Can Ultherapy cause damage if done improperly w/improper technique or is it a fail safe procedure that any provider can perform?

Would a thin faced woman w/mild skin laxity receive the same exact amount of lines and energy levels as a full faced woman w/double chin &moderate skin laxity or should their treatment plan be different & customized and if so Why? Ultherapy is everywhere, can improper technique or application cause serious complications or is Ultherapy standard for everyone & totally fool proof w/ zero risks. Can energy levels be delivered improperly or too aggressively or is damage to facial tissue impossible

Doctor Answers 6

Ultherapy Results

Ultherapy results are definitely technician dependent.  It is important to have your treatment by a provider that specializes in Ulthera.  In my practice, our Physician Assistant performs the procedure. An Ultherapy treatment plan also needs to be tailored to each person based on their skin laxity, age, health status and skin care regimen.  There are risks with Ulthera if performed in the wrong hands.  In our practice, the results are amazing.  Good Luck.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Ultherapy isn't fail safe and needs a trained operator for best success!

While Ultherapy is very safe when done correctly, there is no way that it is safe under any hands and with any operator.  Ultherapy is a serious procedure and, as with any procedure, it is imperative to have it done by a doctor who is skilled or assistants (we use our PAs in my clinic) who have been thoroughly trained.  Good luck!

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Expertise highly recommended

Hi there,
As with any cosmetic procedures, it is critical to have your procedure performed by a skilled professional who is an expert in the type of treatment you are interested in. The one size fits all concept does not apply to laser treatments as every machine and every treatment type requires extensive training and knowledge in addition to customized treatment plans for individual patients. I would not risk injuring your face with an uninformed decision by going to an inadequate provider. When you are exploring the options of a cosmetic facial procedure, make sure that you also explore the right type of cosmetic surgeon to perform your treatment. A facial plastic surgeon is a cosmetic doctor that is an expert strictly in the head and neck and will most likely have advantageous knowledge on the best treatment plan for your concerns. 
Ultherapy works by heating small targeted amounts of soft tissue below the surface of the skin to a point where the tissue will contract and the body will create new collagen. In order to achieve a significant lifting effect, the right amount of heat needs to be delivered to the right depths of tissue, and only Ultherapy is capable of accomplishing both--without injuring the surface of the skin.
Best of luck!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Are There Risks with Ultherapy? Is Treatment Identical for All?

First, any technology safety can be jeopardized by an untrained or poorly trained provider. No treatment that uses heat to affect a change in the skin is 100% immune to an unexpected side effect. Ulthera and all over device makers make all the known risks available, and your physician should have that list available for you and discuss them both verbally and have them written on the permission form.The flexible treatment settings is one of the big positives of Ultherapy. Each person will have unique settings for their treatment, so there is no single treatment protocol for all patients. Some people are not good candidates for Ultherapy, so approach the treatment with realistic expectations. (Double chins aren't going to go away with ultrasound - Kybella or surgical liposuction would address that problem.)I will advise any patient to skip a treatment if they have reservations or can't get the answers they require.Ultherapy, like many of the technologies available, provide alternatives to surgery, but they don't replace or duplicate surgical results.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Ultherapy customized to individual needs

Ultherapy works well for younger patients with mild skin laxity but results vary depending on the individual response. Treatment protocols have been designed along with the engineering of the device to achieve the best balance between effectiveness and safety. It would not be used for fat reduction under the chin but can be combined with Kybella injections or liposuction.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Ultherapy Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Treatment

You bring up some valid questions and concerns regarding Ultherapy. Ultherapy is just a tool, which in the right hands can give great results, but in the wrong hands can cause damage. The energy and amount of lines delivered can be adjusted and should be customized for each individual. The ultrasound image should be accurately interpreted before delivering each pulse of energy to ensure it is in the appropriate layer.  We have seen nerve damage, burns, scarring and other complications in patients who had their treatments done by an inexperienced provider. This becomes an increasing problem the more popular a treatment becomes and when the company begins to sell the machine to anyone with a medical license. Please make sure you choose your treatment provider carefully.

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