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UptownOryx

Detailed report of my trip to Dr. Rullan (and I actually update!)

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I've been lurking these forums for literally 4 years waiting for my treatment and now it's my turn to contribute. It's been about 3 days since I got subcision/cross/microneedling from the highly praised Dr. Rullan in Chula Vista. I purposely decided to not pick and choose my treatment as a patient because it only took a short amount of time talking to him to realize that this guy actually is the mad scientist of acne scars or something so I chose to let him do whatever he felt was best for my face. I'll just go ahead and outline what stood out most to me so other people can be prepared.

 

1. My face was injected with some liquid before any of the treatment started. I think it was a combination of anesthetic and something else, but Dr. Rullan mentioned it would prevent rethering in the 5 days or so before I start suctioning. 

2. During the subcision, it literally felt like hundreds of rubber bands under my skin were popping. I'm not prepared to post any photos yet, but I feel my baseline scars are only moderate in severity so I was extremely surprised at how many pops were occurring. Based on the posts on reading this forum, I thought I would only HEAR the popping (and some people said they didn't even experience that!) but no, the pressure felt as though Dr. Rullan was sawing/butchering the top layer of my face off. This is all while being completely painless though... it was just a scary experience for me because I've never gotten "treated" like this by a doctor. My eyes were closed the whole time because they had a bright light on me but my brain naturally started to assume to worse just because of how much pressure there was. In the end though, I say this all in a positive way because I feel a more aggressive treatment will yield better results based on what I've read other people experience here.

3. The microneedling after was where I felt some pain. It wasn't too bad overall, but I'll admit that I grimaced multiple times. After, the bloody insertion holes where noticeable across my face. I forgot to ask what length they went in with.

4. My face post treatment was extremely bruised and red. I had what appeared to be several open sores on my face and it was one of those "don't make eye contact with anyone" moments going back to my hotel and going on my flight back after. As I sat in my hotel room, the injection point on the right side of my face kept slowly oozing blood for pretty much the rest of the day. One of the assistants had told me this would occur so I was not too worried. But yes, it looked much noticeably more gruesome compared to pictures of subcision treatments from other doctors here. I will even add that it was bad enough that I held off on a shower for around 36 hours because I was afraid the pressure from a shower might reopen all my wounds (luckily I could just stay in bed at home all day haha)

5. I'm regularly applying vaseline across my face twice a day (until all my scabs fall off)

 

Anyways, that's all I can think of now. I have a really good feeling about all this and it seems like a no brainer to just fly out to Dr. Rullan if you live in the US. I'll add pictures when I'm ready I guess. I'm honestly still a bit mentally F'd from my scars so I don't even like to look at pictures of it.

Edited by UptownOryx

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20 minutes ago, Skyblue2073 said:

How did he examine your face? Did he use different angles of light? Did he touch your face? Did he map out scars? Thanks

Yes, when he entered the room it was the first thing he did. He used his fingers to check the scars more closely and there was a older Swiss doctor in the room that he was explaining his thought process to. He verbally outloud said what type of scars I had while pointing to many of them (if it was rolling or boxcar scars for example). Then he circled all of them before treatment started. I looked in a mirror afterwards and I don't think he missed any. Oh and before Dr Rullan came in, an assistant used a bright light to get multiple angles of my face while taking photos with a tablet. She also retook some of them, so it wasn't haphazard or anything.

Edited by UptownOryx

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4 hours ago, Vidrar said:

Was the subcision done with cannula or nokor ? How many entry points ?

He did mines with cannula and specifically told me mines would respond better to it, but I think he would've done nokor had I asked for it. As for entry points, I subjectively felt several (like up to 20) entry points but my eyes were closed the entire time.

 

Looking at my face, I can't tell which are cannula entry points and which is just a scab forming from the cross.

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For me I had two entry points which healed well, except that one left a noticeable scar. I did not ask if Dr Rullan used a cannula or nokor. 

Edited by superburrito

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11 minutes ago, superburrito said:

For me I had two entry points which healed well, except that one left a noticeable. I did not ask if Dr Rullan used a cannula or nokor. 

Actually, you are right. I went back to my hotel with two bandages, one on the left and one on the right side of my face. I think I was mistaking the scabs from my cross with entry points.

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Yeah I think the entry points are more towards the hairline near the ear. I think it’s so that he can go up to the temple and also do the cheek, for me anyway. 

Definitely not a pleasant feeling during the sub. He’s definitely very aggressive. 

