Still swelling 5 days after thermage?

I had thermage 5 days ago. After a day I noticed my jaw area was a bit swollen, sensitive to the touch and tingly / numb ish. It's now day 5 after and the swelling and odd sensations are still there. The area feels a little warmer than the rest of my face. I had thermage before but didn't have this. I thought the swelling should have been gone by now and am a bit concerned!

Doctor Answers 3

Thermage and Swelling

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It is unusual to have any "down time" at all after Thermage. That is one of the beautiful things about Thermage. I have not seen any swelling like you are describing.  I would definitely return to your treating physician for examination.  Please keep me posted.  Best, Dr. Green

Thermage treatments generally have no downtime

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What you describe is unusual.  When the Thermage device was first introduced a decade ago, the protocol involved using 100-150 pulses via a small tip handpiece to deliver a high level of heat in selected areas of the face.  It hurt, worked but not consistently and patients had swelling, tingling, and numbness.  However in the years since, the device and the protocol have gone through many updates.  In recent years, thermage has become a comfortable procedure, with no downtime and consistent results.  We now use 900 - 1200 pulses via a large spot size handpiece to deliver medium heat over almost the whole face.  The combination of avoiding high heats and the addition of the CPT technology (comfort pulse technology = vibration) means the procedure can be just about painless.  In my office, we tell patients that on a scale of 0 - I feel nothing, to 4 - don't do that to me again, we want to find the level of heat where the patient reports a 2 - I feel the warmth but it is very tolerable.  If the patient feels a 'zing' that is too hot, we reduce the level.  Patients leave the procedure without redness, swelling or any strange nerve sensation.  The only downtime is having to wash coupling gel ( like a serum) out of your hair because it invariably drips.

So my recommendation is that you call your physician's office where you had the procedure.  Find out if they expected the side effects you are experiencing - could this be a new or different machine than you had previously?  Did they change their treatment protocol?  If they did not expect you to experience swelling and funny sensations, then them to get you in to see the doctor in follow up.  Any physician's office that does procedures will certainly be happy to see their patient in follow up to make sure everything is going well.  An ounce of prevention as they say...

I hope this answer was helpful. Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Thermage Side Effects

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I recommend following up with your Dr. for an evaluation. There can be some swelling with Thermage, but it resolves very quickly and is considered a no downtime procedure. For best results, I often recommend Thermage in combination to ultherapy, venus legacy.  Add Sculptra to maintain your results.  See an expert for a formal consultation. Best, Dr. Emer

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

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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.