For those of you who want the quick and dirty:
From the moment I walked in the door to the moment I left, it took 1 hour and 45 minutes. The procedure was surprisingly easy. The numbing injections were the worst part, but bearable. Approx 30 injections, followed by 20ish rounds of the miraDry for each arm. The recovery for the rest of the day was swollen, BRUTAL and VERY painful. The day after pretty much no pain at all and I could actually function as a person. Dry pits so far, but difficult to tell since they are so swollen. Looks promising.
Here is a very detailed play-by-play of my entire experience thus far:
I am a 5’10” 148lb 27yo female from MN. I have always had excessive sweating in my underarms, even through hoodie sweatshirts in the frigid winter! I have a desk job and even just sitting and barely moving I would sweat through my shirts and sweaters. I went to the restroom multiple times a day just to pat my armpits dry with toilet paper. I have dry-clean only dresses that I cannot remove the BO smell from, and t-shirts that are permanently stained. I have to carefully select my clothes while shopping by thinking “how will this look when my armpits are sweaty? I have never been diagnosed for Hyperhidrosis, but I have never talked to a doctor about it. I also have some anxiety and am terribly scared of pain. I get worked up before routine shots at the doctor because I somehow talk myself into think that this ONE TIME will hurt more than ever before. It’s uncontrollable.
My decision to do MiraDry:
I was awarded a gift certificate to the clinic, which is where I first heard about MiraDry. It also happened to be a time when they were having a promotional discount on the MiraDry procedure. All the ladies at the clinic had it done and said they haven’t worn deodorant since. No more sweating, no more BO – what more could I want? So with some careful thinking and research, and knowing I will never get this procedure for this low price ever again, I was sold.
My First Appointment:
My first treatment was at 9 am. I took a few Ibuprofen pills beforehand and wore a tank top, as I was told to do. I had to fill out some paperwork (complications, the treatment, and post care) and then was taken to a room with a bed tilted up at the waist (so I would be sitting up). I was VERY nervous for the entire procedure. I probably asked 5 different times if it would hurt and what to expect. Each time I asked I was reassured that the numbing injections were the worst part and they weren’t that bad.
Next, I was instructed to rest my arm over my head so she could rub on some iodine and perform the sweat test. The sweat test is just dusting some cornstarch powder on the armpits and it turns purple where the sweat glands are. It is amazing to see that all my sweat came from only a little area about the size of a fingernail! Then she cleaned it up and applied a template. The size of the template depends on size of the armpit. Mine are relatively small and they go on like a temporary tattoo.
Then the numbing injections began. The injections consist of lidocaine and epinephrine. The needle is TINY (only a few millimeters long and extremely thin). There are two rows of injections, and the number also depends on the size of the armpit. I had about 30 injections in each armpit. She went top to bottom, then bottom to top. Most were bearable (just felt a little prick) but a few made me cringe. I cannot say which areas were worse than others, since it happened randomly. By the time she went back up, some of the first few injections were kicking in and I couldn’t feel them. I should also mention that epinephrine makes people shaky, and I got extremely shaky across my entire body! I’m sure some of it was due to being nervous, but I was shaking as if I was in -20 degrees with no clothes on. It feels very strange but it’s normal. As far as the injection pain, it was less painful than getting an underarm wax. If you don’t know what that feels like, I would also compare the injections to quick little bee stings. But again, only a few were that bad. Once she was done with the first arm, she repeated the sweat test, template, and injections on the other armpit. (She mentioned that when she went to my second armpit, sweat was dripping down my side. Ew!) We chatted a lot in order to keep me distracted. I highly recommend finding something in common and talking because sitting in silence in anticipation would have been brutal.
