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05/19/2012 10:08 AM

My CO2 Laser experience at the HS Institute

indianamom
indianamomPosts: 35
Member

Hello,

I wanted to let you all know I had the co2 laser at the hs institute on Thursday and it went very well! I thought I'd explain a bit about my experience for those of you who are interested in it.

Okay....so I got to the office around 830 in the morning. I went back to the procedure room and put a gown on. I was able to keep my pants on since I was getting the laser on my arm only. The nurse came in and put a numbing cream on, and then left that to work for a few minutes. The cream was wiped off and then my under arm was cleaned. Dr. Hazen started around 930 and put in lots of lidocaine injections to numb the area. My hubby stayed in the room too, but he just had to wear protective eye wear like the rest of us to protect from the laser.

The procedure lasted about 3 hours for me, but time seemed to go by fast. Dr. Hazen is a talker, so we just made conversation, which really eased my nerves and made me forget about what was going on. Haha! He stopped about half way through and took a 5 minute break to rest and let me stretch my arm, since it was falling asleep. Dr. Hazen explained at the beginning that he needed me to let him know if I was having pain, since the lidocaine could get trapped in the scar tissue and not distribute appropriately. This happened a few times and as soon as I said something, he would numb it right up. Generally, the procedure itself was not painful With the exception of those few moments. Dr. Hazen really tries to make you feel as comfortable and pain free as possible. Honestly, the worst part of the surgery was not being able to pee...I shouldn't of had any orange juice before going in. Lol.

Once Dr. Hazen tested the edges for the last time and determined that there were no more tunnels to laser, I was able to get the dressing on. My hubby watched as the nurses did the dressing, so he would be able to do it at home. First they put on some polysporin and spread it around. Then, I needed 3 vigilon dressings, which is the doctor's dressing of choice to soothe the wound bed. Next they put the telfa dressings down and lastly abd pads before securing with tape.

The wound bed is approx 15x13.5 under the right arm. It is such an awkward place to have a dressing and within 4 hours, that first dressing fell off. My hubby put a new dressing on and it seemed to be falling off for the rest of that first night. Lol. Friday morning dr. Hazen wanted to see me before we drove back home, just to see how it was looking. We worked with the nurses to find a way to secure the dressing better by using a Coban wrap around the dressing...this has worked pretty good so far.

Dr. Hazen gave me a script for Percocet, which is working well for the pain. I'll be honest...Thursday night in the hotel,I was crying quite a bit when the meds were wearing off...or maybe it was just the emotions of it all? I dont know...but I was glad that we didn't go back home that night, because I didn't want my 17 month old to see his mommy like that. Sad

Now I am back home and it's been 2 days since the surgery. My hubby is doing the dressing changes well and i slept well in my own bed last night. It is such a relief to be done with the first surgery! Dr. Hazen has kept me on rifampin and Clindomycin orally and using the panoxyl on my other HS areas.

Costs- I paid 1200 when I scheduled the surgery and I paid 1200 on surgery day. I'm not sure if different body areas have different prices, but the underarm area is 2400. You need to pay 50% when scheduling surgery. I contacted my insurance company before scheduling the surgery, just so I would know that my insurance would reimburse me. So, although I needed the money upfront, my insurance company is paying me back 100%. The next surgery will be under my left arm, and I'm still waiting for a price quote for that. They did say the next surgery wouldnt be nearly as much, phew! The viligon dressing is about 40 dollars for 10 4x4 dressings...so, that has been pretty pricey, as I need 3 per dressing change. The other supplies aren't nearly as much. Dr. Hazen gave me a script for the wound care supplies, but I still need to find out if my insurance will cover it or not.

Westlake is such a nice area for any of you out-of-towners....the derm clinic has a discount with the holiday inn which is about 2 miles down the street from the office. The discounted price is 89 a night, but I think my hubby and I will stay somewhere else next time...we didn't really like it. Lol. There is a lot of shopping and restaurants right in the area, and even right after surgery, i still managed to shop and go to the cheesecake factory. I'm never in too much pain for retail therapy and cheesecake. Hahaha.

Dr. Hazen gave me his email address, so instead of going back next week and then a month, I just have to send him some photos, which is a big help. I haven't scheduled the next surgery yet, but they are still scheduling into September at this point.

Sooooooo....I'm sorry this is long, but I know I'd want to hear a descriptive experience if I was thinking about getting this done. I will post my before and after photos as soon as I figure it out. Lol Let me know if any of you have any questions or if something doesn't make sense. I just typed this quick on the iPad, so I apologize if there are errors...I need to get that predictive text off of it. Lol

Have a good day everyone!!!

