Ultherapy - Is it effective as far as lifting neck/jawline and is it very painful, like Thermage?

Doctor Answers 9

Ultherapy Experience

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Ultherapy targets its ultrasound energy a few layers beneath the skin’s outer surface. It generates a stimulating energy that directs your skin to start producing collagen. This helps your skin look tighter, lifted, and much fuller. Some patients see results directly after receiving an Ultherapy treatment, but it continues to stimulate collagen for 2 to 3 months, so it will take that long to see the full extent of the benefits.

Every person reacts and tolerates laser treatment therapy differently. If you are more sensitive to pain, your performing practitioner can provide you with pain management remedies. Ultherapy is conducted on a out patient basis so you can resume normal activities immediately following your treatment. Your physician can provide you with an outline on things to avoid immediately before and after your Ultherapy treatment. In general, Ultherapy is well tolerated.

When you are exploring the options of a facial procedure, make sure that you also explore the right type of cosmetic surgeon to perform your procedure. A facial plastic surgeon is a cosmetic doctor that is an expert strictly in the head and neck which is where Ultherapy is indicated to treat.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Yes and Yes

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Ultherapy is in my opinion the best non-surgical truly non-invasive device for lifting and tightening the face and neck skin.  That being said, skin tightening is tricky unpredictably acheived non-surgically.   Results are not as good as a facelift, but there is no downtime so it has its advantages.   I have never found patient to acheive significant tightening of their face with radiofrequency devices such as thermage.  I find that about 90% of patients experience a descent degree of tightening with ultherapy, 2 sessions are better than one and sometime it helps to combine it with lasers or other devices such as lutronic's infini.   

Ultherapy is painful, I have personally had it so I can speak from experience.  I recommend a mild sedative like xanax and some pain pills to take the edge off.   I would not recommend doing it without pain medication.  

Reps B. Sundin, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Ultherapy vs Thermage.

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Thermage is the very first generation of devices the use RF to stimulate collagen, whilst Ultherapy is newer technology that uses Ultrasound. I use both devices, but prefer Ultherapy as is generally more effective. Both devices hurt, that is the truth. In most cases I perform this under partial sedation or gas, as it is more comfortable for the patient. Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

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Ultherapy vs Thermage

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Both technologies stimulate collagen. Ultherapy uses ultrasound waves and Thermage uses RF (radio frequency).  Ultherapy is the only FDA approved device to clinically tighten and lift skin. 

It bypasses the surface of the skin, delivering focused energy at depths of up to 4.5mm - the same foundational layer typically addressed in a surgical facelift. It is also the only proven device with a visual aide to help ensure that the treatment is delivered accurately to the desired area, unlike Thermage where the control of temperature and treatment area can be inconsistent.

Ultherapy is perfect for Jawline and neck

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Ultherapy is very effective for lifting the neck and jawline. Ultherapy works by administering ultrasound energy to specific depths of skin and muscle with precise ultrasound guidance, which causes tissue tightening and collagen production.  Ultherapy can target three different depths: the Dermis (deeper skin), Fat + Connective tissue (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System-SMAS) and Muscle. The Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) is located below the fat and is a strong tissue that envelops the face. It is made up of collagen, elastic fibers, muscle fibers and fat cells. The ultrasound energy produced during an Ulthera treatment, precisely and consistently heats the targeted tissue to 60-70 degrees centigrade, which is the optimal temperature for contraction and denaturation of collagen.  In our practice we have had amazing results.  However, results depend on your age, skin laxity, medical conditions and ultherapist.

Ultherapy is mildly uncomfortable but tolerable.  If you have the an experienced Ultherapy technician the pain should not be too bad.  In our office, we use a cooling device which helps tremendously and offer anti-anxiety medication for patients that are very nervous.

I recommend an in person consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews


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The best place for Ultherapy is to help tighten the neck, submental area and jawline.  You need an in person evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate.   It is uncomfortable when working around the bone but it is tolerable.   

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Can Ultherapy be effective for neck lifting and is it painful like Thermage?

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Ulthera delivers focused ultrasound energy to the deeper foundational layers of the skin such as SMAS under direct vision, without cutting or disrupting the superficial layers of the skin. The  results of the Ultherapy depends upon the  underlying severity of skin laxity, sun damage, age of the person, history of collagen disorders, smoking  and BMI etc.. Patients with severe laxity may need more than one treatment to see an optimal results.Comfort level vary from person to person. Ultherapy is the ONLY FDA -cleared nonsurgical treatment for lifting the sagging skin. In my opinion yes Ultherapy is effective for lifting neck and jawline.

 Ultherapy can be uncomfortable in some areas, I do believe that Thermage may be more painful. Ultherapy does not duplicate the results of a facelift, its a preventive procedure to reduce the skin laxity.

Ultherapy - Efficacy and Pain

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Relying on HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) technology, Ultherapy is effective in toning and tightening deeper skin tissues. 

But it certainly does not replace a facelift or rival the results and longevity of this quintessential rejuvenation procedure. 

When you look at before and after photos, make sure they have the same lighting and shadow effects in order to be truly comparable. This helps you in setting expectation - but it cannot replace an in-person consultation.

Yes, it is painful. Half of our patients request pre-medication in order to make the treatment comfortable. 

Good luck!

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Ultherapy expectation

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Thanks for your question. You would of course need to be evaluated in person to assess whether you would be a good candidate. I have not personally experienced Thermage, but my clients who have had both Ultherapy and Thermage have uniformly said that Thermage was more painful. Pre treating before your Ultherapy session with 800 mg motrin and 2 extra strength tylenol is helpful. An experienced Ultherapist has a variety of techniques to use to keep you more comfortable. We have seen really nice results with lower face and neck lifting with Ultherapy. 


Lisa Vuich, MD

Lisa Vuich, MD
Nashua Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 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.