Ultherapy® is a face and neck treatment that creates a brand new category in aesthetics-non-invasive tissue lifting. One of the first practices in San Diego to have this newest technology, Ulthera enables our expert dermatologists to direct sound waves not only into the skin, but deep under the skin to the same tissue addressed in surgery. Ulthera is the ONLY device with an indication for “lift” and the only device with an indication for the neck and submentum. This gently heats the tissue to lift and tighten loose skin without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. Besides the visible effects of lifting and tightening, there is also an invisible result from Ulthera with the creation of new collagen, which helps the skin maintain its youthfulness.
Ultherapy lifts, tightens, and tones loose skin to counteract the effects of time and gravity. One of the first effects of gravity is that the brows descend, and the eyes start to appear smaller. Ultherapy will lift the brow, which in turn reduces the excess skin on the lids, opens up the eyes and gives a more refreshed appearance. The beauty of Ultherapy in San Diego is that it is a 30 to 60 minute procedure that uses the body’s own subtle healing response to gently, gradually-and reliably-restore memory to the skin and its underlying tissue. Ultherapy requires no special recuperation or preparation and typically only takes one treatment to get a meaningful response. Patients enjoy some initial effect immediately following the procedure, but the ultimate lifting will take 2 – 3 months, as tired collagen is rejuvenated and supplemented with new, stronger collagen. There isn’t a replacement for the dramatic effects of surgery, but Ultherapy offers a natural, ‘no downtime’ approach to noticeably improving lax skin.
Q: How does the Ultherapy procedure work?
A: As with other ultrasound procedures, a smooth applicator placed upon your skin projects an image onto a screen that allows your practitioner to plan where the energy will be sent. This same applicator is then used to deliver low levels of focused heat at just the right depth below the skin to achieve a positive effect, all the while leaving the surface of your skin undisturbed. Your skin’s response to the energy is to stimulate the growth of new collagen. A gradual tightening and firming occurs, resulting in a natural lift of the skin over time.
Q: How is this procedure different than other cosmetic procedures?
A: Ultherapy is the only nonsurgical skin rejuvenation procedure that can specifically target and strengthen the deep foundational layer of tissue that doctors address in surgery. The ability to treat not just the skin but its underlying support, from the inside out, helps to ensure both safe and satisfying results, with no downtime.
Q: What does it feel like?
A: There can be some discomfort while the energy is being delivered, but it is temporary and a signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated. Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, and practitioners will discuss options for making the experience as pleasant as possible. Patients typically leave comfortable and excited about the benefits to come.
Q: What can I expect afterwards?
A: You are able to return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take. Your skin may appear a bit flushed immediately after the treatment, but any redness should disappear within a few hours. It is not uncommon to experience slight swelling for a few days following the procedure or tingling/tenderness to the touch for a few days to weeks following the procedure, but these are mild and temporary in nature. There is the possibility of other less common post-procedural effects, such as temporary small areas of bruising or numbness, which your physician will review with you.
Q: Is Ultherapy safe?
A: Ultrasound energy has a proven track record, with use in the field of medicine for over 50 years and clinical trials have demonstrated the safety of this latest application.
Q: Is There a Relationship Between the Amount of Energy Used or the Length of the Ultherapy Procedure and the Results Seen?
A: An in-house study performed by the company showed that there was not statistically significant difference in results when the same amount of lines were delivered on both sides of the face (using both the 4.5 mm depth probe and the 3mm depth probe), but one side received 2 energy settings less than the other side which received the maximum energy setting. There was also no difference in adverse events noted between both sides. It is believed that ultrasound energy may not be like other forms of energy, in that more energy equals better results.
Q: Can I Have Neck Ultherapy After a SMAS Facelift?
A: The beauty of Ultherapy is that one can see what they are treating. Therefore, sutures should be able to be visualized, depending on what kind of suture was used. Most often Vicryl sutures are used, which last no more than 6 months. This is the minimal amount of time one would most likely want to wait after a SMAS facelift before electing to do an Ultherapy procedure anyway, a year would be preferable.
Q: Which is better for crow’s feet–Ulthera or Thermage?
A: Ultherapy is FDA-approved for a non-surgical eyebrow lift, because it is able to actually lift and tighten the eyelid skin enough to achieve this indication. Thermage is only FDA- approved for the improvement of fine lines and rhytides. If you have skin laxity within the orbital rim you may need to combine the procedure with a fractionated CO2 device.
Q: Is it ok to perform Ulthera on a face that might be swollen?
A: It can take up to a full year for the residual swelling from procedures like a facelift or chin/jaw/cheekbone reduction to resolve. Generally, it is not a good idea to do Ulthera if someone’s face is swollen. It might alter the depths that are trying to be targeted, such as the SMAS layer (which is the fibromuscular layer that contributes to the lifting one sees from treatment) and it can also alter the anatomy in certain areas, increasing one’s risk for nerve injury. Also, there is some swelling that can result from treatment, that would just add to the baseline swelling already present. It’s best to wait at least wait 6 months and be evaluated by someone experienced in doing the procedure.
Q: Are there any risks of having Ulthera performed over fillers?
A: The beauty of Ulthera is that you can see what you are treating. If you see the filler, you don’t treat that area. Typically along the eyes, physician’s place Restylane submuscular to avoid a Tyndall effect. This is far below where Ulthera is meant to target. Also, most of the treatment is actually below the cheekbone. Regardless, it’s a good idea to wait 2 weeks after a hyaluronic acid placement to perform the procedure on my patients and I keep in mind where I have placed the filler. Studies have been done to evaluate the effect of other energy devices that heat the skin as deep as 3 mm, immediately over 4 different fillers, and they have shown through biopsies that it doesn’t break the filler down any quicker.
Q: Will Ulthera intensify or worsen rosacea?
A: There have been no studies to support that Ultherapy worsens rosacea. Ultherapy penetrates much deeper than the vessels responsible for the redness seen in rosacea. If one has rosacea, it is possible to notice some transient flushing after treatment, but this is typically temporary.
Q: Is asymmetry with Ulthera possible?
A: We are all asymmetric to begin with, and sometimes with treatment we notice our asymmetries even more. I always encourage my patients to return for photos to compare their after photos with their before photos and visualize the difference from treatment and which asymmetries already existed.
Q: Can Ulthera be done on just the neck, or is it necessary to have it done on the lower face, too?
A: Ulthera can be used to target specific areas for skin tightening; therefore, it can be used on the neck only. You may find that best results for wrinkled neck and jowls occur when at least some of the lower face is done as well.
Q: Is Ulthera safe one year after a fat graft?
A: We have not seen any evidence that Ulthera affects the results of fat grafting, especially one year post treatment. One of the great things about Ulthera is that it’s technology allows the doctor to see the exact location the ultrasound is targeting so that certain areas, such as those treated with fillers or fat grafting, can be avoided.
Q: Can you get Ulthera with an implant in your cheekbone?
A: While Ultherapy should not be performed directly over metal or other types of implants, the ultrasound technology is such that the doctor can visualize the exact location treatment is reaching, so the implant can be avoided.
Schedule Your Appointment For Ulthera In San Diego
Please contact Cosmetic Laser Dermatology at 858.657.1002 for more information on Ulthera and to schedule a consultation. We are located in the UTC area of San Diego, minutes from La Jolla, Del Mar, and Downtown San Diego.