Ask a doctor

Can You Lose Fat Cells in Your Face with Ulthera?

Doctor Answers 6

Fat loss with Ultherapy

Hello Sunny3,

The nice thing about Ultherapy is that the heat that is delivered by the transducer is directed at specific layers underneath the skin.  When I treat a patient, I usually address the deep facial layer first and then the more superficial layer near the dermis. The subcutaneous fat is left alone.  Also, by constantly looking at the monitor, I can see the layers of the skin and where the treatment line will be and ensure myself thay I am not delivering the ultrasound heat into the fat layer.


Dr. H

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Fat cells are not treated with Ultherapy

The unique benefit of focused ultrasound energy is that it can be delivered in the skin itself (1.5 mm and 3 mm transducers) and SMAS muscle layer (4.5 mm) and not affect the underlying fatty tissue. Fat loss or volume loss is not caused by Ultherapy. 

Ulthera and Fat Cell Loss

Thank you for your question. Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time. Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. The treatment will not cause you to lose fat cells in your face, only lift and tighten the skin.

Ultherapy and facial fat pads

Ultherapy is a ultrasound technology that coagulates the deep facial tissues causing immediate contraction of those layers as well as delayed collagen production. It is the first machine to actually delivery the energy to a specific layer that is visualized during the treatment. The first pass is directed to the SMAS which is a fibrous layer that overlays the facial muscles. The second pass addresses the deep dermis. Both layers do not contain any facial fat. The temperature delivered at those layers does not dissolve the fat in the intervening space.

Hope that was helpful!


Good luck

No evidence to-date as of this writing that Ultherapy induces fat atrophy

Neither I nor my colleagues, with whom I have spoken, have observed fat atrophy with Ultherapy. It would be interesting to learn if the company will alter the device with adjustable settings to allow a physician to induce such an effect in the future but this would require different transducer handpieces and the machine would be used differently than it is for facial tightening.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews


As a Facial Plastic Surgeon and as a utilizer of Ultherapy, I can assure you that facial fat atrophy has not been a complication I have seen in my hands or witnessed as a consequence of this treatment.  It utilizes ultrasound energy to penetrate to depths of 3 and 4.5 mm.  If anything, the major caveat about Ultherapy, is that is not a nonsurgical way to produce Facelift results,as some might suggest.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 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.