Ulthera: Nonsurgical Face Lift

What is Ulthera/Ultherapy?

Ulthera is a nonsurgical, no downtime, in-office procedure for lifting and toning sagging skin of the lower face, jawline, and brows. Ultrasound technology is focused below the skin surface to firm and lift droopy tissues. Results are long lasting and occur gradually but dramatically over time.

How does Ultherapy work?

Ulthera utilizes ultrasound energy to penetrate deep below the skin and fat layer of the face to gently but effectively target connective tissue. Connective tissue is a firm, tough layer that supports the neck and facial contours. Aging and the passage of time cause connective tissues to droop. Ultherapy tightens loose connective tissue, creating firmness and lifting to areas of sagging skin. The layer of tissue targeted by Ulthera is the same tissue that plastic surgeon’s tighten and shift during a surgical facelift or brow lift.

How does Ultherapy compare to a surgical facelift?

Ulthera targets the same deep layer of tissue that is redraped and tightened during a facelift procedure. Although results from Ulthera may not be as dramatic as a surgical treatment, Ulthera provides significant lifting to sagging jowls, jawlines, and brows. It is ideal for patients looking for results but not ready for a facelift or browlift. Unlike surgery, there is NO downtime following Ulthera and the procedure itself is comfortable and safe. read more and view Ultherapy video

What is the Ulthera procedure like?

Depending on the area of treatment, Ulthera takes approximately 30 minutes to just over an hour to perform. Dr. Palm performs nerve blocks on patients to ensure patients are extremely comfortable during the procedure. The mild discomfort experienced over the neck area during treatment feels like a dull ache, and a warm, prickly sensation. The vast majority of patients treated by Dr. Palm require no sedation or pain medication. Patients leave the office with no downtime and or indication that a procedure was performed.

What areas of the face or body are treated with Ulthera?

Ulthera is FDA-cleared for skin toning and firming around the eyes and lower face and neck. It is helpful in addressing brow droopiness and upper eyelid hooding. Ulthera lifts the jawline and improves jowling and neck sagging. Published medical reports have also used Ulthera to address sagging skin of the knees, aging changes and sagging of the chest and décolletage area, and sagging skin on the upper arms.

How long until I see results from Ulthera and how long does it last?

Skin tightening following Ulthera takes approximately three to six months to occur. Immediate skin toning is often visible immediately following treatment. A single treatment may yield significant results. Ultherapy results last at least one year, and often for longer period of times. Patients with significant skin sagging may consider a series of multiple treatments spaced at 6 month to yearly intervals to increase the effect of tissue tightening from Ulthera.

Who is a good candidate for Ulthera?

Patients with relatively good skin elasticity or “spring back” respond more readily to treatment. Younger patients may have more dramatic responses. The ideal candidate is a patient with good skin elasticity in their 40s to 50s with mild to moderate skin sagging of the neck or eye area. However, patients outside this age group or with more compromised skin quality may still benefit from Ulthera treatment. These patients often require multiple treatments and should expect more conservative outcomes.

What is the cost of Ulthera?

Some clinics charge by the number of “lines” performed during treatment. Usually around 600 or more lines are done during a full face and neck treatment. Dr. Palm charges only for the areas of treatment. Combined treatment around the eye area and face/neck areas are provided at a discount. According to the Ulthera guidelines, the cost of Ulthera should be no less than $2500. Typical prices are $3500-$4000 per treatment of the full face and neck.

What are the possible side effects of Ulthera?

Adverse effects from Ulthera are few and often avoided with proper treatment. Mild redness or a hive-like reaction is possible but rare. Bruising is possible but unlikely. Tenderness in the area of treatment is typical for up to 2 weeks following treatment but is mild and temporary in nature. Numbness in the area of treatment is possible but unlikely with proper technique.

Can i combine Ulthera with other procedures?

Yes.  Skin tightening and "re-draping" performed by Ulthera is just one foundation of facial rejuvenation.  Combining other procedures to relax overactive facial muscles, revolumize sunken cheeks, temples, and around the mouth, and resurfacing sun-damaged skin create a more dramatic but natural looking ultimate result.  For example, Botox or Dysport could be used to further lift a drooping brow treated by Ulthera.  Facial revolumization or a liquid facelift can be performed with Sculptra or Radiesse preceding or following Ultherapy.  Tear trough correction or lip augmentation can be performed with Restylane or Juvederm after the tightening effect of Ulthera has taken place.  Correction of broken blood vessels with IPL or brown spots and melasma with the Spectra laser can complement the lifting ability of ultrasound energy delivered by Ulthera.  Further tightening of skin can be accomplished by laser resurfacing such from the ECO2 fractionated carbon  dioxide laser device by Lutronic.