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Electrolysis Report


Jeanette West

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I would like to report on Precision Hair Removal in Wilmette, IL, USA for the benefit of anyone considering using PHR.

I arrived Monday morning at 10:30 for my 11:00 a.m. appt and was warmly greeted by a member of Dr. Zukowski's team as PHR is located in The Zukowski Clinic. At 11:00 I was lead into one of the treatment rooms and had the pre-electrolysis facial. I really recommend this not only for the electrolysis, but because it feels GREAT, and is relaxing.

As soon as the facial was done, lidocaine was carefully applied to my face, after which, Dr. Zukowski came in and began a slow IV drip which was VERY relaxing, but did not at all put me "under". It was a good thing I had so much lido on my face, because the next step were the lidocaine blocks on my face, neck and several spots in my groin. This was the most painful part of the whole process; it couldn't have lasted more than a minute while Dr. Z placed the injections, but damn it, they were excruciatingly painful. No kidding, I laid on the table just shaking in shock. I was assured this happens to quite a few people, but then I started crying. I was utterly mortified, but I couldn't help it.

I was on the table for 2 1/2 hours before I suggested a break; I had to go to the bathroom badly! Took another break about three hours after that, and had no problems with this process until 45 minutes before 6:30 when we all stopped. The meds had worn off, and dang it was getting painful, but I just couldn't quit after all the time and money I spent, so there we go. Not pleasant! Holy cow that was a trial.

Now, in 6 1/2 hours we stopped because the two ladies, and one man had cleared both cheeks, upper and lower lip, chin, jawline, neck, area below the belt above the penis, the penis, scrotum, alongside the legs and crease of torso, and underside of torso right up to the "bullseye". Yes, they cleared EVERYTHING! I did have six sessions of laser, but that didn't get everything, so there was still plenty of hair that needed to go. I will go back in roughly eight weeks for another cleaning and for my chest; I should only need two more. I am looking forward to my FFS the second week of December.

The point of this report is to inform folks that this team can do a tremendous quantity of work, and teaming up with Dr. Z, it isn't painful; it is expensive, but quality always is, yes?

I hope this may help some.

 

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Good Morning Lexi! Thank you, but truly, I was zoned out, it didn't hurt at all, at least until the last 45 minutes, then it hurt, but that was a short time. I am just happy it is done. Off to the airport and last leg home.... :)

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@Jeanette West,

 

From our account, it sounds like you spent one full day there, and expect to go back for two more sessions.  On the Precision Hair Removal website under MtF Electrolysis Packages and Pricing, they talk about multi-day first sessions, with 5-6 follow-up sessions.  Was your time less than this due to having laser done first, or did you just have less hair to deal with?  Did you go with Ala Carte sessions, or purchase a package?  The pricing for these options is very high; it seems like your planned set of treatments should be more reasonable.

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Yes, I did have full-body laser sessions at Solara in Anchorage, AK. I responded well to them, with much of my hair being gone. I still have a couple sessions left for my back and legs, but both are near zero hair now.

The hair left on my face, chest and groin areas were fine, and some quite white. I let my facial hair grow for ten days (it's slow), then took 45* left/right and a straight on shot to email to them, at which they felt I could have it gone in three sessions. 

Yes, they are pricey, but you are paying for up to three electrologists working at the same time, and that "twilight sedation".

I purchased a full session of three electrologists for 7.5 hours each, this includes a lunch and two 15-minute breaks. They did deliver, and I'll take a couple of photos in a few weeks once the latent hair begins to fill is so everyone can see how I responded to it. I will post the same pics I sent to them too for "before" comparison purposes.

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Actually

JW when you put it  like that it make a lot of sense. I go once a week for an hr and its going to take min 18months , max 24. I rather do what you did. But I can't offered it, plus all my session are covered by my Medical ins and i kinda have to follow their guidelines.

Still yr my hero super impressed .

Congrats can't wait to see the finish product. Bet you rock it

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  • 5 months later...

Newbie here, so my apologies for jumping into an old thread...

 

I have been doing PHR for a while. In fact I go for my 5th, and likely final session with them next week. My first time there, it was 33 hours of electrolysis done over two days. And, in those two days, they completely cleared my face. Totally. What they say is that each time you come, they plan for a 5 hour reduction in the time for a complete clearing. For me, it has been 6 or 7 hour reductions. The last time I was there it was 6 hours of work, and this next time we are thinking it will be 4, which is their minimum... That said, at this point, I can easily go 3 or 4 days before even the closest inspection would see the growth. Which is the exact problem. If it takes 8 days to grow the hair enough to let the electrician work, I would never be shaving. I would have to let my facial hair constantly grow out, and THAT is just not acceptable for me.

