Going Under The Needle – 32 To Be Exact

Extol’s Editor tried out Vivace at Salzman Cosmetic Surgery and Spa and walked away a believer

By Angie Fenton

I turned 42 on Jan. 20, but well before that milestone, I’d already decided Botox and fillers weren’t for me. Yes, I have plenty of friends who love the results – and they do look amazing – but “that’s not my thing,” I said, and I mean it.

But, what about the, um, opportunity to experience getting poked in the face thousands of times by tiny, gold-plated needles with a bit of heat added on? I said yes. But let me explain.

Needles equal pain, right? And this was something that had to be repeated at least every two weeks for three weeks or more to get results. What if it hurt? What if I hired someone to undergo this needles-in-the-face treatment and they couldn’t endure it past the first session? What then?

I’ll do it, I agreed, a tad reluctantly. And I am so glad I did.

Introduction to Vivance 

Nervous and quite skeptical, I might add, I walked into Salzman Cosmetic Surgery and Spa ready to try Vivace, a state-of-the-art microneedling device that delivers pulses of heat while puncturing the skin with 32 gold-plated needles to create an intentional injury. These minute “injuries” would promote the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, I was told by Audrey May, RN, BSN, PCCN.

After taking photos of my face from every angle, Audrey applied a numbing cream to my face and neck. As I waited the 60 minutes it would take for the cream to work, I sent emails and edited stories. I also made the mistake of allowing my robe to cover part of my neck. If you try Vivace, don’t err like I did. My robe removed some of the numbing cream from the sides of my neck, and I paid for it later.

An hour later, Audrey began the Vivace procedure, working in sections, each of which was treated with the wand-like device containing the needles and heat. Most parts were fine during the first and second pass, but by the third pass, treating some parts, especially bony parts of my face, were uncomfortable. Not unbearable, but uncomfortable. Not so on the sides of my neck. Thanks to my error of unknowingly allowing my robe to rub off some of the numbing cream, I couldn’t take the third pass.

After the procedure was over – it took a little over an hour and a half – my face was slightly pink and felt warm and still numb, but that was it.

My neck had a few visible bumps – a reaction that is normal for a few people – but within 24 hours, it was fine.

I was sent home with a post-procedure recover kit and instructions to refrain from putting on makeup until the morning. The kit contained a thermal spring water gel, an aerosol can of thermal spring water, restorative skin cream and an ultralight, hydrating sunscreen (SPF 50). I used the water spray and gel for the first 24 hours any time my skin felt warm from the inside out. I applied the skin cream for three nights and used the sunscreen each morning.

The next day, I looked like myself (save for the bumps on my neck) and no one had a clue I’d done a thing.

About 12 days later, I felt my skin start to slough, though I couldn’t see anything. The next day, it felt smoother than it had in years and I swore it looked more radiant.

I’m a believer 

At my next appointment, I made sure to not allow the numbing cream to rub off and strategically placed my robe around my shoulders so it wouldn’t touch my neck until the hour of numbing was up. This time when Audrey began the Vivace procedure, I barely felt a thing. Part of that was most likely the numbing cream, she explained, but it was also because my collagen had begun building up, too.

Terry Ely, RN, performed my third and fourth procedures, both of which were a piece of cake. Honestly, the worst part about them was the hour of numbing, though I did get work done, and the 1.5 hours or so of not being able to do anything but have the procedure done. But that’s a personal issue; I feel like a jerk for complaining that I had about 90 minutes to do nothing. I so need to chill.

After treatments two, three and four, I didn’t have any visible issues like I had on my neck after the first one, but somewhere in between there, my mother-in-law asked if I’d lost any weight (I hadn’t at that point), and Sam, one of my WHAS11 colleagues, noted that I looked like I have been working hard to meet my goal of getting fit after having a baby. I don’t usually allow writers to use all caps, but I’m making an exception: I HADN’T LOST A POUND AND PEOPLE THOUGHT I DID BECAUSE OF VIVACE!

img_1223When I looked at the before and after photos, I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. Jowls run in my biological family and I’d never realized how much my own cheeks had started to sag until I saw the photos. I hadn’t given a bit of consideration to my profile until I noted how much the skin under my chin had tightened. Pores were smaller, my skin was brighter, makeup went on smoother, my skin was softer.

This once-skeptic had become a believer, a 100 percent, complete and total believer.img_1224

Final Take 

Both Audrey and Terry explained that the results I’ve already seen will be maximized three to four months after my final Vivace treatment as collagen continues to grow. I can’t imagine seeing even better results but look forward to it. They also recommended getting a maintenance treatment once a year or so.

While the Vivace is pricey (see pricing info below), if you have the cash, it’s well worth it.

What is Vivace?

Vivace is a state-of-the-art microneedling device designed to deliver pulses of radiofrequency energy in measured doses to the deeper layers of skin, creating tiny areas of controlled damage that help stimulate the skin’s natural healing processes. Each tiny “injury” promotes production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, all vital components for firmer, more resilient skin.

How Many Treatments are Recommended? 

Three to four treatments are recommended for best results.

What is the Cost? 

At Salzman Cosmetic Surgery and Spa, the cost per treatment is $800 for the full face (or one area), $1,000 for face/neck (two areas), $1,200 for face/neck/chest (three areas). If you prepay for a package of three or more, you’ll get 20 percent off.

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How Can I Make an Appointment? 

Contact Salzman Cosmetic Surgery and Spa, 4702 Chamberlain Lane in Louisville, at 502.425.5200 or schedule a consultation online at  www.itbecomesyou.com.

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