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Face ultrasound treatment still good in some areas after 1.5 years, other areas no benefit - Sydney, AU

I've only just had Ulthera, so it will be 2-3...

I've only just had Ulthera, so it will be 2-3 months before I can put up before and after pics, but I'd like to note my impressions of the treatment.

Why I had it: I've disliked the lax look of my neck and jaw line for the past 5 years but am not ready for surgery. I wanted something I judged as low risk, and followed up on it after reading promising reviews on RealSelf.

Getting advice: the doctor reported that I wouldn't see results for 2-3 months and it would only last a year. She advised I'd get a better, more permanent result doing lipo on my neck. She didn't think I needed platysma muscle correction. I think she's right, but I'm not quite ready for lipo, but it's something to consider carefully given the high cost and short term benefit of Ultherapy. I'm told most money goes on the machine parts, which are extremely expensive.

Pain management: Took 2 ibuprofen (Advil) an hour before. I was given a Penthrox (methoxyflurane) inhaler to use doing treatment, which was excellent. I generally have high pain tolerance.

The treatment: Short, sharp pulses from the head which feel a bit like very fine needles, and only last for the briefest part of a second. Overall I didn't find it unpleasant at all on my neck and most of my face. There were some localised pain areas on my left upper cheek, and it made my feet twitch a few times (my personal coping mechanism). But by the time it was getting anywhere close to extreme the pulse had finished and it was gone. The ibuprofen and Penthrox made the experience very manageable. Overall I've had more painful experiences with both IPL and dental cleaning.

Afterwards: Sat for 10 minutes waiting for the Penthrox to wear off (it does make you feel and behave like a happy drunk). I had slight tingling around my cheekbones, like a bit of wind burn. The tingling lasted for an hour and was gone. Skin was slightly pinkish for an hour after. I don't feel any tightness or other effects.

Overall: a good experience. Felt safe and hassle free. Felt she was a quality practitioner with lots of experience.

Will post photos again after 2 months – fingers crossed it'll be worth it.

It's been around 6 months since I had Ulthera...

It's been around 6 months since I had Ulthera treatment.

At 3 months I honestly couldn't see any benefit and had I posted then I would have said it wasn't worth it, especially given the cost.

But around 4-6 months it really kicked in and I began to notice a definite overall improvement. Rather than specific features, it's more like an overall refresh of the face; the forehead is tighter, the eyes less droopy, the cheeks more solid, and the jaw less jowly. Now I get a satisfying, relatively youthful impression when I look in the mirror, whereas 6 months ago I really didn't like looking in the mirror at all. My face appears to me like it did about 5 years ago.

I haven't had any other treatment, so I can only put it down to the ulthera.

I don't know how long this treatment lasts, some say about 2 years, and some say it will always be better than if I'd never had the treatment. If I get a good two years improvement, I'll definitely have it again if I need it.

My only disappointment is that I couldn't have it done on my neck, as I always wanted to see improvement there.

PS Sorry for not having photos, been very busy. I'll try and visit the clinic to get some after pics taken in the same type of light.

Update on 1.5 years

It's been over 1.5 years since I had the treatment, I'd say over a year since I've enjoyed the benefits of the ultrasound therapy because it took about 6 month to kick in. Word is that you get about 2 years out of the procedure, but you'll always look better than if you hadn't had it. I'll review later in the year then.

I've been very happy with the quality of my face since I had the treatment. People do note that my skin and face tone is in very good nick for my age, considering it's pale, I live in a harsh climate and I don't live a particularly healthy lifestyle.

I've not been happy with the quality of my neck (ie thinning skin and a difference in colour), but they didn't treat there. Why I'm raising it is that I wish they'd been able to treat my neck at the same time, I'd have happily paid the extra. I will eventually go back to the clinic and if they can do my neck, I'll get a complete second treatment done.

It's really hard to do objective reviews of a treatment where the effects are so subtle and changes happen slowly over time. All I can say is that before I had the ultrasound treatment I didn't like looking in the mirror. I could see obvious signs of aging. But over the past year that's changed, I feel I look considerably fresher and younger when I look at that reflection. That's all I can say really.

Additional Ulthera treatment from jaw to collarbone

After I last posted I went back to the clinic and undertook a treatment of my neck, from the jaw down to the collarbone. I wanted to get it because it's one area where I have a lot of age and gravity signs, with horizontal bands and deep wrinkles, general typical age signs. During the treatment I noticed I didn't need the penthrox painkiller as much, and the doctor said she thought they had improved the technology so that the experience is not as painful as it used to be.

