Atrophy and Neuralgia after My IPL and Radiofrequency Treatment in Palm Harbor, FL

I received a fotofacial using Syneron’s EMAX Machine (part of the Triniti treatment series) with their ELOS technology – bipolar radiofrequency and IPL aka intense pulsed light. After the treatment, I believe I experienced the following based upon my doctors charts from examining me, and journal explanations:

  • Facial fat loss on the areas damaged by the treatment.
  • Dermal atrophy (fat atrophy)
  • Thermal damage
  • Crepey skin
  • Nerve damage to the ocular and facial area (trigeminal neuralgia type of pain).
  • Orbital fat prolapse
  • Suspected muscle damage to the eye and eye area

These are all words dermatologists and plastic surgeons have used to describe the changes they have seen in my skin and in regards to my eye.  The cause is attributed to overtreatment (too much energy) from the radiofrequency from the treatment and radiofrequency used too close to the eye area.  It is 8 months after my treatment and currently these adverse affects apper to be irreversible as they have not improved.

I addition, I experienced (and still have) the following unrelenting eye symptoms.

  • Discomfort
  • Eye pain
  • Pain with eye movements
  • Tightness over the eye area
  • Increased pain with driving, walking around outside, or any distance vision use
  • Dry eye
  • Eye that fatigue quickly with use
  • Blurry spots in my vision

These symptoms have significantly affected the quality of my life and have not subsided as I had hoped.  They happened subsequent to receiving one treatment performed by a PA in Palm Harbor, FL. These symptoms did not occur before my treatment.

Look at the before and after photos along with the documentation and determine your own opinion on the technology, treatment and possible side effects.  Read the section on lawsuits that are happening due to patient damages from laser or light based treatments.  This can happen to you.

If you are planning on having treatment, research who will be treating you.  I suggest going with a doctor – a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, that has performed many treatments – as suggested in many of the articles.  No laser or light based cosmetic treatment is without risk and you can experience permanent damage from these treatments.


21 thoughts on “Atrophy and Neuralgia after My IPL and Radiofrequency Treatment in Palm Harbor, FL

  1. Thank you so much! I was going to have this procedure but after reading your experience, there is no way I’m going thru with it. I’m not in FL, but when I went for my consult in my state, they didn’t tell me any of this could happen. They said the worst thing that could happen is I wouldn’t see any changes and possibly have to repeat the procedure. There is no way I’m risking it.

  2. Thank you for writing about this very dangerous procedure. The company who makes the equipment and the people who use it should be held accountable.

    John Dallinger

  3. Yes, I see it completely!! A picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you for taking the time to create this site and warn others. I truly hope you find a total resolution!! Hopefully, others will heed your information and consider the risk to benefit.

  4. I agree with Michelle, ALL possible complications should be listed on the consent form. I too was damaged by a light procedure. There was NO mention of fat loss on the consent. NO mention of potential eye damage on the consent. The general public is being duped into thinking these devices are harmless, when in reality, they can be very dangerous. The public is being scammed. I hope that someday the dangers will be common knowledge, just like when it came out that smoking causes lung cancer.

  5. From reading your website information and others like Real Self and the Laser Support Group, bad results can happen and the lasers are far from an exact science as no one is really monitoring or studying the output they really put out. Doctors seem reluctant to report bad results due to accountability so the situation may not get better. Spa owners are not usually doctors they cannot even report the results so many injuries do not get reported period and few patients know they can report them.
    The pictures speak volumes. I’m sorry your eyes were harmed and that they treated so close to your eyes. The safety of these machines (this one in particular with the dual output of RF and IPL) in the eye area has not been determined so injuries can happen.

  6. I would like to thank to you for that professional guidance at your site. We are looking forward to the start of my school research and the overall preparation would never have been complete without consulting your website.

    • I’ve treid many creams and moisturized recommended by doctors but they haven’t helped. I’ve mostly been told to baby my skin and stay out of the sun.

