Not As Painful As I Thought - Portland, OR

I am 44 years old and my skin is firm, I don't...

I am 44 years old and my skin is firm, I don't have a lot of wrinkles, but I started seeing a slight sagging in my jowl area which comes with age. I believe an ounce pf prevention is better than a pound of cure and after researching Ulthera and discovering that it stimulates deep collagen growth, I decided to give it a try. My expectations are to have at least a 20% firming (more definition) in my cheek/jowl area, and I hope that having small tweaks over the years will help me age gracefully with the help of modern science. After doing tons of research on real-self and elsewhere, We discussed various options, and I asked him if he thought Thermage or Ulthera were a better option for me, and he said to go with Ulthera. He told me there would be some discomfort during the procedure and that I would see the full results within 6 months. I scheduled my appointment with his RN Shelley, who was absolutely wonderful. I decided to take pain meds as I have a low pain tolerance and wanted to make the experience as pain free as possible. Shelley gave me a Percocet and an Ativan and we started the procedure about 45 minutes later.


There was a mild prickling sensation along my cheeks, and my jaw area (the bony parts) were quite sore but tolerable. She told me that the pain is usually more intense along the jawline and cheekbone area, and gave me a tube that blew nice, cold air onto my cheeks. It took about 25 minutes to complete the procedure and I was ready to go home. There was some very mild swelling, no bruising, and tenderness in the jawline area for about 4 days afterwards. It was only noticeable if I touched it, though. I was able to go back to working out at the gym the next day, and nobody (including myself) would have guessed I just had a laser procedure!!! Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how little pain I had, and I can already see a slight firming in my jowls, although this might be the result of swelling. I prefer to go for subtle, more natural results, and I am looking forward to seeing a more defined look in my cheek/jaw area over the next few months. I will also update this post as I see improvement.

3 Comments

Its always good to hear from someone who went through the treatment with minimal discomfort. I have to ask, a 20% increase seems minimal to me for $2000. How did you come up with the 20% improvement expectation?

  • Reply
Hi Megan - to be honest I like to be realistic in terms of expectation - if I get more than 20% improvement I will be very happy. The thing with Ulthera is that it is a long term strategy for improvement of collagen growth, so although benefits may not be all that apparent, deep down it slows the usual process of aging due to collagen loss. Hopefully I will have something closer to 40% improvement which is what the RN told me. I do think the improvements from Ulthera will be subtle.

Please do keep us posted on the amount you see. A 40% improvement would seem worth it to me, so I'll be curious what you see. :)

Update: 10 months later

I can now say that Ulthera worked very well for me. I saw a 30% improvement on my jowls and jawline, and my skin looks refreshed and healthy. I have not experienced any facial fat loss, or other negative effects. Ulthera is NOT a cure all. I was 43 yrs old and just starting to see a slight loosening in the jaw/neck area. My skin was still quite tight, with very little excess skin, so doing Ulthera at this stage is also part of my preventing laxity and sagging in the jowls/jaw area. I think if you are in your late 50's or older, have double chins and a big turkey wattle, Ulthera may not work very well for you.

I will probably do Ulthera again in 2 years time on my face, and plan on doing it on my neck next year.

I believe that ulthera, in conjunction with maintaining a slim weight, (not losing and gaining weight which causes facial/chin skin to stretch and sag) not smoking, using mineral sunscreen, retin A and the occasional deep peel will preserve a youthful looking skin for years to come.
I believe in prevention, not cure, and in my opinion, once the skin sags too much it is too late to get it back to 100% tight with Ulthera and you'd probably need a facelift.

I cannot reiterate strongly enough how important it is to go to a doctor who has lots of experience with ulthera, because in the wrong hands or inexperienced hands I think it will be less effective. I stay away from groupons and doctors who give discounts because they have just bought the latest technology and have not yet used it on hundreds of patients.

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0 Comments

12 months later

I regret saying this procedure was worth it. In all honesty I see very little difference and the difference I DID see was ONLY due to swelling. Save your money. Ulthera is a total scam and although I hate to admit it, I wasted $2000 on a worthless procedure. On the plus side, there was no fat loss, damage or scarring. Buyer beware, though! I wish I could turn my review into NOT WORTH IT after seeing the final result. In all honesty I now realise that there are only a few things to help us age gracefully:
botox, sunscreen and Retin A
a healthy diet of leafy organic greens and plenty of clean H2O
staying a normal weight
and finally a facelift.

At present I am doing the above (minus the facelift for now) and also doing dermarolling with a 1mm, Vitamin C serum I make myself, and Retin A + Sunscreen, Argan Oil and aspirin mask twice weekly. That's it, folks. There is no miracle. Save your money and go to a good Doctor for a facelift when the time is right. In the meantime, enjoy your life, smile and value those laugh lines - they are a sign of wisdom and life experience, the canvas of your life's work.

3 Comments

nwmouse, it was good to see such an honest review. I think you can change the rating. Just go to your profile and click on the edit button next to your title (the large one in bold print) and I think you can change it there. I think it's important for the rating to reflect your true feelings, it's the only somewhat reliable feedback we have for ultherapy right now and I still don't think the ratings are a true reflection of the procedure. Take care and keep up your healthy skin regimen!
  • Reply
Thanks Gypsy. I updated it. I guess I really WANTED it to work so much because of the cost that I didn't see the proof staring back at me. Placebo effect. Waste of K2!
No problem. I put a 'worth it' rating on mine, but there are days when I just don't see it. All in all I'm glad I did it, but it is very expensive so you really need to do your research, read lots of reviews...good and bad, and know going in the results vary, theres just no guarantees, with anything, even surgery! Thanks for your review. Good luck and remember, we are much more than our looks! =)
Dr Key

I decided to go to Dr Key here in Portland for a consultation as he was recommended by the Ulthera people and he had good reviews on realself and on yelp.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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