Edited by cautiouslyhopeful

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It's 4 days in now and 90% of my scabs from the CROSS came off in the shower today. I barely wiped my face and they just came off by themselves - I think vaseline definitely helped the healing process along. Now my face looks about 2-3 days away from being presentable in public again.  I still have a lot of swelling but of course it is going away quickly with each day

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Day 5: The cross that Dr. Rullan used on my nose seems to be worryingly red compared to the rest of my face (which doesn't really look "red" anymore, just bruised). I really hope this doesn't lead to hyperpigmentation or PIE. I'll wait a few more days to make judgment but I will definitely make sure he doesn't use any peels on my nose in the future. The rest of my scabs have fallen off this morning so I'll stop putting vaseline on and start suctioning 3 times a day. I'm going to slow down my updates to maybe once or twice a week since the changes from day to day are slowing down.

Edited by UptownOryx

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Day 9: The redness on my nose is mostly gone now and its scars have filled in a decent amount. Actually, all of the scars on my face look markedly improved so far, especially this very deep one on my temple - my anecdotal observation is that the deeper scars have the most improvements compared to the shallower/textural ones. Also, suctioning is the real deal folks. My skin seems to be responding very favorably to it and I'm glad I didn't skip out. I don't want to give any percentage improvements yet because I heard that residual swelling might make it look better than it actually is, but so far I am very pleased that I got my procedure

 

EDIT: Oh right, and I believe the real amount of down time now is 15 days assuming you are suctioning. My face still looks pretty darn bruised, like someone beat me up.

Edited by UptownOryx

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5 hours ago, UptownOryx said:

Day 7: The redness on my nose is mostly gone now and its scars have filled in a decent amount. Actually, all of the scars on my face look markedly improved so far, especially this very deep one on my temple - my anecdotal observation is that the deeper scars have the most improvements compared to the shallower/textural ones. Also, suctioning is the real deal folks. My skin seems to be responding very favorably to it and I'm glad I didn't skip out. I don't want to give any percentage improvements yet because I heard that residual swelling might make it look better than it actually is, but so far I am very pleased that I got my procedure

 

EDIT: Oh right, and I believe the real amount of down time now is 15 days assuming you are suctioning. My face still looks pretty darn bruised, like someone beat me up.

Yup, I think a lot of the improvements you see are from microswelling. I had the exact treatment you had. It looked great after the redness and scabs fallen off but a lot of the scars reappear after 2-3 weeks from the treatment. I did not do suction fwiw. IMO, the deepest scar improved a lot for me, I would say around 15% improvement

Edited by gynoscar

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10 hours ago, californiakid said:

Did the doctor tell you to sunction or is that something you are doing on your own? 

Suctioning was not part of my doctor's treatment plan but when I told him I was planning on doing it, he was very encouraging of it and told me how long I had to wait (after the scabs fell off at 4-6 days).

 

5 hours ago, gynoscar said:

Yup, I think a lot of the improvements you see are from microswelling. I had the exact treatment you had. It looked great after the redness and scabs fallen off but a lot of the scars reappear after 2-3 weeks from the treatment. I did not do suction fwiw. IMO, the deepest scar improved a lot for me, I would say around 15% improvement

 

I think not suctioning is a huge mistake, look at this study here: 

** Edit by MOD: Sorry had to edit that out, we have young people who would do surgery with that info on themselves (happened before - nightmare). IF you wish to share LINK, Please PM @UptownOryx and they will message you it.

 

"Forty-six patients followed the protocol completely, had 60–90% improvement in depth and size of scars (significant improvement) with mean: 71.73%. 28.2% of them had ‘80% improvement or more’ (excellent improvement). Twelve patients started suction late and ⁄ or had long interval suction-sessions, had 30–60% improvement (moderate improvement) with mean: 43.75%."

 

So, even in people who suctioned but did it late/infrequently, had only a 43.75% improvement compared to 71.73% who followed the suctioning protocol correctly. So I can only imagine how much lower the number is in patients who do not suction at all. In fact, next time I will be refusing cross treatment so I can start suctioning even earlier, like on day 2 or 3.

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Day 14: Man, I don't know anymore guys. The amount of perceived improvement that I think I got seems to fluctuate with my mood throughout the day, even when looking at the same mirror under the same lighting. I think some of the scars reappearead like gynoscar said they would. I still have residual redness from suctioning yesterday so it that might be influencing my opinion as well. Honestly, I'm losing a bit of hope and my scars are not looking great today. I don't know if anybody else got this during the procedure/recovery but I had that little bit of hope in the back of my mind that I would be that 1 in 10 patient or whatever that gets crazy results from a single procedure but yeah that fantasy was clearly unrealistic. Hopefully I can still be the "50% improvement over 2 years" patient though.

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@UptownOryx

Sorry to hear, stay positive though and try to remember healing acne scars is a marathon not a race, collagen can take months to generate, your skin can start looking better in the coming months, and also remember it was your first treatment, Dr Rullan suggested atleast 3 for me and I have moderate to mild scarring.  Also remember you are your own worst critic, If the scars softened even by 15% that’s improvement, remember your critiquing your face way more than anyone else is. 

