area where I had had multiple cystic lesions that caused a portion of my cheek to look as if it had "caved in". To the lower right of my cheek, I had had a very deep and long cystic lesion that left a deep scar. I called this scar the "Grand Canyon".

The "Grand Canyon" scar has completely filled in and I can't see any remnant of the scar. "Crater Lake" has improved so far by 90%.

I keep looking at myself in the mirror because I can't believe the reflexion that I'm seeing.

I'm hoping that the collagen is re-modeling and that I won't be disappointed in a couple of weeks.

I will be posting pictures in about three weeks of my before and after pictures. I was able to capture the depth of my scars in my "before" photos and made me look pretty hideous under the lighting I used.

I took some pictures today with natural light, no flash, and was still amazed at how smooth my skin looked.

I went to see my dermatologist on Wednesday and he cancelled my follow-up visit for next week because my healing was so advanced.

If you're going to have subcision done, I would encourage you to:

1) take 1000 mg of Vitamin C for at least the next three months

2) take at least 50 mg of Zinc. Both Zinc and Vitamin C aid in the production of collagen and help with wound repair.

Also, you may want to purchase some Arnica cream or vitamin K cream for bruising. I bought some EMU oil before my procedure and have been using it for several weeks. Apparently, it is an anti-imflammatory and reduces swelling and serves as a natural moisturizer.

Also, I have been doing 70% lactic acid peels for the past year every other week. I believe that the lactic acid has greatly improved my overall complexion.

I wish you great success with your procedure and please post before and after photos.

I learned a lot by looking at a site that Tamara Madden had set up about the healing process post-subcision.

Please stay in touch; God bless......

Hi mr matt i dont want you to keep your hopes so high because you'll be disappointed, i'm sorry but wat you're looking at is just swelling which will subside in a week and a half and then your scars will go more deep but dont be worry about it after that you'll see improvement in 3rd 4th and 5th week keep applying a gel called hexilac. You'll not get desired results in just one treatment you would need atleast 4 subcision but dont be worry you'll get results. Wish you very good luck

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Hey Matt, I am scheduled to have subcision two weeks from today. The doctor recommended to use fillers, however, I am skeptical...did you use fillers or just straight subcision? Also, how does it look now?

Saleena:

It's now day five since my subcision procedure for my rolling scars and the TCA Cross Method for my pitted scars and my wife, kids, my brother, and I all think that my complexion looks pretty amazing.

I have had these scars for over ten years and began to hate looking at myself in the mirror.

My mother had rolling scars all over her face: forehead, temples, checks, and chin. Back in her day, dermabrasion was the route to go. She had it done twice and a face lift while she was in her twenties! My mom really suffered from her acne scars and would not turn the light on when she would go into the restroom because she didn't want to see her face in the mirror. I always felt so bad for her.

Do you have any before and after photos of your subcision treatments? Pictures are worth a thousand words.

Thanks for your "reality check" on what I can expect in terms of progress.

Best wishes to you on your journey to healing........

My dermatologist did not use any fillers for me, just straight subcision.

I have been absolutely AMAZED at the results so far. On my right cheek, I had an area that I called "Crater Lake". It was an area where I had had multiple cystic lesions that caused a portion of my cheek to look as if it had "caved in". To the lower right of my cheek, I had had a very deep and long cystic lesion that left a deep scar. I called this scar the "Grand Canyon".

The "Grand Canyon" scar has completely filled in and I can't see any remnant of the scar. "Crater Lake" has improved so far by 90%.

I keep looking at myself in the mirror because I can't believe the reflexion that I'm seeing.

I'm hoping that the collagen is re-modeling and that I won't be disappointed in a couple of weeks.

I will be posting pictures in about three weeks of my before and after pictures. I was able to capture the depth of my scars in my "before" photos and made me look pretty hideous under the lighting I used.

I took some pictures today with natural light, no flash, and was still amazed at how smooth my skin looked.