 

I LOVE Irena and Dan, who are the people who have spent 80 or 90 hours up close and personal with me. I could not say enough positive things about both of them. Amazing. I was less happy with Dr. Z, as I felt he was a bit careless in his application of lidocaine in my face. (The needle would regularly come into my mouth, deposit lidocaine on its way through to the nearby cheek...) And, the one time I let it go too long before being re-injected, and everything was completely feeling? Well, I cried my eyes out for a long time, even after he was done. Dan held my head in his arms and spoke comforting words. I fear that pain beyond my imagination. And... I keep going back. I fear facial hair even more than Dr. Z... 

 

If you are thinking of PHR, I suggest giving them a shot. (Pun intended...) Irena and Dan cannot be beat.

 

Katie

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Katie, you are actually correct. The last time I was there for electrolysis Dr. Z seemed to be in a hurry, which he shouldn't have been, but I opened my eyes just in time to see the needle coming down into my chin. He is less than gentle.

 

This being said, he explained to me why it hurts so damned much, in that the lidocaine itself is a caustic chemical solution so it is going to burn like .... and yes, I too have cried like a baby each time he has injected my face. I think due to the overall physical shock of having that much stuff in my face burning like yellowjacket venom.

 

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I have no idea what PHR or Iidocaine is but it seem very painful. I am having a hard enough time with reg Electrolysis for 1 hr. HOW IN WORLD CAN YOU  stand 5 hrs. Good Bless you both

Today was my first bottom treatment and it hurts more then my face treatments.

Good i wish there was a pill i can could take where all the hair on my face and privates would reverse its location to the top of my head

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4 hours ago, Lexi C said:

I have no idea what PHR or Iidocaine is but it seem very painful. I am having a hard enough time with reg Electrolysis for 1 hr. HOW IN WORLD CAN YOU  stand 5 hrs. Good Bless you both

Today was my first bottom treatment and it hurts more then my face treatments.

Good i wish there was a pill i can could take where all the hair on my face and privates would reverse its location to the top of my head

I think many of us would pay anything to have such a pill... 🙂 

 

So, lidocaine is a local anesthetic that numbs the location it is injected into. If you inject it all over the skin of the face, it will numb that skin so that you literally don't feel ANY of the actual electrolysis. The only problem is those 5 minutes of lidocaine injections which hurt beyond belief. But after that, if you keep up with more injections as you go, you don't feel a thing. And, THAT is wonderful. And then, going 8 or 9 hours a day for two straight days, turns out to be possible,

 

For me, it was the only possible way I was ever going to get it done. Do I HATE the lidocaine injections? You bet! And, I am more than willing to pay that price to have a hairless face.

 

Katie

PS. I am headed to PHR this week and I have been growing out my facial hair since the 3rd. There ARE hairs, but they are very fine, and impossible to see unless very close up. I tell this to say that at some point, pretty quickly, if you do the large-volume electrolysis route, you have MUCH less problem with facial hair...

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@KatieP are these remaining “almost invisible” hairs resemble those very fine ones found elsewhere on the face? Like high on my cheeks I have virtually invisible hairs, and you need to use magnifying mirror and certain angle for light to see them, and unless you have extreme sense of touch you cannot find them with fingers.

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On 2/9/2021 at 2:06 PM, Lexi C said:

I have no idea what PHR or Iidocaine is but it seem very painful. I am having a hard enough time with reg Electrolysis for 1 hr. HOW IN WORLD CAN YOU  stand 5 hrs. Good Bless you both

Today was my first bottom treatment and it hurts more then my face treatments.

Good i wish there was a pill i can could take where all the hair on my face and privates would reverse its location to the top of my head

Lexi, the first thing you will do after checking in with PHR is to have a facial. This runs about one hour, and is a beautiful experience. YAfter the facial you are really relaxed, your face is slathered with lidocaine gel and some cellophane to keep the skin warm. A few minutes of this you'll walk over to the room where the electrolysis is done, and Dr. Z will set up a fentanyl drip. This is very diffuse, not strong, you feel a little loose but easily maintain mental clarity and sharpness; this takes the edge off. Then come the lidocaine injections. Depending on how much hair, depends on how many injections. And yes, if you want to get everything done you'll have the scrotum and penis injected too. Oh yeah, there is a special form of pain for this. BUT! almost immediately (within 5-8 seconds), it all goes numb. Then you just let the gorgeous Russian ladies do their thing. And they focus too; you get your money's worth at PHR. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 2:12 PM, ValerieRun said:

@KatieP are these remaining “almost invisible” hairs resemble those very fine ones found elsewhere on the face? Like high on my cheeks I have virtually invisible hairs, and you need to use magnifying mirror and certain angle for light to see them, and unless you have extreme sense of touch you cannot find them with fingers.

