Can Ultherapy cause fat loss when getting it done on the cheek area?

I'm looking into getting ultherapy done on the cheek area to tighten up and lift my midface - basically the area from cheekbones to chin. I'm 38 and skeptical that it will even work, but I'm willing to take the chance as long as there are no negative effects. I have read that ultherapy can cause fat loss, and I definitely would not want to lose any more fat in my cheek area.

Doctor Answers 10

Can Ultherapy cause fat loss when getting it done on the cheek area?

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is without a doubt yes, Ultherapy does cause fat loss. The given depth of penetration for 4.5mm is below the skin; and the tissue that is directly below the skin is fat. This is where the fat layer in the face lives. Any plastic surgeon who has ever done a face lift will tell you that looking at Before/After pictures of Ulthera patients, patients will show a loss of volume, due to treatment related fat loss.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Ultherapy and fat loss

Ultherapy is FDA approved for skin tightening. This device builds collagen and provides a lifting effect. With this technology (microfocused ultrasound) there should not be any fat atrophy. If fat loss (atrophy) has occured, it would be due to inappropriate use of the device (pulse stacking: pulsing heat in the same location too many times). This should not occur with a properly trained physician doing your treatment.  

Anne Marie Tremaine, MD
Naples Dermatologic Surgeon

Fat atrophy is not something that should be seen when done correctly

Thanks for your question. The great thing about Ultherapy is that the
fractionated ultrasound lines that are generated are always exact and
precise, depending on the transducer used. Ultherapy needs to be done by
skilled clinicians, working in a board certified dermatologist or plastic
surgeon’s office to ensure the best lifting results you can get. Fat atrophy is
not something that should be seen when done correctly.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Ultherapy for facial tightening has not caused fat loss in my NYC practice

I have not heard from any of my colleagues that they have seen fat reduction from Ultherapy.  I have been doing Ultherapy for several years with good patient satisfaction and am not aware of one case of fat loss.  I actually tried to reduce the submental fat of the neck intentionally, early on when beginning the procedure and did not see any fat reduction. Ultherapy is FDA cleared for tissue tightening.
This is not to say that anyone could guarantee it wouldn't happen to you, but it's not a side effect we're aware of to discuss with our patients preoperatively.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Ultherapy and Fat Loss

Microfocused ultrasound should not cause fat loss if used appropriately especially if used properly.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

No fat loss with Ultherapy

Because Ultherapy uses microfocused ultrasound, it should not affect the fat layer which is at a deeper level. Non-focused technologies such as radiofrequency have been associated with fat loss at times but this is not common.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Does Ultherapy Cause Fat Loss?

The Ultherapy treatment does not go deep enough to affect the fat layer, therefore, it does not cause fat loss. Ultherapy lifts, tightens and tones skin. It does not replace lost volume. Fillers are the best treatment to replace lost volume. Ultherapy and fillers work great in combination to give the best results. 

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Ultherapy does not cause volume loss - Buffalo Niagara Ultherapy specialist

i have done Ultherapy on hundreds of patients and I have never seen a patient who returned 6 months later or a year later with complaints of volume loss.

The reasons are the following : the technology uses ultrasound to image depth and the depth is never beyond 4.5 mm and into the SMAS layer and not into fatty tissue. 

Volume loss is another problem altogether associated with aging which can be repleted with facial fillers, fat grafting, etc.

Read the Ultherapy book provided on the link below. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


hello, we have not seen fat loss when performed by properly trained practitioners, the transducers are used for tightening at various depths in the skin. a good consult with an experienced user can go over all of this.  good luck

John J. O`Brien, Jr., MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Ultherapy should not cause fat loss

There are great scientific studies to prove the clinical benefits of Ultherapy if you are deemed a good candidate by a doctor. It should not cause fat loss in the face. There are two great ways to non- surgically lift the skin. One is Ultherapy which is uses ultrasound technology to stimulate your collagen production to tighten and lift. The other is Sculptra which stimulates your body's collagen production to add volume and also helps lift your skin. Some people need volume, some people need skin tightening/lifting and some people even need both.

Mary E. Hurley, MD
Dallas Dermatologist
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 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.