After the treatment I had some very light reddish bruising with small white spots, which went away in 24 hours. My neck skin was noticeably tight, which I assume is from swelling. I can see why some people think ulthera works immediately, but it's just swelling. This tightness also went away after a day.

So I'm happy I finally got my neck treated, now for a 4-5 month wait to see if there are any improvements.

Some photos, sorry for the delay

I apologise as I haven't been able to get identical lighting photos done, but here are some selfies. I never had Ulthera on my neck, and even with the awful shaving rash right now, I can see the skin has deteriorated a lot there since last year. I also went and got ulthera on my full neck last week. I don't expect much. I'll probably need something more drastic.

Second photo which didn't save before.

Ulthera second treatment full face and forehead

I had a second treatment today, full face and forehead. For the most part the treatment was painless. The first pass over was fine. The second one smarted on the forehead on the bonier parts of my cheeks, back near the ear. It's a sensation a bit like being splattered with hot wax. Thankfully it was short, and I had the Penthrox which cut the pain enormously. It certainly wasn't anywhere near unbearable.

4 hours later I'm back to normal, a bit tender on my forehead still.

Interesting that the doctor noted improvements on neck from the treatment a week ago, saying that the neck lines are barely visible and it looks so much smoother. It's true, it looks much smoother and firmer, though I don't know why, the therapy shouldn't have kicked in so soon. Perhaps it's just that your face changes day to day.

How long ulthera lasts

I'm posting some side by side pictures after 1.5 years. I think these pictures demonstrate the limitations of the treatment really. Ulthera won't help on any part of the body which where there are a lot of fat deposits, like on my neck. I admit however, that i never got the treatment on my neck, just the jawline. Whether the effects last more than a year is uncertain, but probably not significantly, which makes it an expensive treatment for just one year's benefit. I still believe I got some lasting benefit, especially on the main area of my face, like under the eye. The main facial area is a good place for ulthera, in my opinion.

Jaw, no great improvement, some fat lost, unevenly. Probably just an age effect.

Side neck, no lasting improvement

I didn't have ulthera on the neck, just the jaw. It hasn't had any lasting benefit in that area. Clearly that area needs some other treatment.
Ashbrooke vein and cosmetic

Ashbrooke is the pioneer of this treatment in Australia, and Ulthera seems to be one of their mainstays along with lipo. The staff are obviously very busy with appointments but they will answer your questions honestly and knowledgeably. They do appear to be more expensive than some of the costs you see on the web, but I think they really know their specialties, so I would trust them with procedures that I would be cautious about getting done elsewhere.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (30)

