What is Ultherapy?
Our faces can tell many stories, and while wrinkles may say ‘experience', droopiness can say ‘tired'. Surgery has always been an option, but now there's Ultherapy, a non-surgical ultrasound treatment for counteracting the effects of time and gravity on your skin. The beauty of this 30-60 minute face and neck treatment is that it uses the body's own regenerative response to gently and gradually restore memory to the skin and underlying tissue support.
“There was no down time and the results are very natural...Nobody knows I had anything done. They just know I look better." Ultherapy Patient
How does the Ultherapy procedure work?
As with other ultrasound procedures, a smooth applicator placed upon your skin projects an image onto a screen that allows your practitioner to plan where the energy will be directed. This same applicator is then used to deliver low levels of focused heat to just the right depth below the skin to achieve a positive effect, all the while leaving the surface of your skin undisturbed.
Your skin's response to the energy is to stimulate the growth of new collagen. A gradual tightening and firming occurs, resulting in a natural lift of the skin over time.
What does it feel like?
There can be some discomfort while the energy is being delivered, but it is temporary, and a signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated. Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, and practitioners will discuss options for making the experience as pleasant as possible. Patients typically leave comfortable and excited about the benefits to come.
What can I expect afterwards?
You are able to return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take. Your skin may appear a bit flushed immediately after the treatment, but any redness should disappear within a few hours. It is not uncommon to experience slight swelling for a few days following the procedure or tingling/tenderness to the touch for a few weeks following the procedure, but these are mild and temporary in nature. There are other less common post-procedural effects, such as temporary small areas of bruising or numbness, which your physician will review with you.
What kind of results can I expect?
With just one treatment, the regenerative process is initiated, but the full effect will build gradually over the course of two to three months. Some patients may benefit from more than one treatment.
Visible effects include a lifting and toning of sagging skin. In the FDA clinical trial for instance, nine out of ten patients had a noticeable, significant lift of the brow line. This resulted in reduced skin laxity on the eyelid and a more open, youthful look to the eyes overall. Patients reported firmer, better-fitting skin in other areas of the face and neck as well. There is also an invisible result from the procedure with the creation of new collagen, which can help to slow down the rate of skin aging.
Does it hurt?
Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, but there can be some discomfort while the energy is being delivered, which is temporary and a signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated. We take measures to make the experience as pleasant as possible using premedication and cooling fans and patients tell us they leave comfortable and happy given the benefits to come.
How long does it last?
Patients treated with Ultherapy still have fresh young collagen after a year's time following the procedure, but skin continues to age. Yearly touch-up treatments can help keep pace with the aging process.
Are there any side effects?
There may be slight redness for a few hours following the treatment, and it's not uncommon to have slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to touch for a few weeks, but these are typically mild and they are temporary in nature. There can be other post-procedural effects such as bruising and small areas of numbness but these are less common and, again, temporary.
How much does it cost?
An Ultherapy treatment costs between $2500 and $4000 depending on the extent of treatment . This meets the demand for treatments that previous only included invasive surgery.
How is Ultherapy different from other cosmetic procedures?
Ultherapy is the only nonsurgical cosmetic procedure that uses ultrasound to specifically target the foundational layer of facial tissue that doctors address in surgery. The use of ultrasound also enables us to actually see the layers of skin we are treating, allowing the energy to be delivered precisely to where it will be most productive.
Is it safe?
Ultrasound energy has a proven track record, with use in medical imaging for over 50 years. In addition, the procedure has been cleared by the FDA after demonstrating safety in clinical studies, and tens of thousands of treatments have been performed worldwide without any significant adverse events.
How many treatments does it take?
The majority of patients only need one treatment, while those with a fair amount of laxity may need more than one treatment. Annual touch-up treatments can help slow down the rate of skin aging.
Who is a good candidate for Ultherapy?
There is a broad range of people who can benefit from Ultherapy, but typically those in their thirties and older are candidates. While this is not a replacement for surgery, there are many people who want some lifting, in order to look more refreshed and toned but are not ready for surgery (mentally, financially, or logistically). And then there are younger people who want to "stay ahead of the game" as well as those looking to prolong the effect of surgery.
What about treating anatomical regions other than the face?
Currently, Ultherapy is a face and neck treatment. However, the company is conducting a number of clinical studies with physicians around the world to investigate the use of Ultherapy for treating other anatomical regions.
What does collagen do?
Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed and toned. As we age, collagen loses its strength and its ability to stand up to the effects of gravity that pull the skin downward. Ultherapy jumpstarts a repair process that strengthens your existing collagen and produces fresh, new collagen.
Can men have it done?
Sure; both women and men globally are receiving Ultherapy.
Is treating the lower face and upper neck off-label since the FDA indication is specifically for a brow lift?
The treatment reviewed by the FDA was a full face and upper neck treatment; the indication given was specifically for the brow, undoubtedly because there were validated methodologies for measuring the 2 dimensional "lift" effect on the brow. In the FDA clinical study, 9 out of 10 patients had significant lifting of the brow (great for any non-invasive energy based device) and results were seen elsewhere on the face and neck as well.
BEFORE and AFTER Pictures