Lidocaine, does it lessen the effects?

Hi, I want to have a third Ultherpy treatment but I need lidocaine shots to get through it. I've since heard the shots lesson the effectiveness of the treatment. Since it's so expensive, I want the most bang for my buck. Do the shots really make the treatment less effective? Thanks. And yes, I tried it with just the oral pain meds and that didn't work for me.

Doctor Answers 8

I have used local anesthetic to lessen Ultherapy pain in my NYC practice with good results

This is not a question that can be answered with one answer.  
It depends on how much local anesthetic is used and if the tissues are very swollen during the treatment vs. a small amount of anesthetic that doesn't change the thickness (temporarily) of the skin and soft tissues. On the other hand, making the area numb and allowing the patient to have a more thorough treatment can create a better result.  If the tissues are temporarily more swollen from the anesthetic (if local injections in the treated area are done compared with regional blocks done away from the exact site) the doctor may be able to provide treatment with all transducers including the 4.5mm deepest.  I have been able to accomplish this on the forehead and have had some excellent results of forehead lifting, whereas, without the local anesthetic filling out the forehead, the 4.5mm transducer is too deep as the forehead bone is closer to the skin's surface compared to the cheek and its underlying structures. This is an off-label use of the device and your physician should discuss it with you thoroughly. Also this changes a procedure that is thought not to have down time with a treatment that can have bruising and swelling afterwards from the injections.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Lidocaine, does it lessen the effects?

Lidocaine injections should not affect the results of the Ultherapy treatment, especially in the small doses given.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews


I think it is highly unlikely that lidocaine injections would alter your results.  The only way I think it could alter it is if large volumes of tumescent anesthesia (dilute Lidocaine) were injected.  Of course at this point in time their are no split face controlled studies.

Jerome Potozkin, MD
Danville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Ultherapy and Lidocaine

The lidocaine nerve blocks should not have anything to do with the effectiveness of your treatment.  It is designed to help your tolerance of the treatment.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Done right, it should affect results of Ultherapy

If lidocaine is used as a block, it's far enough from the treatment surface that it should not practically or theoretically affect results of Ultherapy.

Reza Momeni, MD FACS
Summit Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Getting lidocaine blocks for Ulthera won't affect the results

Getting lidocaine blocks for the Ulthera shouldn't affect your results.  It will allow for potentially more aggressive treatment so it actually might be better.  I'm becoming a fan of Infini for skin tightening too.  I've done Ulthera for 4 years and I think it might be better.  Steve Weiner, MD

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Anesthetic injections not needed for new Ultherapy protocol

It is theoretically possible that lidocaine injections might lessen the effect of Ultherapy by expanding the tissue space which would in turn lessen the density of the treatment sites. However, Ultherapy is done differently than it was until recently, with lower energy settings but better results. Most patients tolerate the treatment very well.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Don't need lidocaine for Ultherapy

Have done hundreds of cases and never used lidocaine and don't recommend it for Ultherapy as I don't thin you need it. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.