Trying Not to Age Gracefully - Greenville, NC

I've been researching Ultherapy for some time,...

I've been researching Ultherapy for some time, intrigued by the "one and done" technology that won't commit me to a series of treatments. With 4 kids, my schedule varies in accordance to their activities, not the other way around. I'm 35, a SAHM, and budgeting my nickels and dimes means I finally have a chance to do something about the early signs of aging that I've noted in the last year. I don't have any wrinkles, but I'm genetically predisposed to "bulldog" jowls, and I'm just starting to see the first signs of a southern migration across my face and neck.

I found a list of local providers through the Ultherapy website and settled on a practice that is a little more than an hour from my home. The woman was very nice, informative, knew of this website (which was great since I was able to point out specific photos to illustrate a few concerns), and came across as knowing more about the procedure than any else I had spoke to.

The cost is going to be 2900 for full face and neck. That includes THREE passes at THREE different depths, AND it includes the mouth (around the eyes and mouth, I think she only does one or two passes at a single depth since those areas have less skin, but I'm not certain). I found this price in line with what I'd been quoted from other providers for two passes, and without the mouth (which is usually 300 dollars more). I had been considering a local practice that was running a special for 300 dollars off, making the procedure 2600- then I found out that it doesn't include the mouth area, and it's two passes with about 300 lines total... not a terribly great value.

So I've booked my appointment, and I'm anxious already. I have Tramadol on hand, used occasionally for arthritis, but I'm still nervous about the pain. I'm not a masochist, but I can't take Oxy (allergy), and Hydrocodone makes me itch like crazy. I hate to say that because I gave birth (multiple times), I'm in any way ready to the pain... I didn't give birth through the pores in my face... but I'd like to think that if I can tough out multiple days of labor, I can keep myself together for this hour long procedure.

I'll update with my results, maybe some before and after photos... I'm no beauty and the camera hates me, so I hesitate to use myself as an example! But you can count on a very honest opinion of my experience.

UPDATE! I had Ulthera this morning. I opted for...

UPDATE! I had Ulthera this morning. I opted for full face which included eyes, mouth and neck area (under the chin). The procedure was done at three different depths (as opposed to a two stage or single stage pass). None of the passes are superficial, so there's still no "downtime" or surface evidence of the procedure. I had a total of just over 900 lines.

Pain- Before my appointment, I took one Tramadol (just a Rx strength NSAID, non-narcotic and probably as effective as 800mgs of Advil) and one Dramamine (purchased at any drug store, used for motion sickness). Dramamine was 50mgs of the original formula. I was good to go, relaxed but not sleepy, fully lucid and alert. I probably could have managed through with nothing, but I certainly suggest at least 800mgs of Advil at the least (if you're doing the whole face). I had no other medication, shots, or numbing cream.

The feeling of like a very small, thin hot needle poking the skin, but honestly, it's not with every line, and the majority of the time, I didn't feel much at all. The painful areas were around the eyes, where the skin is thinner, the area closest to the ear, and the area closest to the neck line, under the chin. Jen was fantastic and counted down the lines for me so I had a sense of how long the "tough" spots were going to take. She started with the deepest layer first, which I think numbed the skin a bit because the second two passes weren't actually painful for the most part. At the very worst, the pain was maybe 4 out of 10, and that was for a very short time (around the eyes). And I had no lingering pain, so essentially, once an area is done, that's it- I haven't even bothered to take any pain meds since before the appointment.

My chin area, which she spent the most time on, is sore, and a bit numb, but nothing that'll keep me from sleeping. It's also a bit swollen. The rest of my face looks just fine, feels fine, not even a hint of redness.

I didn't have a "wow" moment after it was over. I went into the appointment with no wrinkles, just a general feeling of "blah" about the laxticity in my skin and little things that only I've noticed over the last year or two. This is really more preventative than correction since women in my family develop the Droopy Dog jowls after 40. I can't fight genetics, but maybe I can hold them off a bit longer. Personally, I feel better knowing I did it, and I have real expectations about the outcome. Since I'm still carded for alcohol, I don't expect to look younger, just refreshed a bit.

