Can Ultherapy Be Effective when There is No Pain?

Did Ultherapy three years ago (with a top-up after 6 mos) with great results. Both times, it hurt a lot and I was quite sore for 10 days following. Just did it again with a different doctor in a different city. She told me that she had a special method for reducing pain - there was very little pain, it was quick, she glided the instrument over my face. There is NO soreness. It was very expensive and I am quite concerned that it will not be effective.

Doctor Answers 3

Seems unlikely...

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Our practice offers Ultherapy to patients, and while it is a very effective non-invasive treatment for skin tightening and lifting, it is painful. We caution our patients about this because it is not a quick procedure, so they must be prepared. 

My Physician Assistant has actually spent time at Ultherapy headquarters learning from their organization, and none of the tips or tricks she learned indicated that the treatment would be effective if done quickly and painlessly. 

Also keep in mind that pain is very individual.  Just because you had pain the first 2 times, does not indicate efficacy.  There are a lot of different variables that can affect pain/tolerance.  It could be that you knew what to anticipate.  Be patient, remember, your results will not happen for 3-6 months.  If you do not think you see a result, follow up with your provider. 

Sometimes, looking in the mirror everyday at ourselves, makes it difficult to appreciate subtle changes.  Seeing before & after photos of yourself can help you appreciate the difference. 

Ultherapy Pain

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In the last 12 months, the Ulthera company has reprogrammed the device so that it is less painful. So, I believe that this may be the reason why you experienced less pain and discomfort during the procedure. Since i have done this procedure for 4 years now, I too have noticed that the procedure is less painful. 

Ultherapy for facial tightening with different protocols

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Gliding the transducer over the skin to limit how long the nergy is being delivered to the same site may help reduce the pain but may limit the improvement. This has not been studied so far.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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