      The doctors currently acknowledge that my skin and underlying fat has been compromised and at this point, will not improve. They suggest not doing any more lasers – which would create more damage. One suggested hyperbaric oxygen – which I did do recently and wish I had known about it earlier on when it could have helped. It was pricey and I did not see improvement in my skin or get improvement with my eye pain.

      The only option for the skin cosmetically is fat grafting which is very risky around the eyes, and long-term, could become lumpy. It is an option frought with complication potential. I have been told that since the skin is so thin under my eyes now that fillers will make it look even more blue and icky and would not be a great option. So at nearly 10 months out, it appears I will not see any improvement with my skin or my eye pain. Once a year hits and there is no improvement, I will consider what to do in general. For any legal actions, I have two years from the date of injury to file. Lawyers consider the damage permanent if it exists one year after the injury. Most plastic surgeons want you to wait a year before they will do anything as well. Have you received help?

  7. You are a woman of integrity and courage to post this site and photos. From an injured and fearful state, that any human would feel in your shoes, you found the courage to do the right thing; to share your story and protect the public. Doctors and Med spas who do Lasers on the other hand, scurry like cowards at the first sign they have damaged a patient. Not only an insult to the patient who ends up abandoned, but where is the responsibility of the medical community to PROTECT THE PUBLIC? If they won’t acknowledge damage in their patients, how can they learn from their mistakes or re-examine the technology’s safety and efficacy to ensure they don’t repeat the damage to the next patient? The continued false advertising and the secretive covering up, is of Gary Sandusky proportions. As is the ongoing damage done to the lives of the innocent people who trusted the plastics, cosmetic derm, and laser industries.

    A board certified dermatologist, and laser “expert” trained by, and colleague of, “world renowned” Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, self proclaimed Laser “pioneer”, mutilated my once healthy, beautiful face. So be careful with the idea that “finding the right doctor” will protect you. Lasers are dangerous and unpredictable. Because no long term studies have been done to ascertain safety and efficacy, they have no idea what to do to help you when your face begins down the path of progressive cellular death, otherwise known as cellular apoptosis and permanent DNA damage. Watching your face die before your eyes and age at ten times the rate of normal aging, is a cruel path to walk.

  8. For anyone who reads this and thinks this “type” of laser might be bad but others are different…..All types of lasers have these risks. Not just Radiofrequency. Docs may tell you, “well, that was the “old” version, this new and improved version is different”….Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. LASERS of all kinds are not regulated, and cause the same types of damage (perhaps to varying degrees, or dependent on laser malfunction, or settings too high?). Bottom line: fat melts when heat is applied. Not rocket science. If you don’t believe it, go put some dense animal fat in a skillet; even on the lowest setting, it liquifies.

  9. I went to Prevea Plastic Surgeons in Green Bay, Wisconsin and had fraxel for a slight case of malasma on my cheeks, and my face and my life have been destoyed since. That was on November 21st 2011. They did not want to treat me after they ruined my face, nor did they help me, instead they were rude and uncaring. I died that day and have not really been living since. I ‘am on anti-depressant medication now, and went through counseling, but when I look in the mirror I just want to die. I hope someone would come up with something to help us all, or a lawyer would have enough guts to represent us in a class action law suit. It’s all about the money, and no one seems to care. God Bless you all for helping all us get through another day. Thank you, Julie Hermann

  10. So you had both done at the same time? How do you know if the damage was done by ipl or Radiofrequency? I doubt it was done by Radiofrequency…

    • Radiofrequency has a history of fat loss and damage when used at higher settings. IPL has a history of second degree burns when used at higher settings. The physicians believe it was the radiofrequency that caused the atrophy since it penetrates more deeply that IPL and has a proven record of damage when used on thinner skin at higher settings – hence why the directions say to turn down the radiofrequency when over areas of thinner skin or bony prominences.

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