I have a couple of friends of mine, both male, who have undergone treatment with Ulthera. Both of these gentlemen were very pleased with their results however both men have very high pain tolerance and they both said it was very painful. I DO NOT have a high pain tolorance so I was wondering if it is at all possible to have Ulthera with either general or twilight anesthesia? Is that even possible? or does the patient need to be awake for this procedure?
Can Ulthera Be Done Under General or Twilight Anesthesia?
Doctor Answers 7
Can Ulthera be done under anesthesia?
Having had the procedure done myself without any anesthesia/analgesia, I would agree that Ultherapy is uncomfortable. Currently, we use local anesthetic or oral sedation and have found that this is adequate for all of our patients. Because it is possible to obtain adequate pain control in this procedure with either of these methods, I would not recommend general or twilight anesthesia.
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Ulthera under General or Twilight Anesthesia
Although any procedure can be done under twilight or general anesthesia, good pain control can be achieved with local anesthesia. Anesthesia has become very safe, however it is still associated with risks. Since patients will feel very little of the treatment with local anesthesia, doing this procedure with twilight or general anesthesia wouldn't be worth the associated risks. Talk to your physician about what measures they take for pain control.
Twilight Anesthesia and Ulthera
Although I perform most of my Ulthera treatments with only oral medications, we have treated a few patients under twilight anesthesia and under these circumstances the patient will feel no pain whatsoever!
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Ultherapy can be managed well with oral medication but rarely sedation is given
There are very few cases, but they do exist, where individuals who know their pain tolerance, or lack of tolerance, request sedation for Ultheapy. This can be done, and we have a board-certified anesthesiologist in our accredited office-based surgical practice to administer sedation after they review your medical history. Treatment must be tailored to each individual's needs.
Pain free Ultherapy
Our usual protocol is to give patients 2 Extra Strength Tylenol tablets and patients do absolutely fine with this method. I do get an occasional request for having it done under sedation, and we do offer twilight anesthesia in our office at an additional cost. All patients have different thresholds to pain tolerance, and knowing your own is helpful.
Sedation for Ulthera optional
Ultherapy works by focusing bursts of ultrasound energy into the layers under the skin, where it creates very short pulses of heat. The heat is what stimulates the collagen to regenerate, and if it doesn't hit a certain peak temperature - even for a microsecond - then the effect isn't as good. This means that there is some discomfort with it, and pain tolerance is of course variable. (It won't hurt afterward, just very briefly with each pulse.) Most of our patients do fine without sedation or anesthesia, but some request a pill to make it easier.
Pain Control while Undergoing Ulthera
In my opinion for any full face/neck Ulthera treatment my patients all benefit from some type of pain control and relaxation medication given before the treatment (Vicodin and Valium). In addition while some may be able to get by with just oral pain medication I find that most like the fact that they feel nothing during if they undergo simultaneous local injection anesthesia. Ulthera can be performed under general anesthesia or twilight for that matter as this will not affect the result. but I typically do not recommend it because of the added expense and I feel that local anesthesia and oral pain control and valium relaxation are plenty.