Are these results of Ultherapy really true?

I was very interested until a plastic surgeon made a statement online (not Realself & without photos to go by) that, "the problem with Ultherapy is that the energy is NOT delivered & absorbed evenly and the long term results are far from good. There is hollowing of the face". Can this be true most of the time for the general population? Your input is greatly appreciated!

Doctor Answers 8

Ultherapy give good safe limited results in tightening the brow, face, neck and knees

While Ultherapy does not give the more spectacular results of face lift, brow lift, eye lid surgery, it does give good limited safe results when preformed properly by a well trained practitioner. With well delivered Ultherapy you can expect about a 30-50 % improvement but not a complete surgical correction. I have yet to see any significant or long lasting complications. All I have ever seen is a welt which goes away spontaneously with out treatment. While not a substitute for surgery is may be a good choice for a patient who wants to get some results with out any down time, extended recovery or risk of serious complications. You should see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who does extensive cosmetic surgery of the face to learn the benefits and limitations of both a surgical correction as compared to the non surgical Ultherapy.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Ultherapy Results

Great question. I would have to respectfully disagree with the statement above. When done properly by an experienced Ultherapy provider the results can be very noticeable and satisfying. Each person will have a varying response based on the quality of their skin, so it's important to determine whether you are an ideal candidate for the procedure in order to get the most benefits.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Ultherapy effectiveness

Dear xz, thank you for your question. Ultherapy is the only FDA approved noninvasive device for lifting the face and neck. It uses focused ultrasound to target the deep tissues above our muscles, as well as more superficial layers. Our San Diego facial plastic surgeon and nurses are experts in Ultherapy and offer customized treatments for each client.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Ultherapy outcomes

Unfortunately the problem is that doctors make comments without doing the procedure(s) because they are pushing another technology, or are company consultants, or even yet, have never done a procedure. This is why experience counts. When you call the doctor's office and the receptionist is surprised/excited that you called about a certain procedure, it means that they have not done many. From a medical perspective, Ultherapy has been shown to be very effective in skin tightening except in people with turkey necks or a lot of skin laxity - read the Ultherapy book on the link below. 

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

Ultherapy Results

Hi X,

We have been using Ultherapy in our practice for the past 3 years. The majority of our patients have had one treatment. The patient satisfaction rate is very high. Most of our patients have had only one treatment. The patients who present for more treatment still look better than they did prior to their first treatment years later. The newer guidelines of treatment use 33% more pulses during the treatment giving even better results. We have not seen hollowing of the face in any of our patients. I attribute that to the fact that I perform all of the treatments myself and pay a great deal of attention to the ultrasound image of the patient as we are treating to avoid treating fat. We target the fibro-muscular layer deep and the skin superficially to get the best, most consistant results. Good luck and be well.

Michael Persky, MD


Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Ultherapy Treatment: Not Perfect, But Much Better Than the Statement You Read

The online statement you read deserves a rebuttal

"the problem with Ultherapy is that the energy is NOT delivered & absorbed evenly"

This is false. Ultrasound gel is applied to the skin and the contact between transducer and skin can be visualized on the skin. In the treatment area, which include the jawline and neck, the ultrasound waves penetrate to 4.5 and 3.0 mm respectively. This absorption statement is more applicable to Thermage, which utilizes radiofrequency waves.

"and the long term results are far from good."

True and false. Ultherapy is not a long term treatment; the results are expected to last about 2 years. The results can be impressive assuming proper patient selection. A patient in his/her late 40's to early 50's with lower facial aging changes is the ideal candidate. A patient in his/her late 60's to mid 70's is not usually the best candidate. A patient seeking a facelift result will most likely be underwhelmed by Ultherapy.

"There is hollowing of the face".

False. Ultherapy will not cause hollowing of the face. At worst, the procedure won't produce dramatic results, but severe problems with Ultherapy are virtually unheard of (assuming you see a Surgeon familiar with facial anatomy).

The biggest issue with Ultherapy is that it should not be oversold. It is not the silver bullet for aging, and it is not a nonsurgical facelift. It is a reasonable soft tissue tightener for patients with early signs of aging in the brow, jawline, and neck.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Ulthera is not a surgical result, but some people don't want surgery

There is no debate whether or not the energy is delivered by Ulthera to the precise location that the device is made for. Most people, 8-9 out of 10 get noticeable improvements from the procedure. Are they the results similar to which surgery can give? Most of the time the answer is no. But, if you want little or no downtime, want a result that doesn't leave scars, and has minimal risks (no long term risks), it is the procedure for you. Surgery has it's inherent risks: bleeding, infection, scarring, anesthesia, need for redo, poor cosmetic results, nerve injury, as well as downtime (up to a month for a facelift). I have written a blog about why I believe that Sculptra and Ulthera are better than a facelift. Steve Weiner, Facial Plastic Surgeon. Destin, Florida.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Absolutely! Most Energy Modalities including Ulthera either do nothing or create problems. Stay Away!

This is absolutely true. the only practitioners that will say it is not are #1 in bed with the company and #2 are usually outside of the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery so patients with complications never come back to them and they never know about the horrible results that they deliver. Plastic surgeons like myself see problems all the time from ulthera thermage and several other energy modalities. See a plastic surgeon that can understand your concerns and plan a safe and effective treatment. Avoid doctors that are trying to sell you a brand name.

Rian A. Maercks, MD
Miami Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 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.