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Do you have some photo's of your cheek and eye area's?
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I don't understand the benefit of this as expensive as it is, a couple treatments is close to the cost of a face /neck lift !
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I have to disagree in part. I think a facelift is much more expensive than an ultherapy treatment. As for a necklift you simply wouldn't go with ulthera if you needed a necklift. But in addition it depends on the person and what they want. Not everyone wants to undertake a procedure as drastic as facelift, which not only has a long recovery, extreme discomfort and surgical risk, but also incurs a loss of wages due to the time needed off work. Still ultrasound treatment is very expensive right now and it's certainly not for everyone. A facelift/necklift is what some people may need, if they're prepared to take their chances, and have time to spare.
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Yes , I have to agree. I think this poor guy wasted a lot of money. Very little benefit noted. More imagined, I think than real. You really can't tell anything by the photos as the lighting is completely different in the befores and afters and in the front view, we don't see the whole face, so we don't know what the expression is. Even a LITTLE smile can make wrinkles under the eyes look remarkably worse in older skin. So he may have been smiling a little in the before shot. We don't know however since we get a small cropped part of the face.
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At least when you find a good surgeon, you are guaranteed significant, long-lasting results with a facelift.
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I recently had the procedure done, full face and neck. It took 4 hours and for me, was extremely painful. They gave me Valium before and it didn't begin to touch the pain.. I know everyone is different, but a root canal hurt less. I'm very lucky as I saw immediate results and have no bruising or swelling, just some numbness on my neck. I think I will be happy with the results but I won't go through this again unless they can offer more to control the pain
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4 hours? It normally takes 1/2 hour. Why did it take so long? Did you need lots of breaks. I always insist on a penthrox. It helps tremendously, especially when they zap you over the forehead and cheek bones.
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Yes I needed several breaks. She did any where from 5 to 20 pulses at a time, I'm not sure what is normal. I certainly will mention penthrox to them. They said I had immediate results but I'm still not sure, maybe a little. Has anyone else seen immediate results?
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I'm not sure. I also seem to have had unexpected fast results last time I got my neck done. The skin quality appeared a lot better within a week. Possibly it's two fold, the skin which can improve quickly, and the underlying tissue which takes several months.
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I saw results w neck immediately but am only 3 days out so could just be swelling..one eyebrow definitely lifted over the other so will adopt a wait and see on that….
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In hindsight I think the initial tightness was from the micro-damage the ulthera does. At any rate I don't think it was permanent, so back to normal until the three month mark for me. I actually went and had a different procedure (neck lipo) so it'll be impossible for me to post any worthwhile before after pics on my second ultherapy as my jaw line was dramatically changed, for the better though.
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Can you post the after photos?
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Thank you for your update. I had my Ultherapy about four weeks ago. I can't see anything yet, but really don't expect to. Incredibly, I still have discomfort on my neck and jowl area. It's slightly painful to the touch and tingly. I expected that but not to last this long. I had half face and extended neck done; not down the center of my throat because of the thyroid, etc. I am hopeful that at the three month mark I'll see something. Thank you for sharing your experience; it gives me hope that at six months, I'll really be pleased with my appearance. I don't know if I'd do it again; it was way too painful for me and expensive at $2200.
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I think if you can feel affects well after that would be a good sign of the collagen restitching itself. Unfortunately it's a long wait for results so you sort of have to forget it for a while. I really did notice effects after 6 months, but not dramatic. More like if I'd been eating well and exercising. It's always hard to judge these things because we continue to age a lot. I'll get the treatment again in a year or so though, and try and push to get extended neck done like you did.
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It is now approved for neck just avoid the thyroid
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Thanks. I'll have a talk to the clinic again and see if they can do the parts I want. It's more down around the upper 'necklace' line that I'd really want.
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Thank you for sharing. I didn't know about the inhaler. I look forward to your updates.
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No problem at all. Regarding how long a modality lasts is dependent on many variables such as, lifestyle, metabolism, health, age etc. Your doctor suggested it would last a year, this may be true again depending those variables. Lipo to the area would give you more contouring and last longer I agree. You do need regeneration for your tissue regarding your issue of lax skin and this is where such treatments and modalities such as Ultrasound, Radio Frequency or Laser /light base treatments can assist. With my own experience using many different modalities Ulthera has been the best by far for tightening and contouring. I also use for contouring for the excess fatty deposits on the lower neck the Accent Radio Frequency. Used correctly I have had great results in contouring faces. It is non-surgical and requires no down time or pain relief.
Hope this helps. I understand the cost factor regarding the Ulthera, but like I said if you can come to some compromise for more treatments with your clinic regarding the costs then it would be well worth it!
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Thanks for your comments. I'll wait out the 2 months to see if ulthera has any effect by itself, and then explore other ideas. At least then I'll be able to give a fairly unhindered appraisal.
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My advice for you is to wait 3 months for your result you will see the best result at this stage, then if your main concern is the jowl area re-do it. I understand there is a cost factor but it is much cheaper than surgery; you can discuss this with your clinician. I have had great results treating patients with the Ulthera I am loving this modality over Thermage and RF treatments. I do believe Thermage and RF have their place but not for the costs and results achieved.
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Thanks for your advice laurag086. I appreciate that ultherapy is cheaper that surgery, and safer. It's just that there's not much info out there about lasts, and compared to surgery or lipo which can last years to a lifetime, the cost-effectiveness isn't easy to measure.
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P13ski, lol same here. It is my lower neck (by the little dent under the thyroid, where the neck meets the body) that I need the most help. I notice a laxity and mild crepiness there. There's a machine used in spas in Europe called the CACI. It employs ultrasound, microcurrents and LED red light. I am wondering if one also uses the red light home device, whether this would encourage collagen production after Ulthera. I'm taking a fish collagen supplement but this is obviously internal. Perhaps both?
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Agreed. That's where the downward skin drift starts to 'pool' and my impression is that there's little to be done. The Dr suggested some fraxel and a bit of botox to settle the muscle which is causing the creping. Seems like a stop gap measure to me.
Can they do thermage on that part of the neck?
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I doubt if Thermage would do anything. A neck lift might though.
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Yes, a bit frustrating as who doesn't want a firmer lower neck? I even asked whether it's possible to pull the skin off to the side and zap it, but they said no....

Well I tried.... : /
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