ULTHERAPY: Extreme Pain - Washington, DC

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I had the procedure done on 11 Jun 2012, full face...

I had the procedure done on 11 Jun 2012, full face and neck, by a cosmetic surgeon (Dr. Walker). I was not prepared for the extreme pain during the procedure - and when I say extreme I mean I was in HORRENDOUS PAIN! The doctor gave me a few injections of licodaine and over the counter tylenol and ibruprofen tablets and while the medications did numb the areas of my face and neck for a while they absolutely did nothing to alleviate the pain during the procedure! In fact, the procedure was so painful that I considered not completing it at all!

Besides the pain I had a pretty strong reaction to the procedure. The day after the procedure I had swelling all over my face, welts on several areas of my face and neck, and swollen lumps/bumps in a few areas of my face. I knew there would be a little swelling following the procedure as I had read about this while researching the procedure but I had no idea that I would have welts and purple swollen lumps/bumps on my face as well!

I first noticed a few welts on my face immediately following the procedure while I was still in the doctors office. Unfortunately by the time I noticed them the doctor had moved on to another patient; she didn't wait to talk to me following the procedure, which surprised me. Once I washed my face and put my clothes on I went back into the room expecting to talk to the doctor. To my surprise the doctor had moved on to another patient and was not available to respond to my questions or provide me with aftercare instructions. I asked the doctors receptionist about the welts that had begun to form on my face and she indicated that the welts would probably disappear in a few hours or so. (To say that I was more than a little disappointed that the doctor did not stay around to discuss the aftercare with me would be an understatement.) Today, 12 June I woke up to find that my entire face had completely swollen and the welts were more prominent. I also noticed that I had swollen purple lumps or bumps in a few areas of my face. Luckily I had nowhere to go today so I've been applying ice to my face all day and the welts have gone done a bit but the swelling and the purple lumps are still there. If the swelling, welts and purple lumps don't disappear by the end of the week I will make an appointment to see a dermatologist (I like Dr. Tandi). I don't believe I'll be going back to Dr. Walker again.

I would highly recommend that patients be put to sleep during this procedure or given stronger pain medication. I would also recommend that the doctors delivering the procedure inform their patients about what to expect both during and following it...and I would recommend that they be as forthright as possible. Again, I had what I consider to be a strong reaction to the procedure...while I knew there would be a little swelling I was not prepared to have my entire face swell nor was I prepared for the welts and the purple lumps/bumps.

I do hope that all that I've had to endure with this procedure (the pain, the swelling, the welts, the lumps/bumps) will be worth it in the end. Right now I'm far too swollen to tell if the procedure had any effect or not. I understand it takes 1-3 months or so for tightening and lifting to occur so I'll check back then.

Pros: The price of the procedure was reasonable compared to other doctors in the DC area. Also, the doctor was nice prior to the procedure; I took issue with her behavior during and following the procedure.
Cons: The pain was unbearable. The doctor seemed rushed and didn't want to stop for a break during the procedure; the doctor was not available to see immediately following the procedure thus I did not receive aftercare instructions and no one (nurse, etc) was in the office to respond to the questions I had following the procedure except the receptionist.

13 June 2012: The swelling, welts, and purple...

13 June 2012: The swelling, welts, and purple lumps/bumps have almost disappeared! Also, my face and neck are still a little tender in spots. Overall, I'm feeling better now that my face and neck are almost back to normal.

17 June 2012: The purple lumps/bumps have...

17 June 2012: The purple lumps/bumps have disappeared...thank God...and the swelling is almost gone (I still have chipmunk cheeks though). The best news is that I can see the tightening and lifting! In fact, my neck looks amazing and there is a little lift in my eyebrow area! OUTSTANDING result already and this is just day 6! I'm excited!!!

17 July 2012: I'm still seeing tightening in my...

17 July 2012: I'm still seeing tightening in my face and neck and my friends and family members have commented that I look good (I didn't tell them that I had a procedure done). I still cannot believe how great my neck looks, really a remarkable result! Also, my cheeks have lifted to the point where I really don't think I will need very much radiesse any more.

I would definitely do this again but only with ample pain meds (the pain was horrendous) and now that I know about the swelling and discoloration of the face and neck that will occur and last for a few days I would just clear my schedule for a week or so following the procedure (hide in the house for a while until I'm presentable - *smile*). Overall, I think the procedure is definitely worth the cost!
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

-The doctor did not inform me of the side effects of the procedure. -The doctor did not give me adequate pain medication. Once it became clear that I could not tolerate the pain I believe either more injections should have been given or we should have stopped to take a break before moving on with the procedure. Neither occurred and it seemed as if the doctor was in a rush to finish. -The doctor disappeared following the procedure. She had another patient to see so she did not see me following the procedure. I received no aftercare instructions. -It was not a good experience.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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