Does Ultherapy damage the fat and volume in your face?

Doctor Answers 7


There is no research evidence to support claim that Ultherapy reduces facial fat; however, focused transcutaneous ultrasound energy has been used for many years to reduce torso and limb fat through cavitation causing lipolysis. Any energy source strong enough to cause subcutaneous trauma and subsequent inflammation and collagen production is strong enough to cause fat destruction. Ultherapy can and does cause some adipocyte cavitation and fat destruction.

Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Volume loss is not seen with Ultherapy performed by experienced providers

Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy and using B mode visualization, the focus of energy delivery is visualized. I don't believe that Ultherapy done by physicians or qualified providers (physician assistants) under the supervision of doctors cause such injury to the fatty structures of the face or neck.

Read the Ultherapy ebook on the link below.

Dr. Karamanoukian

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

Fat and volume change with Ultherapy

According to the manufacturer, no--the power and settings used on the face do not alter fat and volume. 

In my opinion, I do believe that I am able to intentionally reduce the fat in the neck by using the 3-mm handpiece at high energy settings. This has not been confirmed by pre- and post- ultrasound studies to see if the fat has actually been reduced, but clinically I have seen reduction in fullness on the neck as one can appreciate in my photos and many of the photos presented. 

In all of the patients that have been treated in my office, no one has complained of a change in the shape of their face or cheek volume. That being said, we customize treatments for every patient and I do not do extra passes on the mid face, only on a full neck.

Robert S. Bader, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Does Ultherapy damage fat and volume in the face

There have been years of research and nothing indicates Ultherapy damages fat. The Ultherapy treatment stimulates your own collagen to produce more making the volume more.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Does Ultherapy damage the fat and volume in your face?

No, Ultherapy does not damage fat anywhere! This is a bogus rumor that was likely started by competitors peddling an inferior device, such as Lutronic or ThermiRF.  Ultherapy is an extremely safe treatment that carries little to no real risk when the treatment is performed by an experienced professional. Ultherapy is, without question, the best collagen-inducing device for facial rejuvenation. RF devices, such as Thermal, only heat the tissues up to 50-55 Celsius while a minimum of 60C is necessary for new collagen growth (Neocollagenesis). Thermi is, in my opinion, a very poor tool that has limited to no use in facial aesthetic. There is no other non-surgical device that does what Ultherapy does, despite their claims otherwise. Furthermore, Ultherapy has the first, and the only, FDA approval for non-surgical lifting. We feature Ultherapy as the basis for our Non-Surgical Face-Lifting program and we have achieved amazing results by combining Ultherapy with treatments such as toxins, fillers, fractional resurfacing, modified phenol chemical peeling, stem cell rich fat transfers, micro-needle radiofrequency treatments (the only useful RF based treatment available today), and excellent skin care regimen management.

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Ultherapy and Fat Loss -- there IS NO EVIDENCE of fat loss or skin thinning

there is no data to support that ultrasound or RF treatments cause fat atrophy or skin thinning.  Although I have seen patients report this on this has no been confirmed through years of research.  Best, Dr. Emer.

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

Ultherapy does not damage fat

There is no evidence to support that Ultherapy damages facial fat..  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.  Your body responds to the pinpoint thermal injuries placed in the deep tissue by creating new collagen fibers. Collagen fiber formation can take several months, so the final results from Ultherapy may take up to 6 months.  Ultherapy stimulates collagen production which does not lead to fat loss.   

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 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.