Face ultrasound treatment still good in some areas after 1.5 years, other areas no benefit - Sydney, AU

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I've only just had Ulthera, so it will be 2-3...

I've only just had Ulthera, so it will be 2-3 months before I can put up before and after pics, but I'd like to note my impressions of the treatment.

Why I had it: I've disliked the lax look of my neck and jaw line for the past 5 years but am not ready for surgery. I wanted something I judged as low risk, and followed up on it after reading promising reviews on RealSelf.

Getting advice: the doctor reported that I wouldn't see results for 2-3 months and it would only last a year. She advised I'd get a better, more permanent result doing lipo on my neck. She didn't think I needed platysma muscle correction. I think she's right, but I'm not quite ready for lipo, but it's something to consider carefully given the high cost and short term benefit of Ultherapy. I'm told most money goes on the machine parts, which are extremely expensive.

Pain management: Took 2 ibuprofen (Advil) an hour before. I was given a Penthrox (methoxyflurane) inhaler to use doing treatment, which was excellent. I generally have high pain tolerance.

The treatment: Short, sharp pulses from the head which feel a bit like very fine needles, and only last for the briefest part of a second. Overall I didn't find it unpleasant at all on my neck and most of my face. There were some localised pain areas on my left upper cheek, and it made my feet twitch a few times (my personal coping mechanism). But by the time it was getting anywhere close to extreme the pulse had finished and it was gone. The ibuprofen and Penthrox made the experience very manageable. Overall I've had more painful experiences with both IPL and dental cleaning.

Afterwards: Sat for 10 minutes waiting for the Penthrox to wear off (it does make you feel and behave like a happy drunk). I had slight tingling around my cheekbones, like a bit of wind burn. The tingling lasted for an hour and was gone. Skin was slightly pinkish for an hour after. I don't feel any tightness or other effects.

Overall: a good experience. Felt safe and hassle free. Felt she was a quality practitioner with lots of experience.

Will post photos again after 2 months – fingers crossed it'll be worth it.

It's been around 6 months since I had Ulthera...

It's been around 6 months since I had Ulthera treatment.

At 3 months I honestly couldn't see any benefit and had I posted then I would have said it wasn't worth it, especially given the cost.

But around 4-6 months it really kicked in and I began to notice a definite overall improvement. Rather than specific features, it's more like an overall refresh of the face; the forehead is tighter, the eyes less droopy, the cheeks more solid, and the jaw less jowly. Now I get a satisfying, relatively youthful impression when I look in the mirror, whereas 6 months ago I really didn't like looking in the mirror at all. My face appears to me like it did about 5 years ago.

I haven't had any other treatment, so I can only put it down to the ulthera.

I don't know how long this treatment lasts, some say about 2 years, and some say it will always be better than if I'd never had the treatment. If I get a good two years improvement, I'll definitely have it again if I need it.

My only disappointment is that I couldn't have it done on my neck, as I always wanted to see improvement there.

PS Sorry for not having photos, been very busy. I'll try and visit the clinic to get some after pics taken in the same type of light.

Update on 1.5 years

It's been over 1.5 years since I had the treatment, I'd say over a year since I've enjoyed the benefits of the ultrasound therapy because it took about 6 month to kick in. Word is that you get about 2 years out of the procedure, but you'll always look better than if you hadn't had it. I'll review later in the year then.

I've been very happy with the quality of my face since I had the treatment. People do note that my skin and face tone is in very good nick for my age, considering it's pale, I live in a harsh climate and I don't live a particularly healthy lifestyle.

I've not been happy with the quality of my neck (ie thinning skin and a difference in colour), but they didn't treat there. Why I'm raising it is that I wish they'd been able to treat my neck at the same time, I'd have happily paid the extra. I will eventually go back to the clinic and if they can do my neck, I'll get a complete second treatment done.

It's really hard to do objective reviews of a treatment where the effects are so subtle and changes happen slowly over time. All I can say is that before I had the ultrasound treatment I didn't like looking in the mirror. I could see obvious signs of aging. But over the past year that's changed, I feel I look considerably fresher and younger when I look at that reflection. That's all I can say really.

Additional Ulthera treatment from jaw to collarbone

After I last posted I went back to the clinic and undertook a treatment of my neck, from the jaw down to the collarbone. I wanted to get it because it's one area where I have a lot of age and gravity signs, with horizontal bands and deep wrinkles, general typical age signs. During the treatment I noticed I didn't need the penthrox painkiller as much, and the doctor said she thought they had improved the technology so that the experience is not as painful as it used to be.

After the treatment I had some very light reddish bruising with small white spots, which went away in 24 hours. My neck skin was noticeably tight, which I assume is from swelling. I can see why some people think ulthera works immediately, but it's just swelling. This tightness also went away after a day.

So I'm happy I finally got my neck treated, now for a 4-5 month wait to see if there are any improvements.

Some photos, sorry for the delay

I apologise as I haven't been able to get identical lighting photos done, but here are some selfies. I never had Ulthera on my neck, and even with the awful shaving rash right now, I can see the skin has deteriorated a lot there since last year. I also went and got ulthera on my full neck last week. I don't expect much. I'll probably need something more drastic.

Second photo which didn't save before.

Ulthera second treatment full face and forehead

I had a second treatment today, full face and forehead. For the most part the treatment was painless. The first pass over was fine. The second one smarted on the forehead on the bonier parts of my cheeks, back near the ear. It's a sensation a bit like being splattered with hot wax. Thankfully it was short, and I had the Penthrox which cut the pain enormously. It certainly wasn't anywhere near unbearable.

4 hours later I'm back to normal, a bit tender on my forehead still.

Interesting that the doctor noted improvements on neck from the treatment a week ago, saying that the neck lines are barely visible and it looks so much smoother. It's true, it looks much smoother and firmer, though I don't know why, the therapy shouldn't have kicked in so soon. Perhaps it's just that your face changes day to day.

How long ulthera lasts

I'm posting some side by side pictures after 1.5 years. I think these pictures demonstrate the limitations of the treatment really. Ulthera won't help on any part of the body which where there are a lot of fat deposits, like on my neck. I admit however, that i never got the treatment on my neck, just the jawline. Whether the effects last more than a year is uncertain, but probably not significantly, which makes it an expensive treatment for just one year's benefit. I still believe I got some lasting benefit, especially on the main area of my face, like under the eye. The main facial area is a good place for ulthera, in my opinion.

Jaw, no great improvement, some fat lost, unevenly. Probably just an age effect.

Side neck, no lasting improvement

I didn't have ulthera on the neck, just the jaw. It hasn't had any lasting benefit in that area. Clearly that area needs some other treatment.
Ashbrooke vein and cosmetic

Ashbrooke is the pioneer of this treatment in Australia, and Ulthera seems to be one of their mainstays along with lipo. The staff are obviously very busy with appointments but they will answer your questions honestly and knowledgeably. They do appear to be more expensive than some of the costs you see on the web, but I think they really know their specialties, so I would trust them with procedures that I would be cautious about getting done elsewhere.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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