Should Ultherapy Be Done by a Doctor or is It Ok That One of His Assistants is Doing It?

These are not nurses but people that give facials etc. The doctor will administer the pain medication.

Doctor Answers 11

Who should be doing Ultherapy?

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In our practice, Ultherapy is done by the physician or physician assistants, not cosmetologists or aestheticians. It is after all, a medical procedure and ultrasound energy is being used. Although safe and FDA cleared, it is best to adhere to the ALARA principles when using ultrasound devices. Use the lowest energy to prevent potential tissue injury 'as low as resonably achievable' .. 

Non-medical personnel to provide Ultherapy treatments?

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Some physicians elect to be the "technician" on all technologies. Others appoint nurses or physician assistants to treat. Often, if a treatment has a high safety profile, delegating the treatment to other staff is perfectly fine.

Since Ultherapy is noninvasive, staff with experience and education are frequently just as capable - and since their time is less in demand, they can usually spend a bit more time with patients than a doctor who typically has a more pressing schedule.

As to having non-medical personnel perform the treatment, if you are uncomfortable with that option, then finding a practice that only uses medically trained technicians would not be hard. Or you could request a nurse to be your treatment provider.

In our office we elect to provide Ultherapy only by nurse, physician or physician assistant.

Ultherapy providers must be certified and trained

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As with any cosmetic procedures, it is critical to have your procedure performed by a skilled professional who is an expert in the type of treatment you are interested in. 

Professionals who provide Ultherapy need to be certified and receive procedural training, so if your doctor trusts his assistant to do the procedure and is administering the pain medication, it is probably fine. If you are concerned, feel free to ask the doctor.

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Ulthera Practitioners

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The FDA-cleared Ultherapy procedure has been established to be safe and effective in clinical studies and tens of thousands of patient treatments worldwide. In addition, every Ultherapy practitioner undergoes extensive hands-on training, so you can schedule your Ultherapy procedure with complete confidence. In selecting a practitioner, it is important to find someone who is experienced and has achieved positive results with his or her patients. It does not matter so much whether it is a doctor or nurse, but rather their expertise or experience.

Ultherapy has a high safety profile and physician extenders may peform it in some sates

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Depending on the state governance, some physicians may elect to direct the treatment and have a nurse, physician's assistant, medical assistant or aesthetician peform this ultrasound treatment.  Currently I or one of our plastic surgeons in our practice, peform the treatment but once we have a well-trained physician assistant or nurse involved, I would be very comfortable with them performing the Ultherapy.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ultherapy performed by doctor or nurse

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Ultherapy needs to be done by someone who is well trained and certified in Ultherapy. There are certifications that the company requires and every place offering Ultherapy should have documentation of their certification.  It is important that the person performing the treatment is very comfortable giving it.  A nurse or doctor is ideal because they can also give nerve blocks if necessary, but it is not essential that a doctor perform it. Because it is time intensive, most doctors do not perform the procedure and an experienced professional working alongside them performs it instead.  In our office, my nurse is especially trained in Ultherapy and is one of the trainers for the company.  She trains other doctors and nurses on Ultherapy.

Ultherapy - Physician or Aesthetician

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In my practice, I provide Ultherapy treatments but also work closely with my aesthetician who is very skilled at delivering the treatment.  I believe the quality of results depends heavily on the planning and treatment plan.   For patients who receive treatments with my aesthetician, I am very involved in patient planning and I often modify and customize the standard treatment protocols prior to the treatment.  For example, I often notice asymmetry in patients face and will change the treatment energy delivered on one half of the face compared to the other.  It is this planning where I think Plastic Surgeons are able to differentiate themselves compared to other physicians who are trying dabble in aesthetics (e.g. family practice or emergency room physicians).

Ulthera Treatment Provider

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In my practice, all facial and neck treatments are done by myself. It is up to the practice, however. 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Who should provide ultherapy treatment

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In my practice, I always perform the Ultherapy as with any procedure it is best that the most qualified person perform the procedure. Ultherapy is a painful procedure and when ever you begin to treat patients with local anesthetic for blocks or have to manage anxiety or vagal reactions, it is best to have the doctor involved in the procedure. 

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ultherapy treatments who should do it?

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I personaly do the treatments in my office at this time. It is ok for anyone that has been properly trained to administer the treatment under the supervision of the doctor.


Good Luck

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.