For me, they are not invisible like the very fine hair that covers even the faces of most genetic women. But they are not "whiskers" either. They are quite soft to the touch. Even with 10 days of growth, even the TSA guy who made me take off my mask did not give me a second look, like he did those first few times...

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On 2/13/2021 at 2:39 PM, Jeanette West said:

Lexi, the first thing you will do after checking in with PHR is to have a facial. This runs about one hour, and is a beautiful experience. YAfter the facial you are really relaxed, your face is slathered with lidocaine gel and some cellophane to keep the skin warm. A few minutes of this you'll walk over to the room where the electrolysis is done, and Dr. Z will set up a fentanyl drip. This is very diffuse, not strong, you feel a little loose but easily maintain mental clarity and sharpness; this takes the edge off. Then come the lidocaine injections. Depending on how much hair, depends on how many injections. And yes, if you want to get everything done you'll have the scrotum and penis injected too. Oh yeah, there is a special form of pain for this. BUT! almost immediately (within 5-8 seconds), it all goes numb. Then you just let the gorgeous Russian ladies do their thing. And they focus too; you get your money's worth at PHR. 

 

Adding to the above, PHR now (as of Feb 2021) has a "Comfort+" version. Currently it is limited to 6 hours of work, and the numbing is done differently. In the Comfort+ version, there is no twilight drug. So they have a super-numbing cream that goes on your upper lip and chin, and then is covered in plastic wrap. Then normal numbing cream that goes on your cheek and neck. After about 30 minutes, you meet Adam... Adam is VERY pleasant, AND they use a slightly different drug, and it is mixed with a bit of sodium bicarbonate, which makes the drug a bit less caustic, and a bit less painful. As well, the needle is smaller, and the injections are more specific, I might say surgical even. Which is a huge difference over Dr. Z's sort of random wandering all over with a garden hose sized needle. And it still hurts like the dickens! And the upper lip and chin? Yeah. They REALLY hurt. But as Jeanette says, that pain does not last long. Weirdly, this surgical approach does not numb everything quite the same. There are places where I could feel the zaps a bit. And. there were places where I felt everything, and they seemed to be little tiny spots in the middle of a large numbed area. It was weird... But I stayed for the full 4 hours of Dan completely clearing my face... again.

 

But all of this is totally doable! It took 3 or 4 hours for the numbing to wear off on my neck, but my cheeks were totally numb-free by the time I left. I did ice the face, and kept Eucerin on it. the next morning (well, THIS morning...) my upper lip was a bit swollen from the work, and sleeping horizontally. It went away quickly.

 

Anyway, the reason I started this post was to +1 Jeanette's comment about, "And they focus too; you get your money's worth at PHR." They don't stop for anything, until they are done, unless you ask. They don't go potty. They don't eat. They just zap. It is amazing how focused they are...

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  • 6 months later...

I just scheduled a consultation with PHR. Time vs. Money... I can probably travel to Chicago several times and get knocked out for a full-on treatment...

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I've done my consult with them for genital clearing with the comfort plus option.  I have that "super. cream" referenced above. You can get it as a prescription from you Dr.  It's a compounded cream of 20% Benzocaine, 6% lidocaine, 6% tetracaine.  The 3 different drugs act slightly different and are absorbed at different rates. I can tell you from personal experience the "basic" numbing cream is a joke for electrolysis, especially in the lip areas.  The BLT cream completely numbs most areas and I could sleep though some of my 90 minute face sessions.  

I plan to put that stuff down below before going to the appointment to help with the injections.

My one complaint with PHR is that they really don't want to talk to you on the phone but want to email you back and forth and they don't respond for days :(

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PHR says they use thermolysis if it matters. I have an email out to Electrology3000 to see what modality they use.

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I hope everyone who uses them has a good experience. I am heading down on October 18th, '21 for another clearing and my lipo/contour with Dr. Zukowski.

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I wish you the best of luck, @Jeanette West!

 

Do you do the face, then the lipo/contour? or vice versa? With such a long distance to travel, clearly it is wise to get as much done per trip as possible. Do you have a surgery buddy coming with you, or how do you deal with the post surgery getting back to the hotel and such? (I am always curious how people solve this particular problem. It has driven EVERY medical decision I have made during transition.)

