Can Ulthera Eye Treatment Cause Fat Loss Or Loose Skin Over Time?

Is it at all Possible that Ulthera could cause Fat Loss or make skin actually looser long term ?? I am considering the Upper Eye lid Tightening Procedure...I have very mild Sag. would hate for it to worsen by having the procedure.. I am not a good canadate for full Eyelift surgery.. maybe there is some other option I am unaware of. heard of burning the skin..Ouch !!!  I am not a Dr so I dont really understand the different layers of skin..does fat loss occur naturally ?? how big a factor is fat loss to making the skin look worse. I imagine I already have some due to aging..I'm 43 years old. Thanks Again

Doctor Answers 4

Ultherapy can help lift the upper eyelids when treating the forehead

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Currently there is no appropriate applicator for Ulthera that would fit the upper eyelid.  In order to get a lift in the upper eyelid, we treat the forehead as that cosmetic unit can tighten and pull up on the adjoining eyebrow area that, in turn, lift the upper eyelid.  I have not seen any fat loss in tissues that I treat, despite providing very thorough treatments.  There are investigations now if Ulthera can be used to shrink fat (and to help tighten and lift some fatty necks) but there is no evidence to-date that it is effective in causing fat loss. Ultherapy should be thought of as a tightening treatment, not as a fat reduction technique. On Ultherapy has an extremely high patient-rated satisfaction rate of 89% which is very unusual for cosmetic procedures. Most of my patients have been very happy with their results from this non-surgical lifting procedure.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ulthera for eye treatment

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In my practice, we recommend Ulthera treatment to tighten and smoothen lower eyelid skin and lift upper brow but I don't use it directly on the upper eyelid skin as the ultrasound energy may reach and damage sclera or cornea and possibly compromise vision at least temporarily. The focused ultrasound from ulthera transducer causes small areas of injury to soft tissue below (depth is controlled by the physician) which causes contraction and later collegen recruitment. On the upper eye, it does a nice job of lifting the brow which then reduces the upper eyelid sagging and is appropriate for mild to moderate upper lid laxity or skin excess especially if caused by mild brow ptosis. The fat loss from Ulthera is negligible and any skin laxity after ulthera would be due to progressive aging and sun damage and not due to Ultherapy.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ulthera and Pelleve : Two technologies that drive me nuts!!!

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  Ulthera is hyped as a face-lifting and neck tightening technology that is revolutionary because of its use of focused ultrasound that creates ridiculously high amounts of heat in tiny little spots underneath your skin. The thought is that a line of these spots will create a vector of pull or lift. Well, the results are difficult to appreciate (if you do not take a post procedure picture with an elevated chin which makes the neck appear tighter) and the long term results are just sad. The heat deep in the face must dissipate and no matter how focal energy delivery is, healthy facial fat suffers. It has been around long enough to have many patients see the horrible eyelid retraction and fat atrophy that it can cause. I see young patients in my practice, who otherwise would not need a surgical intervention, present with discontent after these treatments that need blepharoplasty and canthal suspension as well as fat grafting to restore them to reasonable aesthetics.

Pelleve is a radiofrequency device, actually a powerful electrosurgical generator for cutting cauterizing and fulgarating tissue that for marketing reasons developed a special handpiece with lower power settings branded as a cosmetic intervention to increase market share. The results of Pelleve are sometimes even more devastating. This is because Ulthera charges doctors every time they push the button for a pulse which results in generally limited energy delivery.

With most of these technologies one should consider themselves lucky if no result is seen because changes caused are usually negative. I encourage patients to avoid the latest name branded repackaging of last years' disastrous technology and to find a plastic surgeon who has resisted the urge to join corporations to shake money out of patients. Many of us including myself use ultrasound, radiofrequency and other technologies under true surgical judgement and let experience and knowledge guide us to offer reasonable treatments that do not harm patients instead of following directions from sales representatives with business degrees on how to alter someones face.

Also if you are going to let someone deliver energy near your eye, make sure they are a surgeon that understands the surgical anatomy, do's and don't's, risks and potential complications. Otherwise there is no way you will avoid them!

If you are impressed with before and after pictures of a neck or face, look at the position of ear landmarks to eye landmarks, hold a straight edge to the picture and you will likely see a relatively elevated angle in the post picture that will explain any improvement. If the ears are not in the picture, well now you know why. Also be careful with lighting flash and exposure settings as well as frank manipulation.

Be careful it is not pretty out there!


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So far, Ulthera not living up to claims.

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Ulthera is a new non-invasive skin tightening treatment that has recently received a lot of press. Unfortunately, most physicians have found that the results do not quite live up to what has been claimed. Most patients in my experience do not see visible improvement and those that do it is very subtle. In addition, complications can occur with Ulthera. Fat loss is a known consequence of Ulthera and actually part of the benefit in some situations. Nevertheless, in many areas fat loss is not ideal and this can be an issue. In addition, there have been issues with Ulthera including nerve weakness and scarring. Because of this, I believe at this time Ulthera is a treatment which needs more research before it becomes a viable alternative for skin tightening.

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 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.