Using ultrasound energy, Ultherapy® treatment lifts and tightens skin on the face and neck. Ultherapy treatment works on the deep layers of tissue usually targeted during a facelift or neck lift, but leaves surface skin alone. By heating tissue with sound waves, collagen production increases, resulting in younger-looking skin. According to its manufacturer, Ulthera, Inc., Ultherapy treatment "is the only noninvasive procedure FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, chin and brow."
The Ultherapy Procedure
During Ultherapy treatment, which is performed in a physician's office, the skin is cleansed, and ultrasound gel is applied to the target area. The Ultherapy handpiece is placed on the skin, delivering low-level focused heat as it moves over the target area. Mild discomfort may be experienced as the heat is delivered beneath the skin. Discomfort levels vary from patient to patient, and on the area being treated.
It takes 60 to 90 minutes to treat the entire face and neck; a partial face or brow treatment usually takes 30 minutes.
Ultherapy Treatment Results
Ultherapy treatment is used on mildly to moderately loose or sagging skin on the face and neck. Results, however, vary from patient to patient, and on the condition and quality of the skin being treated.
Treatment that "lifts" the brow reduces excess skin on the eyelids, making the eyes look more open. Treatment that lifts and tightens sagging skin on the neck and under the chin eliminates or reduces a double chin or "turkey-gobbler."
Although some patients may see immediate improvement, results of Ultherapy treatment are usually apparent within 2 to 3 months, during which old collagen is replaced with new, more elastic collagen. At 6 months, full benefits are attained. Most patients need only one treatment, but those with significant issues may require more. It is possible for results to last up to a year.
Ultherapy Treatment Side Effects
Side effects of Ultherapy treatment are usually minor and temporary, and limited to the treatment area. Side effects include:
- Slight redness
- Slight swelling
Ultherapy treatment is not a substitute for a surgical facelift, but is an option for those not interested in or ready for surgery.