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How Long Do the Results of an Ultherapy Procedure Last?

Doctor Answers 58

Ultherapy has been shown to last a year (perhaps longer?)

Ultherapy is a fairly new device in the U.S. market (Fall 2009), although it has been in Asia for several years. Here in the U.S. the initial reports (from the FDA clinical trials) examined the effects of the treatments and showed that the results lasted for a year. Of course, since it is a new technology, we need studies that go beyond one year to see exactly how long the effective results can truly last. Informal reports from physicians who have been using this device for over a year, have reported effects lasting 1.5 years and more.

Having said that, it is very important to remember that neither this treatment or ANY surgery can stop time and the effects of aging. Even a face lift will have an "expiration date" (so to speak).  Of course, the fact that you "reset the stage" by lifting the skin and muscle back closer to where it used to be means that even as you age, you are still ahead of where you would have been if you did not have any treatment at all.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Y

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How Long Do the Results of Ultherapy by Ulthera Last?

Hi Minny,

Ultherapy by Ulthera has only been out for about 2 years.  Although many patients see immediate lifting results, the ultimate results do not happen overnight, but gradually over time.  It can take up to 2-3 months for optimal rejuvenation.   Ulthera has been used for close to 2 years.  Some patients treated 1 1/2  to 2 years ago are now returning for second treatments.  Though they still appear improved from their pre-treatment “before” photos, most desire further improvement, further turning back the hands of time.  Practitioners have reported that even in cases where they don’t see a big difference  in before and after photos, patients feel and notice the tightening to the point of being satisfied.   Ultherapy is ideal for patients between 35 to 60.   Older patients and those with excessively loose skin will benefit from either laser therapy or surgical face lifting.

Good luck and be well.


Dr. P


Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

How Long Does Ultherapy Last?

You ask a good question and all of our patients ask something similar. The answer really is, we don't know yet.  The studies completed to obtain FDA clearance for the device showed that effective treatment results lasted at least one year.  How long after this will patients desire to have a touch up procedure?

When we evaluated the device, we investigated similar procedures that induce collagen formation and found that most of these had a longevity of 3 years or so.  We would expect that Ultherapy results should last in this time frame.  Keep in mind that the effect of Ultherapy is permanent and you will always look better than if you had  done nothing at all.   Unfortunately, the aging process continues.  Any procedure, even the most aggressive surgical procedure, does not stop you from aging.  Much like exercise, if you want to maintain a youthful appearance, it will require a continued investment.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Ultherapy sets back the aging clock

Because Ulthera has a direct effect on the collagen under the skin, causing it to regenerate, the effect is not really a temporary one. That doesn't mean it suspends time, it is more like setting back the aging clock. It uses highly focused ultrasound to target the collagen layer noninvasively, and the full effects take about 3 months to develop. 

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Most people choose to have another Ultherapy Procedure 1.5 to 2 years later

Thank you for your question.  Although Ultherapy does a good job of "turning back the clock", the normal aging process continues of course. In my opinion, the natural aging will never completely catch up to where it would have been had you not done Ulthera. At any given time your skin is still "in a better place" than it would have been had you never had an Ultherapy treatment. Most of our patients like their result and choose to have another treatment 1.5 to 2 years later.  

We tell our patients that Ultherapy is a great way to give your skin mild tightening and improvement but it does not compare to the dramatic effects of a surgical facelift or necklift. Good candidate selection for Ultherapy is paramount. If you are not a good candidate for Ultherapy, your provider ideally should inform you of that. It is ideal to be evaluated for Ulthera candidacy by a surgeon who performs Ultherapy as well as facelift/necklifts/eyelids/etc. That way you know you're always going to get an appropriate assessment. They can tell you about the expected outcome for either approach.

We choose our ultherapy candidates very carefully after thorough assessment of skin type, bone structure, tissue and fat volume, etc... In our practice, our patients are very satisfied with their Ultherapy results and most patients choose to repeat it every 1.5 to 2 years as a preventative or maintenance measure.

Lynn Chiu-Collins, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

How long does Ultherapy last?

Ultherapy is a device that stimulates collagen reproduction. Collagen is a natural occurring protein in our body that gives the skin structure.Things like unprotected sun exposure, pollution, bad health habits, and unbalanced hormones can break collagen down more quickly.

It takes about 3 to 6 months to see the full effect from Ultherapy. Results from Ultherapy can last a year or longer but the aging process will still continue to take place.You will be speeding up that process if you aren't taking care of your skin after the procedure. So things like yearly maintenance Ultherapy treatments, eating better, applying an antioxidant serum, and wearing a broad spectrum SPF will keep your skin looking it's best for a longer period of time. 

Scott Haupt, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ultherapy as an Alternative to Surgery

Beyond the dramatic results you may see, the beauty of Ultherapy is its long-lasting effects. Once you’ve had the non-surgical procedure, the lifting and tightening caused by increased collagen production will continue for the next two to three months. After that, most patients retain their younger-looking appearance for about two years, which is the time it takes for the natural aging process to cause the reappearance of skin laxity.

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

How long will Ultherapy last?

Ultherapy works by reorganizing and stimulating collagen.  So you should continue look better than if you had never had the procedure.  Unfortunately, we can't stop time, though.  The technology is relatively new, so we are still learning about the longevity.  What most providers have seen is that it takes at least a year to a year and a half for gravity to catch up and for patients to want a refresher.  Large, long term studies are necessary before we can definitively answer the question, however.

Angela Sturm, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Ultherapy Results

Ultherapy is a high density focused ultrasound activity which can have results that last a year or longer, especially in the neck and lower face in a younger patient. If the patient has significant sagging already it may not correct the problem.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Ultherapy results you can hope for...

To the best of our knowledge, Ultherapy lasts for around 2 years.  The aging process can not be stopped, so all cosmetic procedures have limitations.  You will see immediate improvement and this is unique to a skin tightening device.  There will be continued tissue modeling and thickening of the dermal collagen for 6-10 months after treatment.  The skin (epidermis) also improves significantly with the treatment, however, maintaining this improvement will depend on how well you take care of you skin (sun and smoking avoidance).

Curt Samlaska, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.