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 36 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.


Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 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 Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Will Ultherapy treatment cause Facial volume loss due to injury to natural fat?

The answer to your question depends on the person operating the Ultherapy machine and the depth of the treatment. To obtain only skin tightening  then the layers treated should not involve the fatty layer. The great thing about Ultherapy as opposed to all other skin tightening technology out in the market, is that Ultherapy is an ultrasound machine that lets the doctor see exactly were he is delivering the energy!!! All other treatments put global heat energy out but are not concentrated at the area targeted and may cause fat loss. In cases were there is excess fat like in the neck it is possible to direct the treatment to "burn the fat" and decrease the fat volume. When used for tightening only The deep dermal portion of the skin and the SMAS (fibrous layer over the muscles) deepest are treated only.


Please see the attached link on my facebook page on July 17 for further information.


Best of Luck!  

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 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 45 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
Winchester 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.

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.