 

Coincidently, I am headed back to PHR in a few weeks for their low-hours version (<4 hours) for maybe the last time, since I don't think there will be more than 2 hours of work (At Irena speeds anyway) to clear after this one. Well, that is the hope anyway...

 

Katie

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Howdy, I have done three clearings of the face and groin. I can literally count the hairs down there, so one more before my  GRS and I'm good to go on that, and not much on my face and neck. I emailed with PHR, they discussed this with Dr. Zukowski, I'll get the lipo/contour on 10/23 and the face/neck clearing on 10/28. They want to wait because Dr. Z is going to do some touch-ups to my lips, forehead and cheeks; the swelling will be much less at five days.

In the past, I have gone down, the next day gone in and had the electrolysis on face and groin, iced up all night, and the next morning been to O'Hare for the slog back to Alaska. I just walked out of the clinic and took an UBER back to the hotel.

With my FFS and top, I had a limo bring me to the clinic at 4:45 a.m. and once the surgery was done, the nurses drove me back to the hotel. I stayed at Staybridge Suites in Glenview, very nice people there and familiar with Dr. Zukowski and his patients.

I sent photos to PHR after I had let my facial hair grow, they think they can get it all and begin on my chest in one sitting; I have the option for another day, and like you said, best to bite the bullet and get it done. They won't do the groin this visit because they don't have a third electrologist. If I can get enough done, I'll do in another day and just get the little bit down there using topical anesthetic with one electrologist; they said they could do that.

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15 hours ago, Jeanette West said:

I hope everyone who uses them has a good experience. I am heading down on October 18th, '21 for another clearing and my lipo/contour with Dr. Zukowski.

We will just miss each other, I'm there on the 19th for long session down below.

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8 hours ago, Bri2020 said:

We will just miss each other, I'm there on the 19th for long session down below.

Wow!  I leave my town 10/18 at 12:50, and will arrive 10/19 at 0745, check in to the hotel, then to Wilmette Family Dental to get a cleaning, exam, whitening and will have custom trays made for future touch ups, and finally some possible work to my teeth (a couple are sensitive).  You'll be at your appointment while I'm upstairs! :) Cole told me if we have enough time, I'll do my pre-op on the 19th later in the day.

 

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For future reference, I heard back from Electrology3000 and they also use Thermolysis. I am hoping to find a clinic that does intensive electrology (full beard clearing) using galvanic or blend. Might not be done because of timing issues (galvanic is slower).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick Trip Report,

 

I was at PHR this past Saturday with Irena and Dan! (It turned out they wanted to get me in and out quickly because of other customers, so they had to have both of them.)

 

I had grown out hair for 3+ weeks. There were probably 100 long hairs, and a patch under my chin of 50 long hairs, and LOTS of short, thin, mostly clear/white hairs. Irena looked at it and said, the long hairs were fine, and they would zap those. (GREAT!) But the little hairs were likely off cycle and although they would zap them, they would not likely kill them. She said that when people get to my stage, they usually come in every 3 weeks, and do a clearing in 2 hours or so. Then after 3 or 4 visits, there is just nothing left. 

 

For me, monthly trips would be tough to schedule with work. But I figured I could try to figure out something. 

 

The other thing was the "Comfort +" with smaller needles and more careful needle placement still hurt A LOT. I did not actually cry this time, but I did a lot of deep, heavy breathing. I think it bothered Irena, since she suggested that next time, we don't do Comfort +. We just do the topic, and then they will go a bit slower. So, fly in on Friday, and have a 2 hour Friday afternoon session, come back Saturday morning for another 2 hours, and then fly home. With Chicago hotel prices, this would likely save me some money. 

 

As for swelling and facial issues... It was a bit swollen Saturday night of course, and the reduced on Sunday. 80% of the swelling is gone today, Monday. I can still feel and see a bit of it though. And, the needle marks and bruising all over my face is still there. Not a huge problem, but also, before I go outside, I will need make up on, so that my spouse is not investigated for abuse... 🙂 

 

 

Anyway, I would still HIGHLY recommend Precision Hair Removal, and I still think it is a great value, even considering the travel costs...

 

Katie

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  • Forum Moderator

Great update @KatieP. Sounds like you’re getting close to the end of the line with electrolysis.

