I had ultherapy a few days ago and had a nerve block for pain. I am wondering whether the lingering numbness in my neck and jaw/cheeks is caused by the ultherapy or by the nerve block. I would like to know if this is a reported side effect of ultherapy and how long it is likely to last.
Is Numbness a Side Effect of Ultherapy?
Doctor Answers 10
Does Ultherapy cause numbness?
With Ultherapy, ultrasound energy is concentrated approximately 3-4 mm below the skin surface to induce new collagen formation. Any structure that runs in this space can be effected by the treatment. The small cutaneous nerves run in this space and it is not unusual for them to be effected leaving temporary numbness. We have seen this with our patients and it resolved spontaneously in about 1 month.
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Temporary numbness has occurred with ulthera
The ultrasound can hit a small sensory nerve temporarily disrupting it's function - these are relatively uncommon and have resolved over the time of a few days to weeks in the cases I've heard about. As in surgery, nerves that get pulled or injured with electrocautery usually recover over a few weeks and at times longer (months). In the same manner, sensory nerves thought to trigger the onset of migraines can as well be irritated during treatment possibly causing the potential onset of a headache. Migraine patients should bring their meds just in case to their treatment.
Skinnumbness following Ulthera
The symptoms that you are experiencing are not from the nerve block. It is not uncommon in the period following Ulthera that you may experience transient numbness. In our practice we have not had any patients that had the symptoms persist for more than two weeks. Having had the procedure myself, I had a single area on my forehead that did affect the sensory nerve over a small portion and it was about 10 days before it resolved.
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Do you need nerve blocks for Ultherapy ? N.O. or NO
I like treatment without a block because if the patient has sensations of too much pain or tingling over an area that I am treating, I stop and reduce the energy level or use transducers that are less deep (1.5 mm versus 3 and 4.5 mm). This prevents unnecessary and avoidable injury to things like the marginal mandibular nerve near the jaw treatment lines.
Numbness as a side effect for Ulthera
There is possibly a side effect of numbness following an Ulthera procedure, however the percentage is very low. If this was a side effect from Ulthera for you, the effects should subside before 3 weeks.
Ultherapy and Numbness
Without knowing exactly where the nerve block was done, it is difficult to determine whether the numbness is from the Ulthera or the nerve block. There can be some temporary numbness and tingling associated with Ulthera, however all incidences have been temporary - usually lasting a couple of days up to a couple weeks.
Ultherapy and temporary numbness
Ultherapy is ultrasound which goes to a depth of 1.5-4.5 mm. This energy may also hit cutaneous nerves and cause temporary numbness. This is normal and will resolve.This should return to normal in about a week or less.
Numbness and Ultherapy
Cases of numbness of which I've heard have all been transient for a few days to weeks and have resolved by themselves. The fine nerve endings may respond to the ultrasound heat from Ultherapy by not conducting their normal impulses until they heal. See your doctor discuss your situation.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.