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Does Skin Tightening Hurt?

Does Thermage Hurt?


March 3, 2016

The short answer: Yes, which is why I prescribe painkillers to be taken before the procedure. Here is one patient’s account of the Thermage CPT treatment she had done in my office:

The first time around with Thermage CPT, when I did my whole face except for my eyes, I should have followed Dr. Jaliman’s advice and taken the prescribed painkillers. Dr. Jaliman had asked me to take Demerol, a powerful narcotic, one hour before the procedure. Stupid me, I thought that since I had gone through natural childbirth I had a high pain threshold. Bad mistake.

The prep work was absolutely painless. I lay down, and one of the techs placed a stencil on my face and marked off squares in black ink. After that she applied a gel. So far, a piece of cake. Then she picked up the applicator and the fun began.

At first it wasn’t too bad. After about ten minutes, I started feeling increasingly intense heat. By the time the applicator reached my jawline, about three quarters of the way into the procedure, it actually hurt like hell. I lay there, cursing myself for not taking the Demerol. I asked the tech if we could stop the procedure and I could take the painkiller right there, but she said it was too late to do anything about it, because painkillers take about an hour to take effect.

Thankfully, once the procedure was over, the pain vanished instantly. When I looked in the mirror, my face wasn’t even red, and there was no sign whatsoever that I just had Thermage CPT. I went back to my office for a whole afternoon of work.

A couple of weeks later, I had my eyes done. This time I followed Dr. Jaliman’s orders and took the Demerol beforehand. No pain at all, not even mild discomfort.

I was so ecstatic about my results after just one month that I decided to have my hands done. To my surprise, because I would have expected hands to be more sensitive than the face, Dr. Jaliman did not prescribe pre-procedure Demerol. She promised me that the hands wouldn’t hurt at all. She was right. Everything went beautifully and my hands felt absolutely normal after the procedure, no stiffness or pain at all.

I have become a huge fan of Thermage CPT. I’m too vain to show my before and after pictures here, but I swear I look fifteen years younger five months after the procedure. It’s amazing.


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Learn who the Charlotte’s Book Verified Experts are and how we select them.
Featured in this article: Dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, Read patient reviews, get Dr. Jaliman’s expert advice, and learn why she’s a Charlotte’s Book verified expert. 



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