Ultherapy Information

I'm interested in having Ultherapy but there does not seem to be much information around regarding this procedure? Has anyone had any experience? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 15

Best Information About Ulthera

Hi Testing,

My colleague, Steven Weiner, MD has a very good information about Ultherapy by Ulthera on his website.  I would recommend visiting his site, and I recommend his clinic to patients in Florida who wish to recieve excellent treatments. 

Ultherapy by Ulthera is the only FDA approved device for both tightening and lifting of the muscles and skin of the face and neck, including the eye brows.  Ultherapy is the only technology available that uses ultrasound to heat the muscles and skin to create both deep and superficial collagen production.  The level of the treatment is visualized on an ultrasound screen to insure that the energy is being delivered to the proper level.

The muscle fascia or SMAS is targeted in the neck and face.  This is the same layer that we as surgeons tighten when we perform surgical face lifts.  Ulthera energy goes deeper than any other energy device, 4.5 mm for the SMAS, and 3.5 mm for the deep skin collagen production.  The patient satisfaction rate with Ulthera is about 90% in our clinical studies.

Thermage is a radio frequency technology device that heats the skin and subcutaneous tissue superficially.  Although Thermage has been improved over the years, it's main problems have been a very high patient dissatisfaction rate (up to 66%), and a very painful patient experience.  Ulthera can cause discomfort as well, but if patients are enduring pain, they appreciate a result that they can notice.

Ultherapy, featured in this month’s Vogue (Apr 2011), is a safe and effective non-invasive ultrasound (US) treatment that can lift and tighten facial skin and muscle without downtime.  According to Catherine Piercy, author of the well written Vogue article, “Ulthera…is making it much easier to imagine a world in which hooded lids, falling cheeks, and lazy jaw lines can be treated without a single incision”.

Originally FDA approved for lifting eyebrows non-surgically,Ulthera’s unique state of the art technology is now used to lift and tighten the face, neck, and other areas of the body.  It has successfully treated the lines along the upper lip that are most difficult to treat with injectables.

Ultherapy is performed in the office with only ultrasound gel applied to the skin.   An ultrasound screen image allows the physician to visualize the level of treatment before US energy is applied to the targeted tissue.  The treatment takes from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the area(s) treated.  Cost also depends on the areas treated.

What about the discomfort level?  Again from Ms. Piercy in Vogue, “If anything, Ultherapy’s greatest drawback may be the pain factor, which ranges from a hot prickling sensation to short but intense bursts of discomfort”.  Patients can be given oral medications or local anesthetic nerve block injections if needed, but the majority of Ulthera patients are able to tolerate a properly performed treatment with just a cold air blowing on their skin.

Although many patients see immediate lifting results, the ultimate results do not happen overnight, but gradually over time.  It can take up to 2-3 months for optimal rejuvenation.   Ulthera has been used for close to 2 years.  Some patients treated 1 1/2  to 2 years ago are now returning for second treatments.  Though they still appear improved from their pre-treatment “before” photos, most desire further improvement, further turning back the hands of time.  Practitioners have reported that even in cases where they don’t see a big difference  in before and after photos, patients feel and notice the tightening to the point of being satisfied.   Ultherapy is ideal for patients between 35 to 60.   Older patients and those with excessively loose skin will benefit from either laser therapy or surgical face lifting.

After two years of personal research and due diligence about the clinical benefits of Ulthera, as well as being impressed by the findings and experience of worldwide  respected cosmetic physicians, I am convinced that Ulthera is both safe and effective, and have therefore have decided to add Ulthera to our practice.  As with all cosmetic treatments, results will vary depending on the skill,experience, and aesthetic sense of the treating physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, or staff member.  Results will also depend on proper diagnosis and patient selection.  Side effects may include some bruising, swelling, and a feeling of tightness in the days after the procedure.

Ultherapy by Ulthera has been recently featured  on Dr. Oz, The Doctors,as well as on Real Self reviews, links which you may access for further information about this amazing state of the art technology.

As with all aesthetic treatments, do your homework and choose your treating physician most carefully.  Be well.




Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Experience with Ulthera

In the United States we have multiple devices which can tighten the skin . In our practice's experience to date the micro focused ultrasound can tighten the skin. Our patient satisfaction is much higher than with the previous best method - which was thermage. Long term studies are still needed.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Ulthera Works

I have had the Ulthera machine for 4 months.