I went to see my dermatologist on Wednesday and he cancelled my follow-up visit for next week because my healing was so advanced.

If you're going to have subcision done, I would encourage you to:

1) take 1000 mg of Vitamin C for at least the next three months

2) take at least 50 mg of Zinc. Both Zinc and Vitamin C aid in the production of collagen and help with wound repair.

Also, you may want to purchase some Arnica cream or vitamin K cream for bruising. I bought some EMU oil before my procedure and have been using it for several weeks. Apparently, it is an anti-imflammatory and reduces swelling and serves as a natural moisturizer.

Also, I have been doing 70% lactic acid peels for the past year every other week. I believe that the lactic acid has greatly improved my overall complexion.

I wish you great success with your procedure and please post before and after photos.

I learned a lot by looking at a site that Tamara Madden had set up about the healing process post-subcision.

Please stay in touch; God bless......

Hi mr matt i dont want you to keep your hopes so high because you'll be disappointed, i'm sorry but wat you're looking at is just swelling which will subside in a week and a half and then your scars will go more deep but dont be worry about it after that you'll see improvement in 3rd 4th and 5th week keep applying a gel called hexilac. You'll not get desired results in just one treatment you would need atleast 4 subcision but dont be worry you'll get results. Wish you very good luck

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Hey mr. matt, how is the recovery coming along?

Saleena:

Nearly all of the facial bruising and swelling have subsided.

I have a slight yellowish/orangish tint on my left and right cheeks and I'm trying to determine is from bruising or from the vitamin K cream I was using to prevent/minimize bruising.

I noticed that my face actually began to bruise on from day three to day five, but it wasn't that bad.

I'm beginning to see the outline of some of my deeper scars while some of the others have not re-appeared.

I have taken a lot of pictures which I will post on my one month anniversary (April 16, 2009) of my first subcision treatment. By that point in time, any collagen remodeling that should be taking place should be underway.

I can feel a "tingling" sensation on my face, so I hope that this indicates that collagen is reforming.

Whether I have tremendous success with this first round of subcision or not, I am so glad that I did it. I felt like I had at least done something to work on minimizing my scars. Based upon what I have read, I should see incremental improvement after each round of subcision and with the passage of time.

I e-mailed my dermatologist last night to see if I could go ahead and schedule my next round of subcision.

Stay tune for more details.

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Thats great! I am glad to hear that you are happy with the procedure. I can't wait to hear those "popping" sounds too! I am scheduled to go in next friday. I am a little nervous and a bit skeptical on whether or not it will help me as much as I think it will. I know you weren't planning on posting any pics until the first month, however, if you could give me a detailed description or post any photo of your scars I would appreciate it sooo much. It would give me a base of comparison on what I can expect and how similar our scars are. Thanks so much for posting your experience and helping people like me make a decision on this treatment. Best of luck!

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Thats great! I am glad to hear that you are happy with the procedure. I can't wait to hear those "popping" sounds too! I am scheduled to go in next friday. I am a little nervous and a bit skeptical on whether or not it will help me as much as I think it will. I know you weren't planning on posting any pics until the first month, however, if you could give me a detailed description or post any photo of your scars I would appreciate it sooo much. It would give me a base of comparison on what I can expect and how similar our scars are. Thanks so much for posting your experience and helping people like me make a decision on this treatment. Best of luck!

Saleena:

Hearing those fibrous bands breaking/popping will definitely be music :whistle: to your ears. Psychologically, I found it really cathartic to hear these bands breaking on each scar that was treated.

So, here is the "low down" on my scarring. My deepest scars are on my right cheek and they are "rolling" scars. One area is what I have called "crater lake". When I was in high school and college, I had a minimum of eight lesions all within a very concentrated area. The end result of these lesions was a larger crater on my right cheek with jagged edges.

In college, I developed a very deep and elongated lesion on my right cheek and lesions ALL over my back. It was at this point that I saw a dermatologist for the first time in my life. The elongated lesion on my right cheek left a deep furrow which I called the "grand canyon."