When I brought my arms back down after this first step, my entire arm and hands felt tingly. When the feeling came back right away, I knew it was because of the lack of circulation during the above steps, NOT because of a reaction from the lidocaine. I was only numb in the injected area. I should mention that holding your arms above your head is very uncomfortable - almost as bad as the injections. After a few minutes to let the numbing kick in, she started the MiraDry procedure on my first armpit. It’s basically a square hairdryer-looking thing with a small rectangular suction cup at the end. She just pressed the suction cup to the numb area and pushed a button. There were a few startling sucking sounds when the seal wasn't right, but painless. It sucks at your skin to get a seal, then it “burns” your skin for a few seconds and finishes with a cooling step. Remember that you cannot feel any of this because you are numb. Then she moved to another location on my armpit and repeated for a total of 20-30 sucks on each armpit (again, depending on the size). A couple times I could feel some heat and once it was painful enough that I had her stop to give me another injection (felt like a curling iron burn). As soon as you say stop she can hit a button to stop it and the pain goes away. She gave me another lidocaine injection where it hurt, continued to the other areas and came back to that one spot after it was numb again. This part was very easy and painless (except for that one spot, which wasn’t that bad). After she was done with the first armpit she gave me a frozen water bottle to hold under my arm while she did the second one.
When it was all done I asked her which level she used during the sucking steps. She said I did a level 5 out of 5, which has a full 3 second heat step. Level 1 is 2.4 seconds and the time is longer for each level. I was shocked when I realized I just did the highest setting and survived (because I am a huge baby)!
Even when it was all done I asked tons of questions. How much will I swell? Am I going to bruise? Swelling is different for each person (golf ball to cantaloupe), and she didn’t expect me to bruise much based on how the procedure went for me.
After the procedure:
It was 10:45 when I finished. I only had the one frozen water bottle so I alternated sides on my way home. I was beyond relieved and happy with how well it went and how overall painless it was. When I got home I iced like I was supposed to and I took more ibuprofen. I was still very numb but could feel a slight burning sensation as the hours went on – similar to a razor burn. I iced off and on until 1:15 and took an hour nap. I woke up in MUCH more pain. The numbness was obviously wearing off. By around 3 the pain was horrible. I will not sugar coat it - It felt like extreme razor burn x100 with lemon juice squeezed on it, as well as throbbing deeper pain like I hung from my armpits (on parallel bars, for example) for too long. It wasn't until around 5pm that I started noticing swelling - very dimply and about the size of an orange. The pain was getting unbearable at this point. I had to control my breathing in order not to cry or scream. Even just wearing a sports bra, I was unable to move my arms much, since even the slightest rubbing would hurt really badly. Just pulling open our sliding patio door was painful. I would rate the pain around 8 or 9 out of 10 for the entire night. There was no way I could go through this again for the second time. I highly regretted my decision at this point. It felt like they were on fire now. Icing helped a little, but it still burned from the contact. I couldn't fall asleep because of the pain and I had to take a sleeping pill. Anyone I read about who said they were functional during the same day of the procedure had to be lying. There's no way I would have been able to do anything. Thankfully the sleeping pill knocked me out. It SUCKED.
The next day:
When I woke up, there was NO PAIN. My armpits were still swollen but not any more than yesterday. There were no bruises. It was a miracle. There were only occasional SLIGHT burning sensations in the morning, but not even close to how it felt the day before. I still couldn’t hold my arms to my sides because it hurt a little from the pressure of being swollen. I iced a couple times for the swelling. I didn’t need any more pills. I could shower pain-free (while avoiding my underarms). I actually had a glimmer of hope that I could maybe go through yesterday's hell again in a few months for the second treatment. By the afternoon there were zero burning sensations and I could hold my arms at my sides. For a while I actually forgot about them.
I have not worn any deodorant since the day before the procedure and do not smell at all (rare for me, considering I would start smelling just hours after a shower). My underarms have been completely dry so far, but I feel like I cannot give a complete report on sweating until the swelling goes down. They feel dry to the touch. I will report back once the swelling goes down (and let you all know how long that takes) and report back about sweating. Thanks for reading, and I hope this all-inclusive report is helpful. Please reply with any questions.