1.) Ulthera for the full face takes about an hour.

2.) In 5 years of FDA testing there were no adverse events.

3.) There is no downtime with Ulthera.

4.)I have performed approximately 60 Ulthera treatments.

5.) The FDA testing gave an 86% response rate for this treatment with only one pass. We are noticing a higher response rate than this with multiple passes at multiple levels of the skin.

6.)The Ulthera treatment is performed at one sitting.

Leonard W. Gray, MD, FACS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ultherapy information is available online

Thank you for your question.

We have written a book about Ultherapy. It is free access and you can share it with others.

Dr. Karamanoukian

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

Lift and tighten with Ultherapy

Ultherapy is an ultrasound treatment that infuses “seeds” of thermal coagulated heat into multiple layers of the skin causing micro-wounds. As your skin heals, new collagen and elastin is formed which then tightens the skin. Ultherapy is considered a natural skin tightening alternative because it works with your body’s natural healing process.  Generally you can expect anywhere from a 20% to 30% improvement after one treatment. Many patients opt for bi-annual treatments to maintain their results. The treatment time for an Ultherapy treatment can range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the area being treated. There is no down-time, although you will experience swelling, possible bruising and tenderness, you can return to your daily routine immediately after the treatment.

Pamela Gallagher, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Ulthera information on Youtube

I have just completed twoYoutube videos that go over the science and technology.  I also go over a series of before and after photographs.  This talk was presented at a national Cosmetic Dermatology forum. Part two shows how the device works on tissue, demonstrating how precise it really is.   I hope this helps!

Curt Samlaska, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Ulthera Expertise

Ulthera is a relatively new, innovative procedure that uses ultrasound technology to penetrate deeply into the skin, affecting a connective tissue layer called the SMAS.  This tissue layer is what plastic surgeons redrape and tighten when performing a facelift.  As we age, the SMAS loosens and the soft tissue and muscles it encases droop, causing the telltale signs of aging on the face and neck.  By deeply heating this SMAS layer, Ulthera treatment encourages collagen growth and tightening of the tissue on the face, neck, and brows, creating a visible lift.

Melanie D. Palm, MD (account suspended)
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Ultherapy for Skin Tightening

We have had Ultherapy in our office since 2010 and have had excellent results for skin tightening.  It is the first FDA approved device of its kind to ultilize ultrasound to tighten the skin.  The procedure takes anywhere from about 1-3 hours, and there's little to no downtime.  It is a great non-surgical alternative to a face lift.  I've included some information from our website below, and there's even an informational video with a demonstration of the procedure for you to view.  I hope this is helpful to you!

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ultherapy has a high patient satisfaction rating on RealSelf.com

There are many patients that have now been treated by Ultherapy and one can see the positive reviews that patients have rated it on RealSelf. Much higher than Thermage.

A very high percent of my patients have been happy with their results. An important aspect of this procedure is having realistic expectations about the results. It is not ever going to produce the amount of lifting that a surgical facelift will accomplish. However, with little to no downtime, a one hour procedure can produce a global facial rejuvenation with tightening.

The Ulthera helps the body produce more collagen and the deep focused ultrasound produces tightening of the deep supportive connective tissue of the face.

If someone is volume depleted, from having lost fat in the deeper planes of their face with age or diet, then volume replacement with fat injections, Sculptra, or fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm would be a needed adjunctive treatment as the lifting from the Ultherapy can not produce the revolumization that the fillers are needed to do.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ultherapy Experience

As we age, collagen within the skin breaks down and leaves our skin less supple and more prone to sagging and drooping. Ultherapy® uses low-level ultrasound technology to first map out the treatment area and then rejuvenate the damaged tissues. By warming the deeper layers of the skin through ultrasound, Ultherapy® firms sagging facial skin, strengthens the underlying tissue, and stimulates the body’s natural production of collagen. Depending on your comfort level, your provider may be able to provide you with creams or ointments to numb the area. Most patients say treatment feels like brief prickling or warmth beneath the skin. Ultherapy® can be used on the face and neck, and most patients see results build over the next two to three months as collagen is restored to the skin. The majority of patients only need one treatment and are able to return to normal activities almost immediately. The ideal Ultherapy® candidate is someone with skin that has relaxed to the point it begins to sag and feel less firm. Though it does not achieve the same results as a facelift, it is very nice for early changes and has virtually no downtime.

Ashley R. Curtis, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

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.