I went on Accutane for the first time in 1999 and my face EXPLODED with cystic lesions. I remember paging my dermatologist at the time on a Saturday in a panic to find out what could be done. His answer: "Nothing." I had to let the Accutane do its thing which it did. I have not had a cystic lesion on my face or back in ten years! (Thank you, God!) :clap:

At the time, I was working as a Senior Training Specialist for a large, well-known international company and in front of groups of people constantly. I wanted to climb under a rock because I looked like a lepor.

My left cheek had about ten rolling scars and about three box car scars as a result of this massive breakout.

I have pictures of both cheeks which really capture the depth of the scarring.

I would really encourage you to take some baseline photos of both of your cheeks. I used an overhead light in our bathroom to photograph my face and stood under the light so that it really captured how bad the scars look.

I also had my wife take pictures of my face (full shot) and each cheek (close-up /full frontal and sideways) each day for the first week after my first treatment. I won't be taking any more photos until the one month point since looking for improvement at this point in time is kind of like watching grass grow. :D

My skin looked tremendous for the first four days. After the swelling begins to subside, you'll notice the outline of your scars re-appearing. However, I have noticed that my scars are beginning to look somewhat flatter even as the swelling is subsiding.

You should expect to see incremental improvement over the course of time. I can't wait to get to the 30 day mark as I understand that this is when the collagen remodeling should be at it's height.

I've been studying the improvement of two acne scar sufferers on the links below. I believe that is will give you an idea of what to expect for the weeks following your procedure.

http://www.geocities.com/mgargi2002/day6.html

http://www.tamaramadden.com/Subcision/Subcision.htm

Please set up a blog after your procedure so all of us in "acne.org land" can track your progress and send me a message via this site after you're procedure. I'll be curious to hear how your treatment went.

We'll be expecting photos, too!

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Thanks so much for your prompt replies, Matt. Of course I will post pictures. I already have posted some of my worst cheek. Here is the link. Hopefully they aren't that deep. Do they look like yours?

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Dermaroll...og-t228355.html

Saleena:

Based upon the pictures I saw, your scars don't appear to be that deep. It could be the lighting making your scars look less deep than they actually are.

Mine are actually quite deep as my photos will show.

Take care.

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Mr Matt

What kind of camera have you got ?, You have the clearest pics i've seen on this

forum.

I'm really happy for you, what a big improvement ! i'm really surprised

subcision can give such a good result. I'm a bit confuse, i thought you only had

subcision and tca for ice picks but in your pics it say you also had Nlite ?

Thanks for posting your pics and happy healing !

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Mr Matt

What kind of camera have you got ?, You have the clearest pics i've seen on this

forum.

I'm really happy for you, what a big improvement ! i'm really surprised

subcision can give such a good result. I'm a bit confuse, i thought you only had

subcision and tca for ice picks but in your pics it say you also had Nlite ?

Thanks for posting your pics and happy healing !

I haven't posted any photos yet, so you may have me confused with the people whose websites I included in my last entry. Both of them used N-Lite and appear to have had great results.

I'm going to wait until I've reached the four week point after my first subcision procedure (April 16, 2009) because the swelling the first week makes it appear that I don't have any acne scars at all.

My face continues to "tingle" which I believe is an indication that some collagen remodeling is taking place.

Stay tuned for the photos in April.

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I actually contacted the guy in the photos to ask him about his treatment and he told me that the improvement has lasted and on top of that he gained a little weight and the remaining scars are hardly noticeable! I hope that you get the same results! Good Luck and thats for sharing . Oh he also said that he traveled form TX to Dr Rappaport in NJ!

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Hey Matt, me again :-) Just wanted to check up and see how your healing is going. The swelling should be totally gone by now. How do you like the results? I am supposed to go in on Friday for my subcision. Thanks for your help!

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