Ultherapy Log - 3 Mnths Later, Not Sure - Toronto, ON
I'm planning to keep a log of the healing progress...
DAY 1 DETAILS:
***IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to alert other users that I had this on the first day of my menstrual period. The nurse said this may explain the extreme pain I felt. I would not recommend booking during your period!***
Shortly after arriving, I was given 4 pain pills--I think 2 were Tylenol and 2 were Advil (I can't remember the brands; they were over-the-counter pills, anyway). I thought this would be fine, since I generally have high pain tolerance, and I had Ultherapy (at another clinic) before and was able to tolerate it well. 15 minutes later, she put some skin numbing cream on my face; my impression was that this somehow put my skin in hyper-sensitive mode. About 15 minutes later, she started the Ultherapy procedure.
DURING: On the first zap, which was under my chin, WOW--EXTREME pain!!! I just about went into shock. She tried two more zaps and it knocked the air out of me. I was grunting so hard, she stopped and asked if I wanted her to get a Percocet. I said yes. She gave me the Percocet and we waited for 15-20 minutes for it take effect. Then she resumed the procedure.
I was still in extreme pain. I was in awe not just because of the sharpness of the pain, but also because in the past I've always tolerated pain very well. The nurse bravely continued with the treatment. I grunted, moaned, huffed, scrunched my face throughout. Each zap felt like extreme energy popping my tissue. For some reason, above my jaw was where it hurt least. Under my jaw and on my lower cheeks, where I have the fattiest tissue, it was excruciating--the opposite of what I've generally read about the most painful areas. Above my brow, the zapping pain seemed to vibrate through the bone, sometimes with electrified "shooting" through the top of my head. I really wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the entire procedure. I kept looking up at the Ulthera screen, through the first pass (at 4.5 depth) and the second pass (3 depth). I was sure the poor nurse wanted to slap me out, but she continued with the treatment and asked if I needed breaks. I was pretty delirious from the pain and also all the medication.
AFTERWARD: I was very relieved when it was done. When I got home, I noticed I had one set of raised welts on the right cheek, like a hot fork had been pressed on it. I also had a burned-looking area above the right brow. Later that evening, I noticed that my lower cheeks had swollen quite a bit, and I had a lot of tenderness.
DAY 2 DETAILS:
Lower cheeks are quite swollen. (It looks pretty funny, like a moderate case of mumps, although my husband doesn't seem to have noticed anything.) The nurse did tell me that I could expect some swelling, so I'm not surprised. There is a lot of tenderness. It feels very funny to touch the skin; it's a bizarre feeling of a buzzy inflammation. The raised welts to the right of my lips seem to have mostly subsided. There is a "waviness" to the surface generally.
COMPARISON TO FIRST PROCEDURE (2 YEARS AGO): Last time I did Ultherapy, which was at another clinic, I'm sure the doctor didn't do nearly this many passes. He also didn't seem to be marking the passes on the monitor, like the nurse did this time; he just seemed to be circling areas on a printed sheet, and I didn't have the impression he was counting. It was painful the first time, but not nearly as painful as this second time. I didn't have much swelling the first time, and no welts. It did seem to have a good lifting effect over the 8 months that followed, although I started to notice a "sinking" of my mid-face after that, and rapid hollowing of the areas under my eyes, although I believe this was happening due to my age. (I'm now 43.) I believe my jaw area remained somewhat tighter than it would have been if I had never had Ultherapy.
I will keep yo posted on the results of this second round of Ultherapy in the coming weeks and months, and may add a photo of the jaw area only.
DAY 3: Still Swollen after Ultherapy, but Better
HEALING: Today I woke up with slightly less tingly-numb-prickly feeling, but it's still lingering. The swelling has gone down somewhat. Most of the swelling is in my lower cheeks and under my chin. It looks and feels like I just had my wisdom teeth removed, but it's better than yesterday. :) The little surface-burned patch on my forehead above my right eyebrow has scabbed over; not noticeable. The welted area on my right cheek has also mostly subsided. Definitely looks like things are returning to normal.
EFFECTS: I certainly don't think I'll be able to comment on effects for several months. Right now I look the same, except with puffed lower cheeks. Consistent with the literature on this, I probably won't see a change before at least 3 months.
DAY 4: Bruising, Still Swollen, but Seems Okay
DAY 6: Bruising and Swelling Continuing to Decrease
DAY 9: Bruising Gone, Swelling Mostly Gone, Sensitivity Continues
TWO WEEKS AFTER ULTHERAPY
ALMOST 3 WEEKS AFTER ULTHERAPY
ALMOST ONE MONTH AFTER ULTHERAPY
There is no change to my skin's tightness so far, but it's only been a month. Quite a few people have said I look very drawn and tired, and even more ask if I've lost weight. I'm trying not to run away with negative thoughts, but some days it looks like I've got less fat on my face, and I do look very tired all the time. I hope there's no fat atrophy going on. (If this were to happen, when would it happen? Immediately? Over weeks, months? Longer?) It could be a coincidence (and maybe I did lose 5 pounds or so in recent months). I'll report back as more time passes.
3 Months Later - Still Not Sure