“Does it hurt?”
This is a question my fellow plastic surgeons and I often hear from Ultherapy patients at our Albany practice.
Anxiety is a deciding factor for many people who would like to have plastic surgery or non-surgical rejuvenation. Men and women often avoid or delay treatment because they’re worried it will be too expensive or not effective enough, or that others will judge them. However, one of the leading fears experienced by plastic surgery patients is the fear of pain and discomfort.
You might be surprised to learn that the conversation around pain and discomfort isn’t any less common during consultations for non-surgical treatments, such as Ultherapy, compared with those for surgical procedures. That’s because some discomfort is expected after any kind of surgery, cosmetic or not. But with non-surgical treatments, expectations are not always so clear, so the question of discomfort is often among the first to come up.
Here’s what you can expect from Ultherapy:
What is it?
As we age, collagen production diminishes and the quality of our new collagen starts to decrease. This results in lax, sagging, and wrinkled skin. Genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors all play a role in how early and how fast this happens. In recent years, scientists have developed exciting new technology to help protect and promote collagen production, including Ultherapy.
Ultherapy uses FDA-approved ultrasound energy technology to lift, tighten, and tone the skin on the face, neck, and décolletage without surgery or downtime. When you read that, you might get the impression that there is no discomfort involved, but that isn’t always the case. Just because a treatment is non-surgical doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of achieving significant change in the way your body looks and feels. And when your body is undergoing change, some discomfort is normal.
What does it feel like?
Before the Ultherapy treatment, the skin is cleansed and covered with an ultrasound gel. This gel may feel cool on your skin. Then, the technician will use the Ultherapy handpiece to deliver energy to the targeted areas. While the energy is being delivered, many patients describe feeling a deep and pulsing vibration. Others experience an intense warming sensation. Some describe the sensation as tiny shocks.
The level of discomfort is different for everyone, with most finding the experience tolerable and some experiencing moderate pain. We suggest our patients take 600 to 800 mg of MOTRIN® about 1 hour before the treatment. Depending on the area needing treatment, an Ultherapy session typically lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.
What is the recovery like?
Although no downtime is required after Ulterhapy, you may experience some redness, mild swelling, tingling, or sensitivity for a few days. It’s not uncommon for some patients to notice numbness and mild bruising.
If you are considering Ultherapy or another cosmetic procedure, keep in mind that feelings of nervousness aren’t always negative. If you didn’t have them, you might not exercise as much caution when making big decisions that could affect your health and well-being, such as choosing a qualified surgeon or a procedure that is right for you. To learn more about this treatment, I invite you to contact my office online.