Local anesthetic for Ultherapy?

I am considering ultherapy for laxity and jowels on my neck and lower face. I have heard it is painful. Do doctors typically offer a local anesthetic to help with the pain during treatment? I

Doctor Answers 7

Ultherapy comfort control

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At our office we use two medications to help with pain and to relax our patients.  Each office has it's own technique in handling the discomfort and may range from anesthetic injections, nerve blocks and topical agents.  We find that using medication provides relief and makes the procedure tolerable for our patients.  I would have a consultation with the doctor you are choosing to see what types of options they offer.  Thanks for your question.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Local Anesthetic for Ultherapy

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Hi,You are right that Ultherapy can be a bit uncomfortable for some patients.  We tailor the pre Ultherapy treatment to individually minimize any pain.  Often, we will use small amounts of dilute anesthetic over the most tender areas so that patients are comfortable and happy.
Warmly,Dr. Liu

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Anesthesia for Ultherapy

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While everybody has different pain tolerance, you are correct- Ultherapy may be quite uncomfortable, depending on the treatment area and the energy settings. While it is not possible to fully anesthetize the treatment area with local anesthetic injection since it will interfere with the treatment, regional blocks are quite efficient in reducing pain and making the procedure more comfortable. In my practice, I have started doing regional nerve blocks for Ultherapy a long time ago and I have noticed significantly improved patient comfort and tolerance.  I have had several patients who had Ultherapy done first without any anesthetic (just oral Ibuprofen) and with regional blocks later, and they report much less discomfort with the blocks. In addition, topical anesthetic may be effective in reducing pain in the treatment areas where a superficial (1.5mm) transducer is used.

Alexander Ovchinsky, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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Pain Management with Ultherapy

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Ultherapy bypasses the dermis and treats deeper structures so topical numbing is not necessary as it is ineffective.  Ultherapy can target three different depths: 4.5 mm, 3.0 mm and 1.5 mm below the surface of the skin.  If your clinician uses the transducer that treats the most superficial skin (1.5 mm) topical numbing may help.  In our practice, we use a Zimmer which is a cooling device that is very effective in pain management. We often offer an anti-anxiety medication as well. It is important to go to a practice that excels in Ulthera as the pain can also be technician dependent.  In our practice, our patients tolerate Ulthera procedures very well. Good Luck.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Ultherapy -- Safety and Side Effects

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Ultherapy shouldn't hurt much after treatment. During treatment using injectable numbing helps limit pain much more. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Ultherapy and Pain Control

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Topical anesthetic tends not to help with Ultherapy pain control due to Ultherapy's depth of treatment. We usually offer oral pain medication (or intramuscular Toradol) and an oral relaxing medication. Additionally, we use Zimmer cool air and/or cold packs. Talk to your Ultherapist regarding a pain control plan prior to treatment. It is well tolerated when pain control measures are used.

Anita Saluja, MD
Melbourne Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Is local anesthesia used for Ultherapy?

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While local anesthesia could be used for Ultherapy, I have never found this to be necessary for any patient I have treated.  There are different pain management techniques that can be used for the treatment though.  Some doctors may use nerve blocks, some may use topical anesthesia, and others may use oral medications.  Some combination of these may also be used.  I have found using topical anesthesia with oral medications of valium, motrin and hydrocodone works well.  One other reason that local anesthesia may not be recommended for Ultherapy is that the injection of the fluid can alter the thickness of the tissue and this could affect the depth of penetration of the ultrasound.  If the ultrasound does not reach the correct depth, it is possible it would be less effective.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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.