How Long Does It Take to See Ulthera Results?

Oh no!! I just did a Ulthera treatment in Seoul recently. It cost me US$2700. Do you think it worth it or I'm wasting my money ??? Hmmmmm, I don't see any change after the treatment, but the doc says the result will look good in 3 to 6 months.

Doctor Answers 84

Ulthera causes a natural tightening and lifting of skin by building the body's own collagen

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Because Ulthera works by stimulating the body’s healing and restorative properties, it is true that the final result is usually seen after 3 months. This is the amount of time that the new collagen growth occurs after the procedure. Our patients do report early changes ranging from actual brow elevation, mid face fullness, or simply a firmer feel to the skin.

 We are receiving very good satisfaction for Ulthera in our office. Ulthera is a good choice for patients who are looking for a treatment that involves no down time, no incisions, and only mild sedation. It offers a more lifted, tighter, and firmer skin texture and appearance. The resulting changes are very natural looking. While one can expect about a 20% improvement for sagging and loose skin with Ulthera, it is not a replacement for facelift which offers about 80% improvement. Optimal results and satisfaction are directly related to proper patient selection and proper expectations.

Results may be dependant upon the way the procedure was performed. The best results will be obtained when a dual planed approach is used A dual planed treatment means that your skin was treated at two different depths, the sub dermal and deeper SMAS layer. This means that tiny thermal injuries are being laid down in two layers, causing a healing and repair response, which results in additional collagen growth over the 3-4 months after the treatment. Ulthera is unique in that each pulse is delivered only after imaging reveals good skin conductivity with the ultrasound transducer with precise and focused delivery of the treatment energy. Again, these thermal injury points cause your body to begin a healing and restorative process that builds additional collagen, therefore tightening and firming the skin.

Hopefully, you were a good candidate for the procedure and your doctor discussed your own personal expectations with you prior to the procedure. In that case you will more than likely be pleased. Best wishes!


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ultherapy works gradually, so be patient.

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Ultherapy works gradually by stimulating a patient's natural collagen production. That takes time, so most patients won't see much effect for two weeks or more. After that, the collagen production will continue to build momentum, producing a noticeable lifting and tightening that will continue for up to 90 days. In short, Ultherapy is a highly-recommended alternative to surgery, but don't expect to see maximum results for about three months. Also note that those results, like the results from surgery, will depend upon a confluence of factors, including the patient's age, health, and the severity of the skin laxity at the time of treatment. 

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Ultherapy works gradually

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The most important thing to remember with Ultherapy treatment is that the results are not immediate.  It can take 3-6 months to get a beneficial improvement.  For those patients seeking an immediate, dramatic change Ultherapy will disappoint them.  It is best for patients that do not want an invasive procedure with the incumbent downtime.

It is also important to remember that not all patients will achieve the desired effect after one treatment.  The clinical trials showed around 85% of patients achieved a good result after one treatment.  While this is far better than other non-invasive options such as Thermage, it still means that you have a 3 in 20 chance of being disappointed.  What is good about Ultherapy and ultimately the reason why we elected to add it to our practice is that the patients that did not achieve the desired results in the study were retreated and all of them were successful. 

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Lifting and skin tightening effect of Ulthera may take several months

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Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to deliver low levels of focused heat to the tissues immediately underneath the skin. Your body responds to this thermal energy by stimulating the growth of new collagen.  Some patients report seeing an immediate result, but that is a combination of the body’s response to the heat energy, as well as some associated mild swelling. The regenerative process is initiated immediately, but the full effects of the treatment gradually occur over the next 2-3 months, with the ultimate results taking shape around 3-6 months. Good luck to you! Hope this helps.

Dr. Sunder

Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Ultherapy results get better over time

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Ultherapy results are typically seen over 3-6 months following treatment.  It is common to see some early changes in the first several weeks due to the thermal effect of the treatment.  Early treatment recommendations with Ultherapy did not include a second treatment.  However, ongoing studies with Ultherapy have shown dramatic changes can occur with a second treatment six months after the initial session.  The reason the results are improved, is that the new collagen formed from the initial treatment is very responsive to the ultrasound stimulation and may provide a better result.  

I would not be discouraged at three months or even six months, as the results do improve with time. I agree that looking at your pre-treatment photos is very helpful as some results are subtle, but still very worthwhile.  I have treated over 40 patients with Ultherapy since February of 2010, and with proper patient selection and education, my patients have been pleased with their results.  Ultherapy is not the same as a facelift,  but for many patients it is an excellent option for skin lifting and tightening and requires no downtime.  In the future, I expect more patients will be interested in additional treatments with Ultherapy since the results can offer further improvement than with a single treatment alone.   

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

The length of time it takes to see results from Ultherapy

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After Ultherapy it can take 3-6 months to see the maximal result.  Most people see some result immediately, but it is subtle in comparison to the final result.  How the treatment was performed and how many lines of therapy were delivered will have an effect on the ultimate outcome.

Leif Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Ultherapy does work

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At Quintessa Medical Spa, we have treated over 100 patients with Ultherapy. We have had the device since December of 2009 and were the 9th facility in the United States to start treatments. At first we were cautious about making promises regarding the results, but now with the extensive experience we have, we realize that Ultherapy works in almost everyone. Regarding your question, I would not worry about seeing improvement in the brow area for about 3 months.
We have found that in many patients the improvement becomes more visible in the lower face 4-5 months after treatment, so be patient. It is also very important that appropriate photography was used for the before and after pictures. Because is takes months for the results to slowly be visible, the patient seldom notices significant changes by looking in the mirror. You really have to compare your appearance to the before photographs. We really do forget what we used to look like. Overall, we are very happy with the results we can acheive with this no downtime, non-surgical facial lifting device and I hope you are too.

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Ultherapy (ulthera) results can be immediate

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Results from ulthera (ultherapy) can be seen immediately for some patients.
For other patients, the results are visible in 30 to 60 days.
For most patients, 90 days or more are required for the best clinical result.

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Pittsburgh Ulthera results evolve over time

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Not to worry.  Some patients (but not all) see some modest immediate results, but the real results evolve and improve over 3-6 months.

Ulthera often (but not always) results in a modest degree of immediate lift.  This immediate lift, which can often be seen at the "half-time" after the first side of the face has been treated, is caused by a combination of collagen shrinkage and minor swelling.

As the rows of tiny thermal heating points result in your body producing additional collegan over the next 3-6 months, the real lifting result will emerge. 

It's very important to carefully select patients for Ulthera.  The best patients have mild to moderate sagging of the facial tissues and do not wish to undergo surgery.  These patients will often be highly satisfied with the results.  If patients have a good deal of sagging facial tissue, Ulthera results will frequently not improve the face enough to satisfy the patient.  Good communication between the patient and physician before deciding to proceed is critical.

Bottom line, you are very early to make a judgement about how well Ulthera works.  Wait 6 months, review some high-quality before and after pictures and make your decision then.

Hope that info helps,

Paul Leong

Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Ulthera works in 2 phases to lift skin

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I was just in Korea to give a lecture on Ulthera and the doctors there are very experienced with this technology. At first there is some minor tightening of the collagen but it really does take time to see the full effect. We have seen definitie improvement from the second to the third month, so be patient!

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.