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Electrolysis hair removal can be a quite painful procedure. Everyone has their own tolerance to pain. Descriptions of the discomfort vary from “no worse than a mosquito bite”, to “like having a rubber band snapped hard against my bare skin.” Electrolysis can give a stinging and pricking sensation, and you have to go through it with each hair.
The degree of pain is relative to the area of treatment. Certain spots, such as the upper lip, are known to be more sensitive than spots like the brows. In our clinic, we work with a patient-controlled pain pump (PCA, patient-controlled analgesia) which reduces the pain to zero. We are unique in the world to offer this pump for electrolysis.
How does it work?
- The computerized pump, called the patient-controlled analgesia pump, contains a strong pain killer that is also used in general anesthesia (remifentanil) and is connected directly to the patient with an intravenous (IV) catheter line. To insert a venous catheter, a needle is inserted into a vein, most often near the wrist. A thin plastic tube called a catheter is then pushed over the needle. The needle is removed, and the tube remains.
- The pump is set to deliver a small, constant flow of pain medication. Additional doses of medication can be self-administered as needed by having the patient press a button. PCA pumps have built-in safety features.
- The total amount of pain medication that the patient can self-administer is within a safe limit.
- The patient will be monitored using a pulse oximeter that indirectly measures the oxygen saturation of the patient’s blood. In case the patient doesn’t breathe deep enough, a simple encouragement by the electrologist to concentrate on breathing will be enough to make the patient breathe well again. Therefore this method of pain management is known to be very safe and is widely used during delivery for example.
- Compared to standard electrolysis, as client comfort is greatly enhanced, this leads to faster electrolysis as there are fewer recovery pauses needed. Therefore, total treatment time is shorter, thus maximizing effectiveness.
Which pain medication is used?
The pump contains a strong pain killer that is also used in general anesthesia (remifentanil). It impacts the pain receptors in the spinal cord and the brain.
Caution: people that have a history of drug addiction may feel a reactivation of their desire. If you think you can not handle this, please consider using only local anesthesia.
The pain medication works through the opioid receptors in the body. Unfortunately, there are also opioid receptors in your intestinal system. This causes the most important side effect of the pain pump: nausea. We will give you medication against nausea together with the pain medication.
- The time spent to prepare the pump does not have to be paid. We do ask our patients to come half an hour before treatment starts so the nurse has enough time to prepare the pump.
- With the pain pump most people can tolerate electrolysis sessions of up to 8 hours a day. For some people, the pain pump is not sufficient. In this case, you can ask us to administer some local anesthesia. Apart from the injections, no pain is felt anymore after local anesthesia.
- Make sure you have a good breakfast in the morning. The pain pump on an empty stomach is not a good idea.
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