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@UptownOryx Rullan say it takes at least 3 months for collagen to build up. I think it just takes time. I've been following a youtuber's channel who went to rullan 3 years ago and still goes for treatment today. I think she seen a lot of improvement over the last 3 years. Here is her channel if you want inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZtunM3k3E0Cd1l3bZoPmw

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2 hours ago, gynoscar said:

@UptownOryx Rullan say it takes at least 3 months for collagen to build up. I think it just takes time. I've been following a youtuber's channel who went to rullan 3 years ago and still goes for treatment today. I think she seen a lot of improvement over the last 3 years. Here is her channel if you want inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZtunM3k3E0Cd1l3bZoPmw

I think she just goes there for maintenance now. She also got fillers towards the end of her treatment. 

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Hi Uptown! So did you fly back home that same day after the procedure? I have an appointment with Dr. Rullan In February & I was planning on flying back home that same day but I feel like I’m underestimating how swollen and bruised I will be. 

Any updates on your progress btw? 

Edited by leslie19

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14 hours ago, leslie19 said:

Hi Uptown! So did you fly back home that same day after the procedure? I have an appointment with Dr. Rullan In February & I was planning on flying back home that same day but I feel like I’m underestimating how swollen and bruised I will be. 

Any updates on your progress btw? 

I did a procedure on the 20th of December of this month (8 days ago).

Your face will be bloodied, swollen, scabby. I wouldn't recommend flying back home the same day - as a matter of fact - i wouldnt recommend flying back home after even 3 days after the procedure. However, if that is the only option you have, then you have no other choice. It will be *EXTREMELY* embarrassing to go out in public. People will be staring at you. I would recommend wearing one of those visors that covers your face (Dr Rullan sells it in his office). I wore that when I was driving back home after the procedure so no body would see my bloodied up face. My opinion would be to stay at a hotel for at least a couple of days, the more the better. All the scabs fell off my face by day 7. 

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1 hour ago, slee3 said:

I did a procedure on the 20th of December of this month (8 days ago).

Your face will be bloodied, swollen, scabby. I wouldn't recommend flying back home the same day - as a matter of fact - i wouldnt recommend flying back home after even 3 days after the procedure. However, if that is the only option you have, then you have no other choice. It will be *EXTREMELY* embarrassing to go out in public. People will be staring at you. I would recommend wearing one of those visors that covers your face (Dr Rullan sells it in his office). I wore that when I was driving back home after the procedure so no body would see my bloodied up face. My opinion would be to stay at a hotel for at least a couple of days, the more the better. All the scabs fell off my face by day 7. 

Yikes, I was definitely underestimating this procedure. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be changing my return flight! 

 

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Hi @leslie19,

I also did the procedure on 20th December and i flew back on the same day. It was seriously my worst nightmare flying back. My face was so bloodied and i had to pull down my mask to let the immigration officer verify etc. People keep staring wherever i went. And i also missed my flight cause the procedure took longer than expected. Be prepared to be there for at least 3 hours. I would highly not recommend flying back the same day. The next time i do the procedure, i will be flying out the next day instead.

 

Hope that helps!

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4 hours ago, long0036 said:

Hi @leslie19,

I also did the procedure on 20th December and i flew back on the same day. It was seriously my worst nightmare flying back. My face was so bloodied and i had to pull down my mask to let the immigration officer verify etc. People keep staring wherever i went. And i also missed my flight cause the procedure took longer than expected. Be prepared to be there for at least 3 hours. I would highly not recommend flying back the same day. The next time i do the procedure, i will be flying out the next day instead.

 

Hope that helps!

@long0036 thank you, it surely did help! I’ve arranged to stay in SD for a few more days after the treatment.

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On 12/28/2018 at 11:52 AM, leslie19 said:

Hi Uptown! So did you fly back home that same day after the procedure? I have an appointment with Dr. Rullan In February & I was planning on flying back home that same day but I feel like I’m underestimating how swollen and bruised I will be. 

Any updates on your progress btw? 

The next time I do this procedure, I will stay in San Diego for at least 6 days if I did cross so the scabs can fall off. Since I won't be doing cross, I'll probably still stay around 3 or 4 days. Flying back the next day was one of the most embarrassing moments of my adult life and I don't want to repeat it. Someone in this thread said people stared, but I felt the exact opposite. Literally everyone avoided eye contact.

 

It is around 18 days since my procedure and around 5 days since I stopped suctioning and my face is still red/bruised. I can see it going down with each day... but no seriously, there is still visible bruising which make all my scars very apparent as if they are current active acne. I've actually become a social recluse since I got my procedure to the point of just getting food delivered because I don't want to go out. My face hasn't looked this unpresentable in around 2 years tbh and I anticipate it might take another 10 days before the redness goes away. Luckily I work from home but damn, I hate hiding away. I didn't think subcision + suction would have this much of a down time on me

Edited by UptownOryx

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