Can Ulthera Therapy Cause Fat Atrophy?

I am considering ulthera but I am concerned about fat atrophy. A woman over 50 with a thin face can not afford that. Any comments please.

Doctor Answers 6

Ulthera should not cause fat atrophy!

Hello and thank you for taking the time to ask a question about Ultherapy.

When done properly, the fat should not be disturbed when undergoing an Ultherapy treatment.  The nice thing about Ulthera is that we are able to focus the depth of the treatment depending on which transducer head is used to the underlying fascia tissue as well as the dermis (area right underneath the skin). By doing so, one gets a tightening from two different layers and the fat layer is avoided. I do my own treatments so I am very careful in making sure I am treating the proper layer before an energy pulse is delivered.

I hope this helps.

Carlo Honrado, MD FACS




Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Well-Performed Ultherapy Does Not Cause Fat Atrophy

As with any dermatologic procedure, Ultherapy requires sufficient training and expertise that is obtained over years of practice. No matter how thin your face is, the result of Ultherapy should be a slight but noticeable lift and tightening of the skin, plus the stimulation of elastin and collagen production that should keep your skin looking youthful and plump some time after your procedure. Micro focused ultrasound is not optimized to destroy fat, so that would not me my concern as much as going to someone who will recommend the appropriate treatment plan based on your face, because sometime in a thin face a more radical lift can be achieved with correct filler placement.   Schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to learn how Ultherapy can restore youth and elasticity to your face.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Ultherapy does not cause fat or volume loss

Ultherapy energy is HIFU and is delivered directly in the skin (1.5 mm and 3 mm) and the SMAS muscle layer at 4.5 mm. It is focused energy and does not cause volume loss via fat cell destruction. 

Read the Ultherapy ebook provided on the link below - go to the ebook section. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Ulthera and Fat Atrophy

Thank you for your question. Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time. Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. The treatment will not cause you to lose fat cells in your face, only lift and tighten the skin.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

No conclusive studies show fat atrophy after Ultherapy

At this time, there have been no studies demonstrating fat atrophy with Ulthera. However, if this is a major concern for you, then perhaps you should avoid it completely. A surgical face and neck lift in conjunction with fat grafting may be a better option for you.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ultherapy has not been associated with fat atrophy as Thermage had been in its early years

I am not aware of any of my patients not those of my colleagues with whom I have discussed ultherapy that have developed fat atrophy.  The company is currently investigating this.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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.