New Procedure is 5x Cheaper Than a Facelift and Lasts About a Year and a Half

K. Mathews on 1 May 2012 at 5:00pm

Ultherapy was one of the fastest growing procedures on RealSelf last year. But what is it, and why is there such an interest? Here's a round-up of all you need to know about this latest trend in skin rejuvenation.

Ultherapy… is the only FDA approved device for both tightening and lifting of the muscles and skin of the face and neck… [it] uses ultrasound to heat the muscles and skin to create both deep and superficial collagen production," explains facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael A. Persky.

The Good

It works

With an impressive 83% Worth It rating from RealSelf members, it seems like it actually works! “When I catch a look at myself in the mirror, I’m surprised by how un-tired I look,” says reviewer Tallchick. “[It’s] a face that looks more the way I remember.” She even posted her own before-and-after photos to show just how much her skin tightened around her jawline:

It's Quick

"The Ultherapy procedure took about 90 minutes," Mishou35 said. "I will definitely do it again and again."

It's Cheaper Than a Facelift

Averaging $2,600, Ultherapy is about five times cheaper than a facelift. But keep in mind that Ultherapy's results show for about a year and a half; facelifts last more than five times longer.  

The Bad

High Heat

One main downside to Ultherapy is the pain factor. “I went through natural childbirth (no anesthesia) without screaming or crying, so why couldn’t I handle ulthera?” laments Tellyjan

Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Chiang admits that while pain tolerance differs amongst everyone, “Ulthera is uncomfortable for most patients,” and suggests that patients take oral pain meds to counteract the procedure’s heat sensation.

Slow Results

Though the results last up to a year and a half, doctors caution that it takes about three months for the full effects of the treatment to be visible. RealSelf reviewer Blown was upset to not see results within a few weeks, and she is not alone in that community.

When Tellyjan underwent both Ultherapy and Botox at the same time, she preferred the instant gratification of Botox.

On the other hand, some see the delayed results as a benefit. Notes Miss Clare CT “I love the slow/gradual improvements, so it’s not obvious." 

The Results

If you're looking to reduce signs of facial aging, when is Ulthera the right choice vs. fillers or toxins? Beverly Hills Dr. Sarmela Sunder breaks down a critical difference: “If your issue is that you feel that your skin is sagging a bit and want the tissues of your face to look a bit more lifted, then Ultherapy is the way to go. If you are concerned that there are areas of your face that look hollow and deflated or there are prominent folds, then fillers will help restore volume and natural contours to your face.”

Despite its drawbacks, since 4/5 reviewers are happy with Ultherapy, it’s bound to stick around. Take a look at some of these doctors’ before-and-after photos and tell us whether you think the results are worth the wait and the pain.

Performed by Dr. Mark Beaty of Atlanta

Performed by Dr. DeEtta M. Gray of Bellevue