Ulthera/Ultherapy Non-surgical Face Lift

Non-Surgical Facelift in the San Diego Area

Dr. Melanie Palm is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained cosmetic surgeon. A noted leader in her field, Dr. Palm is an expert in the use of Ultherapy for non-surgical facelifts and is a physician speaker and advisory board member for the device. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego.

What is Ulthera / Ultherapy?

Ulthera (also referred to as Ultherapy) is a nonsurgical, no downtime, in-office procedure for lifting and toning sagging skin of the lower face, jawline, and brows. It is also FDA-cleared for rejuvenation of the decollete area of the chest. 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 surgeons 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.

Can Ultherapy be Used for Rejuvenation of the Chest?

Yes. Ultherapy is FDA-cleared not only for facial rejuvenation but for the decollete region as well. Ultherapy treatment may be used on the V-neck region of the chest to lift the tissues, softening textural changes such as the vertical wrinkles between the breasts.

Ulthera Treatment FAQ

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 takes special measures to ensure patients at Art of Skin MD experience minimal discomfort during Ultherapy. Our unique approach to Ultherapy patients sets us apart from other clinics. Dr. Palm performs nerve blocks on patients to ensure patients are extremely comfortable during the procedure. Patients are also offered a mild anti-anxiety medication and pain reliever prior to treatment. This combination of comfort measures allows Ultherapy to be done with minimal to no pain. The mild discomfort experienced over the neck area during treatment feels like a dull ache, and a warm, prickly sensation. Patients leave the office with no downtime and or indication that a procedure was performed.

What areas of the face or body are treated?

This treatment is FDA-cleared for skin toning and firming around the eyes and lower face, neck, and decollete. 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, buttocks, and 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?

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 should be no less than $2,500. 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 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 re-volumization 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.


If you are in the San Diego area and are interested in learning more about a non-surgical facelift with Ulthera, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment.