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My Ultherapy Experience- A Patient Perspective. It all started with a photo...

“I am a patient of the Asarch Center for Dermatology, Laser & Mohs Surgery and the DermaSpa Medical Spa. I wanted to share my story as I think many women my age can relate.

I am 37 and an avid athlete. I put a lot of effort into keeping in shape, which I know benefits my skin. I am dedicated to my skin care regimen and have also been using the DermaSpaRx Skin Nutrition Line for four years and love it. I am very pleased with the condition and texture of my skin.

So, why am I writing this? This picture started it all. The picture on the right. The picture from 6 years ago.

21973_100351916665825_6908526_n (2)

As we moms do when we get nostalgic, I was looking through pictures of my daughters when they were little and realizing how much they had changed. They are 8 & 10 now. Then it dawned on me-my face is changing, too! Every photo when they were younger I am very “cheeky”. No sagging around my mouth and no “jowls”. But, as they have gotten taller, my face has gotten longer and my “jowls” are starting to show. I guess I always knew I would have them someday, because my mom-who has amazing skin-has them, too.  She is a firm believer in natural aging- her motto is “products not procedures”. I believe in keeping my skin healthy and toned with both products and procedures, but I draw the line at surgery.

After debating for months about whether or not I was going to do something about my changing face, I decided to start looking at options. Fillers seemed like a good place to start, but after consulting with Dr. Adam Asarch, we agreed that I was not a good candidate for fillers yet. He asked me what I was most concerned with and I told him my “jowls”. This was really starting to be all I saw in the mirror. Dr. Asarch suggested Ultherapy might be a good choice to re-build the collagen and tissue that was causing the sagging and prevent future sagging.  I ultimately chose this route.

Ultherapy is a safe, non-invasive ultrasound procedure.  It is not surgery. It is not laser. “Ultherapy stimulates collagen production by delivering focused ultrasound energy to the skin’s foundational layer typically addressed in cosmetic surgery—without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.”- ultherapy.com

Thus began my Ultherapy Journey.

Day 1: I had a consultation with Amanda, the DermaSpa Patient Coordinator, to get me prepared for what the procedure would be like, share my medical history and answer any questions I had. She let me know that the procedure would be uncomfortable, so it would be wise to take something to relax before the procedure. I chose to take valium, which the Asarch Center called in to my pharmacy and I picked up the day before my appointment. Amanda made sure I knew I would need to have someone drive me home.

20150130_074725Day 2: This was my appointment day, so I took a picture with my phone to make sure I really wanted to do this. Look! There they are- my jowls!

My mom came to pick me up, along with the valium that I was waiting to take once I got to the Asarch Center. I was greeted warmly and asked to fill out some forms at the front desk. Next, one of the lovely ladies at DermaSpa took “before” pictures- which I am excited to see and compare against my “afters”, which will be taken in April.

Next, I was led into the procedure room. After I was set up comfortably, Dr. Adam Asarch came in 20150130_093213 (2)and talked me through what the procedure would be like. He then drew some lovely white lines on my face where he was going to do the Ultherapy.

Dr. Asarch gave me a hose which blew cool air that I could use on my face to ease any discomfort. He also gave me a little squeeze ball- which was shaped like a brain. Doctor humor! I tried to relax and the valium definitely helped. As he began the first pass, he explained that he was focusing on the deeper tissue first, so this would be the most uncomfortable part. He said everyone has a different tolerance for pain and he offered to take breaks if I needed them.

Yes, it hurt. No, it was not unbearable for me. The areas that were the most uncomfortable were the areas over the jaw bone. I would describe the feeling as a prickly sensation and the worst parts were like getting a shot in your gum when you go to the dentist. However, Dr. Asarch did not hover over any area. He kept moving, so it was a quick sensation. I never had to ask him to stop. He talked to me during the procedure and that also helped distract me. My mom was in the room with me and she talked to me, too- while taking all these great photos- and some blurry ones of the floor.

20150130_094119 (2)After the procedure was over, my face was red, but otherwise looked the same. Dr. Asarch told me that full results would take about three months to see as the collagen rebuilds and the tissue repairs itself. He gave me some directions and warned me that I would have some swelling and numbness for a few days. He instructed me to take ibuprofen for any discomfort and swelling.

That night I started to notice a little swelling, but nothing that would interrupt my life. My husband and I took the girls swimming that night (after the valium wore off, of course).

Day 3: I woke up with the strange awareness that my face was sore. I looked in the mirror and wowza- chipmunk cheeks. I was definitely swollen, but no bruising or discoloration. I am fortunate to work from home, so I put some ice on my face and took some ibuprofen.

Day 4: The swelling has definitely gone down and my face is only uncomfortable when I touch it. It is numb along my jaw line, but I only notice the numbness when I touch it. It does not affect my speech or chewing or any other vital function.

Week 2: Discomfort and swelling are totally gone. Some numbness remains in very small areas, but I don’t really notice it. I think my jowls are looking smaller, but I vowed to not compare until month 1 and to not to truly evaluate until month 3.

Week 4: Today is the day- It has been 1 Month! Did I mention I really am horrible at taking “selfies”. This must be a skill for younger generations, but in an effort at honesty…here goes. As of this morning, I have no numbness and no discomfort and I can definitely see a reduction in my “jowls”.

melissa b&a ultherapy 1 month

Do you see it? I assure you there was no editing. What would be the point of that?

I can’t wait to share Month 3 photos with you. Stay tuned!

You can get a free Ultherapy Consultation at Asarch Center DermaSpa by calling 303-761-7797.

 

 

 

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