Is Ultherapy Cost Effective over Several Years?

I'm 42 and have seen a lot of conflicting information online about the longevity of Ultherapy's tightening effect. Some doctors say the effects last up to a year, while others say that the effects last 3 years or longer (while you continue to age), and still others say your skin will always look better than if you'd never had Ultherapy at all. In your experience, do your patients' face revert to their pre-Ulthera state within one year, or does the effect last longer? Is it worth the $3000+ ?

Doctor Answers 7

Ultherapy puts you ahead on the aging curve

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New collagen that is produced, whether from Ultherapy non-invasive ultrasound facial lifting, Thermage, Pelleve, dermabrasion, Fraxel laser or Portrait plasma facial resurfacing, is not temporary. The new collagen helps support the dermis of the skin and continues to help provide a better appearance to photodamaged and chronicologically-aged skin compared to not having the treatment. The amount of visible lift however, may fade after a year or more. In some patients that may not be for several years, but the aging process continues and unfortunately so does sagging. So if there is eventually sagging after several years to the point it was during treatment, the facial tissues would be at a point, at that time, more lifted than where the skin would be if Ultherapy wouldn't have been done.

Ultherapy, in my NYC practice, is offered as a treatment for facial lifting with the understanding that further treatment, usually more than a year after treatment, may be delivered for increasing benefit.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Customized Ultherapy for long results

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Our office advocates a tailored combination Ulthera treatment with stimulatory fillers to enhance results of the Ulthera.  Sculptra and Radiesse work in synergy with the Ulthera to provide longerlasting results, in our experience. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

You always look better than if you never had Ultherapy

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Patient’s do not revert to their pre-Ulthera state and do always look better than if they never had it. However, the amount of improvement varies with each individual patient. Also, their desire for additional improvement may differ and some patients will want additional ultherapy after 12-18 months. It’s an effective way to increase collagen in your skin in a non-surgical manner without downtime.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

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Your skin will look better than if you had never had Ultherapy

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Collagen production halts sometimes during the 20's to early 30's and the signs of aging begin to show in the face in the late 30's, early 40's due to the effects of gravity.  This collagen that runs throughout the soft tissue of the face is the "lattice work" which keeps everything lifted and firm.  As the collagen ages it looses it's ability to keep things tight and lifted.  Think of Ultherapy as having the carpet which has loosened over time "stretched".  As the new collagen grows, some of the elasticity and firmness return lifting and firming the skin.  Now think of doing this in the early 40's before the skin has time to stretch and further age. 
As a 40 year old, you have healthier collagen than a 60 year old thus adds to the benefits of doing Ultherapy earlier rather than later.

We can't stop the aging clock from ticking but we can slow it down depending on the factors you bring such as age, lifestyle, genetics, etc. The newly formed collagen will still go through the aging process and the above factors will contribute to how soon you would do another treatment.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

How long does Ultherapy last

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I have been doing Ultherapy in San Antonio for about 2 1/2 years now.  The original recommendation from the company was that the effect would last 2 years.  We have seen a longer lasting effect.

As far as effect this is what we have noticed in general:

  1. The skin uniformly looks better in texture and tone beginning as early as 1 month
  2. The 6 month and 18 month photos usually look better than the 3 month photos
  3. The effect is NOT the same as a surgical facelift, but is a nice, gentle, refreshed look
  4. At 2 years, the effect has not regressed to the patient's baseline before the procedure.  That is they still look better than their pre-Ulthera state
  5. There are some patients who really see minimal results.  Those seem to be patients who have smoked, have severe sun damage, have had multiple procedures to stimulate collagen already, or are over 65 years old.

I hope that helps.  Make sure you seek out an experienced provider in your area.

Suresh Koneru, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

How long does the effects of Ultherapy last?

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This is an excellent and valid question.  As with any technology such as this, there is some variability in how the results are interepreted. In addition, there is some patient to patient variability.  We all age differently, which can depend upon a number of factors including genetics, degree of sun damage, tobacco usage etc.

 I have seen a number of my Ultherapy patients back at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment and encouragingly their photos have looked better at 12 months than 3 or 6 months.  To me that would clearly indicate that the effects in some must last considerably longer than 12 months. The other way I think about the effects of Ultherapy is that all though it is not permanent (as all procedures) turning back the clock still turns the clock back despite that it keeps ticking.  So in my mind you will still be better off by having had Ultherapy than not having it. Hope this helps.


Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon

Ultherapy Timetable and Efficacy

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Collagen stimulation by Ultherapy will reduce skin laxity and the effect will be better than not having the treatment. Eventually, you will "age out" of the procedure as you continue to get older. So, the effect is typically years and in some patients, "touch up procedures" may be needed in 2-3 years or sooner. 

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.