 

I have an in-person consult this Thursday in Seattle at Queen Anne Medical and Transformative Aesthetics. I decided since my last surgery is on hold, I would focus on electrolysis. Sadly, until the mask mandate in my Washington State is lifted, They are not doing any procedures above the waist. So Thursday, they are going to be doing some kind of skin patch test on my forearm of all places to test a bunch of things like growth cycle and who knows what else. As the person was talking to me I was thinking…wouldn’t the test be more accurate if done on my face? Maybe it’s a covid issue who knows?

 

One nice thing I was told that this place does is dental blocking and surface blocking which can be done with or without lidocaine. I asked them about pain due to my low pain threshold and she said I should not have any issues with that. It was the first time I ever heard anyone say that. I just hope it’s even half true.

 

Thats my electrolysis update.

Susan R🌷

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      To "decide" to start HRT would suggest you had some kind of dysphoria.  I agree, dyphoria is much more than a dissonance between my mind or Self identity and it's container. It's my Self's relation to both outer (and inner) environment. Sometimes it's very subtle, sometimes glaring. 
    • Kelly2509
      I haven't seen significant changes and I've been on HRT for 9 months with decent Estrogen and testosterone levels since May.  If patches were used, my guess is the doc started with very low doses which means much slower results.  My doc advised me against patches because they are generally low dose and for most transwomen he's dealt with who've gone that way they had to use multiple patches at a time to get the dosage needed.  Also my doctor said changes in body hair is approximately a 2 year process, assuming good hormone levels in the blood, so a few months to see results seems optimistic at best.  And of course facial hair isn't affected by HRT so there's that.   my advice would be if you haven't already to get her estrogen and testosterone levels checked and consult with the doc to see if she's in or near the target range.  I've been told by many that you can expect the entire first year to mostly just be the doc dialing in the proper dosage, so get the blood tests and work with the doc to make sure the proper adjustments are made.  Then I would advise patience, which is probably the hardest part of transition in my opinion.
    • Carolyn Marie
      Jazz-Per, why don't you try using our Resource Locator, found Here?  It is not a definitive source, so you can also try through LGBT centers or the state's professional associations for licensed therapists.  I wish you luck.   HUGS   Carolyn Marie
    • KathyLauren
      It is very common to start transition for some reasons that don't include body parts, and then to become aware of one's dissatisfaction with their body parts later in the process.  That was certainly the case for me.   I know a lot of people reserve the word "dysphoria" for dissatisfaction with body parts, but I think it applies to other areas of life.  Social dysphoria is very common, possibly more common than body dysphoria.  To be honest, I cannot see someone starting transition, including HRT, unless they were experiencing some kind of (what I would call) dysphoria.   In my case, I experienced strong social dysphoria.  I could not stand relating to others as a male and wanted to relate to them as a female.  On that basis, I started HRT and transitioned socially shortly thereafter.  Well after that process started, I became more aware of my body dysphoria and set the process in motion to do something about that.  That is a very common path.   However, I am not going to tell you how to describe your experience.  If you prefer to reserve the word dysphoria for dissatisfaction with your body, then yes, what you describe is very common.  It doesn't indicate a mistake.  It just indicates a difference in terminology.  
    • Jandi
      Looks like beautiful country.     Went uptown to see the Chalk Fest.  They do it every year on the sidewalks around the court square.     Just wore some of my go-to things
    • Nora
      Sooo...I've never really experienced dysphoria before...at least I don't think I have; I'm autistic, so it can be kinda hard for me to identify emotions in myself and others unless it's like a basic, primal emotion like joy or rage lol. But anyhoo, yeah, I don't think I've ever really experienced dysphoria until recently; almost 8 months now after starting HRT. What triggered it? I'll give you a hint: It starts with "P" and ends with "enis" LOL XD I'm starting to really hate my little boy parts down under. I think it started when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror when getting dressed one morning. I'm starting to look more and more like a girl which makes me feel super happy, but then a saw the tell-tale bulge in my panties and I kinda started freaking out inside. Now I'm considering SRS sooner than I'd originally planned. Originally, that was the LAST thing my list of transition goals LOL. What changed? This is a SUPER weird feeling for me. I've been kind of a Fort Knox of weird feelings though over the past few months lol. How many others didn't experience dysphoria at the start, but experienced it later on down the road mid-transition? Does it mean I'm making a huge mistake? Or is this like WAY more normal than I think it is? Should I hold fast to my original plan of saving that step for last, or should I bump it up the timeline a bit? When did you decide to have SRS, (if at all)? I used to not feel any one particular way about my downstairs junk; I even considered the possibility of keeping it. But now I like, SUPER hate that part of my body, and definitely want to get rid of it. ...Thoughts? Asking for a friend lol.
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