Can Ultherapy Cause Natural Face Volume Loss (Not from Fat Graft or Fillers, but Natural Fat)?

I'm considering ulthera for lifting my jowl area, upper & lower cheeks. I have good volume but some sagging.I don't want to lose my natural cheek volume, is this a danger? Also, can it be used above the upper lip for some lip lifting? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 12

Ultherapy does not cause volume loss in the face


I have been doing Ultherapy since May 2010 and have done hundreds of patients with great outcomes. It has a very high satisfaction rate among my patients.

It does not cause natural volume loss as you have suggested. The energy is delivered into the skin (1.5 mm to 3 mm transducers) and into the SMAS layer (4.5 mm) and not into the fatty tissue. 

I have ultrasound credential from ARDMS as a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) and Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) and also from CCI as a Registered Phlebology Sonographer and understand ultrasound physicis well. The energy that Ultherapy uses is focused and with their B mode ultrasound technology, physicians that understand and appreciate ultrasound can focus the area where ultrasound is delivered to prevent delivery in the subcutaneous tissue, preventing volume loss. Most of the energy attenuates (is lost) at 4.5 mm depth from the skin surface . . . 

Read the Ultherapy ebook that I have written on the link below. 

Ultherapy has not been shown to dissolve fat, only tighten and lift

There is ongoing investigation if ultherapy can, in fact, thin out a thick neck as an example. The current protocols used have not shown fat atrophy to result from the energy, level or number of lines of treatment. As physicians, we are interested to see if any modification of the protocol, could induce some fat reduction, safely! I will await for scientifically-controlled medical studies to be performed and their results published before being able to comment further with any factual information.

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

Ultherapy and Fat loss

Hi and thank you for your question!

We have seen very nice results in tightening and lifting in the lower cheeks and jowl area, as well as the upper neck, which can help create a nice contour of the lower face. This can actually enhance the appearance of your cheek bones.We have not had any complaints of fat loss, and we are doing very thorough and comprehensive treatments. Regarding the lips, we have not had any comments of lifting of the lip area.

Feel free to call us with any questions or come in for a complementary consultations.

Best,

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Ultherapy and face volume

Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen and is not targeting the fat, therefore you should not see volume loss.  

Steven Gabel, MD, FACS
Portland Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Ultherapy and fat loss

Excellent question. Ultherapys focused ultrasound technology delivers micro thermal burns in the treated areas. Depending on the depth of treatment that may be fat. Ultimately the design of the treatment and delivery of the same is such to minimize fat reduction and tighten the SMAS to provide a lift. At times, I have used Ultherapy to intentionally decrease fat for example under the neck. Best of luck. 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Ulthera should not affect facial fat volume

Ulthera uses microfocused ultrasound energy targeted at collagen-rich layers under the skin. this in turn stimulates colalgen rebuilding for a lifting effect. Because it is not targeted at the fat, and the focusing is precise, there should not be a significant risk of affecting facial fat.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Ultherapy will improve facial volume

Ultherapy will likely stimulate collagen production and will lead to enhancing facial volume. It is highly unlikely that Ultherapy would cause facial volume loss. We occasionally combine Ultherapy with Sculptra (Sculptherapy) to further enhance facial volume by aggressively stimulating natural collagen production. I believe there are news tips and protocols that allow for perioral treatment with Ultherapy. However, I do not have personal experience with treatment of this area.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Ulthera Does Not Reduce Facial Volume

Due to the technology by which Ulthera uses, there is no risk for losing facial volume due to the procedure. The ultrasound deepSEE technology does not affect the adipose tissue or bone, which is what gives your face much of its volume. Instead, it focuses precisely on penetrating the structural tissues, signaling them to tighten and remodel collagen themselves. In fact, this tightening can actually accentuate what fullness you already have in your face, as the skin will be more taut around it. Hope this helps! 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ultherapy and Volume Loss

Thank you for your question. Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time. Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. The treatment will not reduce facial volume, only lift and  tighten the skin.

Ultherapy for Lip Lift

Ulthera is a great NON surgical option for lifting the face, jowl and neck area. In general, Ulthera will enhance your natural volume. There are new techniques, including above the upper lip that are being tested and used off-label. I recommend you talk to your doctor about treating the upper lip area.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.