Does the Procedure Facelift Through Ultrasound Work?

Martha Stewart had a guess {doctor?} that demonstrated it had a woman there showing results. I think the premise was that the ultrasound heated and thus shrunk and tightend underlying muscles.Is there any truth to this ? One appealing draw was price. what is average price of surgical face lift?

Doctor Answers 22

Ultrasound Facelift

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   The ultrasound facelift may produce some minimal results, but you should not expect results comparable to those of a facelift.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Facelift through ultrasound

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Ultrasound facelift seems to work much in the same way as thermage. Thermage has been shown by many doctors to not make a significant difference. This has been my experience when I look at the before and afters and after talking with many patients and surgeons about the results. I would wait until there is enough evidence to show that facelifts through ultrasound really works or not. This usually takes about 5-10 years before you can adequately judge the outcome and efficiency of this modality.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon


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For properly selected patient with early signs of aging and mild loss of skin turgor, Ultherapy provides a gradual and conservative improvement. It will not replace a facelift in patients with moderate soft tissue laxity or skin excess. It is best to consult a facial plastic or general plastic surgeon who is able to discuss with you your full range of options so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs and goals.


Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Minimally Invasive = Minimal Results

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Many different technologies have been offered over the years (titan, thermage, ultherapy). While they may have some limited applications, the results from the above treatments seem rather underwhelming to me as compared to surgical rejuvenation solutions. The after photos that are shown typically feature subtle changes. The problem is that these published photos are their best results.

The real advantage here is the limited downtime and risk. Therefore, these treatments may be suitable for those with realistic (limited) expectations and who don't have the luxury of recovering from surgery.

mike kim, md


Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Non surgical facelift?

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Although it seems attractive to have a no downtime procedure to rejuvenate your face be cautious about your expectations. Tightening of the skin and underlying muscles in general  is a positive but ultrasound can not pull your tissues in any specific direction the way a facelift procedure can. If you would be happy with a minor improvements in your facial contour then ultrasound is a good, low risk alternative. if you are hoping to achieve the results that a proper facelift can, then you will likely be disappointed.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Will ultrasound help improve the appearance of the face?

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Any short cuts to a full facelift may be somewhat effective, but overall they will not have nearly as good of an effect as a surgical facelift that is performed properly.  What you are describing is a procedure called Ultherapy.  Ultherapy will stimulate deep layers of the skin to produce collagen. 

Pros of Ultherapy are:

1) Minimally invasive
2) Quicker recovery
3) Low cost
3) No downtime


Cons of Ultherapy are:

1) The results are not as effective
2) The results are not immediate
3) Multiple treatments may be necessary
4) It will not show a result on patients that have more severe issues and require a facelift to show improvement

Overall, the right treatment really depends on the individual needs of the patient.  There is really no replacement for a facelift.  A procedure like Ultherapy may be of benefit to a patient who is younger and would like to make small improvements that are cost effective.  Thanks and I hope this helps!

Ultherapy works, but it is not a facelift.

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Ultherapy is a nonsurgical skin tightening procedure, which, in properly selected cases usually produces noticeable improvement in the jowl, neck and cheek areas. It cannot replace a surgical facelift in patients with more advanced changes. Ultherapy does work as well or better than other nonsurgical skin tightening "no downtime"procedures in the lower face and neck in my opinion. It does require proper attention to technique, which may vary slightly from one patient to another, in order to achieve optimal results. A detailed consultation is recommended, with alternative treatments also discussed, and before and after photos to illustrate typical results.

Harrison C. Putman III, MD
Peoria Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Ultrasound Face Lift?

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If you research Ultherapy you will find a lot of interesting information about this procedure. It definitely "works" but it cannot replace a well performed facelift (nor is it intended to do so). Rather, Ultherapy is best for patients with early signs of aging or patients who had a lift done in the past and wish to maintain there results longer.


Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Ultrasound Facelifts - Too Good To be True

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There is not question that ultrasound tightening of the skin and underlying structures will replace a facelift.I had the opportunity to see a live demonstration of Ultherapy at our annual American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery conference in Vancouver this month.There was minimal improvement at best. From a scientific standpoint this would be expected as even shrinkage of the skin (in all directions) will not lift it opposite to gravity which is the force that causes redundant skin to fall along the jowls, marionette area, and upper neck. Too good to be true is usually just that. Save your money for a lift procedure. Mini-lifts like the MACS, LiteLift, Quick Lift, LifeStyle Lift will do more than this procedure and still be less than a traditional facelift.

Focused ultra sound, Ultherapy is a viable alternative.

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Surgery will always be the gold standard when it comes to facial rejuvenation... That is IF you are a candidate for surgery. If you are not a surgical candidate either for medical reasons or simply because your symptoms don't require surgery, Ultherapy (ultra sound) is a viable treatment option. Ultherapy does "lift", tone and tighten skin but, keep in mind non-surgical options are harder to predict the outcome because the treatment depends on how much collagen your body is able to generate and how long it can maintain that collogen. I believe focused ultra sound [Ultherapy] to be the only non-surgical and/ or maintenance procedure that can provide a result even though in some patients it may be sublte.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 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.