Stacy

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05/19/2012 11:56 AM
auburtica
Posts: 12
New Member

Wow, congratulations on having the surgery, I hope your healing time is short and painless! Many thanks for posting all the details, they are much appreciated. No questions right now from me, just rest well and think positive thoughts.

All the best,

RT


05/19/2012 02:59 PM
indianamom
indianamomPosts: 35
Member

Thanks so much, RT.If you have any questions at all feel free to ask. I just posted a pic of my arm right before surgery and then another of my arm yesterday, 1 day after the co2 if you would like to take a look. It is a bit graphic, but I'd like to share as much as possible to those who are interested. SmileIt is posted in the photos under my profile. Smile

05/22/2012 01:22 PM
CanFizzle
CanFizzle  
Posts: 1483
Group Leader

Stacy: that is the best description summary I have ever read! Laughing I do not have any questions either (at this point) but I am so grateful that you described the process in such depth- so that others, as well as myself, can weigh out the pro's and con's of being able to have surgery on our HS. I think that it was a great choice (by either you or Dr. Hazen) to only perform one surgery at a time. I cannot imagine the pain & discomfort of trying to heal both armpits & changing multiple bandages a day. Your husband deserves a cookie for being such a great helper! Tongue

I think that you & Melissa (doves) have both had great experiences with Dr. Hazen at the HS Institute and I am so pleased to hear that he has such great bedside manners & is able to work with those of us who would be traveling from out of town (like sending pics of your recovery, etc.) Melissa's husband had a larger area operated on, so I think his healing process will take longer, but regardless with the pictures that she has updated- it looks so much better than it did!

I would have to look into which area that I would want operated on first because I have three areas and each will be as equally painful: both sides of the groin & my buttocks...ugh.

I love that you even described the hotel discount & the pre-payment plan of the surgery because these were all details that the HS Institute had briefly mentioned, but I was not certain about everything. I do recall discussing the issue of the pre-payment & being reimbused by my insurance company & that they will even help you fight the insurance companies to find the "loop holes" that consider this a necessary surgery, vs. an "elective surgery" which most insurance companies classify this particular procedure.

Thanks so much for sharing & I pray you the best for your recovery: quick & painless! Kissing <3 Candace


05/24/2012 10:52 AM
mem5264

Hi Stacy was wondering how you are doing 1 week out? hugs Clarence says it gets easier as it heals...

05/24/2012 11:53 AM
CanFizzle
CanFizzle  
Posts: 1483
Group Leader

Yeah! I knew Melissa would chime in sooner or later. It makes me feel better to have someone else who has seen the surgery first-hand to be the guidance for the other. I am a little blind & naive in the surgery department. Blush <3 Candace

05/25/2012 05:33 PM
mem5264

Yeah im here Clarence and i been painting these kitchen cabinets & doors 4 more doors to paint then we can start to polyurethane them next tues till that part is done. Its suppose to be in the 90s all this weekend so ill be inside working on the cabinets almost done there. Wish we could of afforded all new ones but money is too tight. Its cutting into my FB time too LOL. I have a picture from last wed i took but waiting on new cord to upload. I accidently left mine hanging off laptop and one of my pet rats got hungry while free ranging and decided it wanted cord for snack

05/25/2012 07:13 PM
indianamom
indianamomPosts: 35
Member

I am doing great, Melissa! I sent a pic to Dr. H yesterday and he said all the char is gone and healthy new granulation tissue is forming. I'll post the pic soon for you all to see. I really have not had any pain since the second day after the surgery...it's just a pain to keep the dressing in place since it is my underarm area. I've been using every kind of tape under the sun and have been getting creative with ace wraps, but it still doesn't stay in place. Grrrr.

Candace- my greatest advice to you if you do get the surgery after your little one is born, is to make sure you have someone to help with your kiddo for the first few days. Since my surgery was on my arm, I am still having a difficult time with getting my son in and out of the crib. I wish I would've known about this procedure before having a baby!


05/26/2012 08:26 AM
oregonnative
oregonnative  
Posts: 5779
Group Leader

Stacy, I am tickled pea green that you are dong so well!! Smile

I second Candace's thoughts on what a great summary you wrote. It answered any questions I would have and more.

LOL, but the 2 things that stood out to me were that I had better not drink much right before, and that I would feel like having cheesecake right after! Laughing

oxox Karen


05/26/2012 07:08 PM
mem5264

what about that tape they use when you donate blood its pretty flexible and can be wrapped not sure what it is called though. camera cord should be here tues so i will be able to post pics. it will be almost 2 months since second surgery and 4 months for 1st surgery for Clarence. Hes hoping Dr Hazen gets a cancellation in June so he can cancel the july 11 LOL he just remembered his birthday is at the end and doesnt want to suffer to much LOL....
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