Jen took some photos and I'm going to be adding my own in a day or two. Overall, the experience wasn't NEARLY AS BAD as I was expecting, I mean seriously....I was about to mess myself when I first walked in! When it was over, I hopped in the car, grabbed some lunch and drove home, did some dishes and laundry and if my chin wasn't sore, I wouldn't know I did anything at all.

I'm still leaving my rating undecided since I just had it done.

Update June 23rd It's been a few weeks since my...

Update June 23rd

It's been a few weeks since my ultherapy treatment and I want to update everyone on my experience.

The first week was tough. I had some soreness in the area where a lot of "energy" was put down- under my chin where there was some asymmetry prior to the treatment. I'd noticed it in photos, and it honestly did bother me, so that was an important area to address. The first week, I had a decent amount of swelling, so I didn't notice an improvement right away. Now, there's definitely improvement, in fact, I'd say there's no longer an asymmetry which is fantastic! On the downside, within the first week, my complexion went nuts. My skin became really dry, and I noticed several areas of what appeared to be cystic type acne. There was some flaking, peeling, and the spots were pretty painful. I think now that perhaps it wasn't cystic acne but areas where the laser didn't penetrate very deep and the tissue was reacting on a more superficial level giving the appearance of nodules. This wasn't a big deal, there isn't any scarring, and as long as you know what you're looking at, you can treat it more effectively than I did. I should have avoided drying agents and simply applied ointment like neosporin. I think I made it worse by putting things like sulfur-based acne meds on the area which did nothing but dry the areas out even further. Just a heads up in case someone else experiences these. Now, the spots are all gone and the skin that was revealed as the old skin flaked away is clear and lovely.

I've noticed some tightening but not a ton. I wasn't expecting a lot, and I'm happy with what I've seen so far. The area under my chin is still a bit numb, but I don't really notice it and I know it'll go away in time, so I'm not concerned.

I've been wrapping my head with gauze, like you see done following a face lift, just when I'm puttering around the house. I don't know if it's doing anything, but I've noticed quite a reduction in the area under my chin and the in the width of my face since I started doing that so I see no reason not to do it...plus it keep my ear buds in for my ipod when I'm cleaning and bending over so why not.

Aside from the complexion flare up and some dry skin, I can't say there have been any other side effects- and those two were gone completely by the end of the second week.

As an aside, I'd suggest, if you're a woman having this done, don't do it around the time of your period. I think the natural fluctuation of hormones during menses might aggravate preexisting skin issues and delay healing. I'd do it around the middle of your cycle to give you a good week of healing before progesterone (et al) surges/drops off... since most of us notice our skin acting up around that time anyway, I think it's simply best to wait an extra week or two so those issues don't cause any problems.

Again, I love the place where I had it done and I'd do it again. My skin looks fresh and I'm thrilled that the pocket of turkey fat that I had to the left side of my chin is gone. If I see no more improvement aside from that, I'll still be a happy camper. I think I still have a bit of healing to do and I think I am still a little swollen, but I had three passes as different depths, so that's expected. The face is very vascular and although surface injuries tend to heal quickly because of the natural rapid sluffing of skin, injuries to the deeper tissues take a lot more time to heal. Be prepared, it's not overnight, it's a 6 month commitment to the healing process, but at least superficially, the skin looks great in the meantime and you're not messing with lift scars.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. These are burns under the skin, and by nature, they're going to pull moisture from surrounding tissues. That's what burns do- and although you can't see them, or feel them, they still need lots of water to heal (and create that new collagen!) . The more water you drink, the better you'll heal, the better your skin will look and the happier your deep tissues will be! I'll update in another few weeks and hopefully post some before/after photos that the clinic took (I'm sure theirs will be better than my crappy camera phone photos).
New Visage in Morehead City

I went to New Visage in Morehead City, North Carolina and saw Jen for my Ulthera treatment. I love this place! It's relaxing, clean but not clinical or cold, and everyone is friendly and welcoming. My wait was almost nothing and Jen took tons of time explaining everything to me before and during the procedure. Although 2900 may sound high but what you get for 2900 is FAR superior to what other offices are charging 2600 for. I'd rather pony up the extra 300 bucks and walk out with exactly what I want than cut corners and end up unhappy and 2600 dollars wasted.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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