Ulthera – Facelift Without Surgery

 
In late 2010, the buzz surrounding a newly FDA approved device called Ulthera exploded after being featured on several national talk shows including Dr. Oz, The View, The Drs. and The Rachel Ray Show.  While the trend towards non-invasive cosmetic procedures continues to skyrocket, several devices promising outstanding results are still on shaky ground.  So it’s perhaps surprising that the Ulthera device has received such a warm reception, with doctors genuinely pleased with the outcomes and patients taking to the Internet with glowing reviews.

How does Ulthera work?

Ulthera is actually the brand name of a device owned by Ulthera, Inc.  The general technology behind the treatment is called Ultherapy.  Ulthera, Inc. is a therapeautic ultrasound medical device company, and it received FDA approval for the use of its Ulthera system to achieve a non-invasive brow lift in September 2009.  But treatments of the entire face and neck are most often performed.

The Ulthera device uses targeted ultrasound technology to direct sound waves through the skin to the deeper layers and structures beneath the skin.  Similar to the use of ultrasound to visually see a fetus on a screen during a pre-natal appointment, the layers of skin and tissue are able to be seen and specifically treated during ultherapy.  Ultrasound waves generate heat, which is directed at the deepest layers of the skin.  As the layers warm, the patient’s own collagen is stimulated, which in turn naturally activates the production of new collagen.  This new collagen provides volume to lift and  tighten the skin.   Procedures typically take 30-60 minutes.

Ulthera Facelift Without Surgery – Ulthera Cost


 

How soon are Ulthera results seen?  How long do the results last?

Most patients report an immediate improvement in overall appearance, but full results take 2-3 months as the collagen needs this time to fully develop.  Some patients benefit from more than one treatment.

As with any non-invasive procedure, results will not be as dramatic or as long-lasting as facial surgery.  However, most patients report results lasting anywhere from 9-15 months.

What are the benefits of Ulthera?  How does it compare to other skin tightening devices such as Titan?

Dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi said it best during her appearance on The Drs, “There’s no surgery, there’s no cutting, there’s no scar, there’s no down time.”  For those patients who want a true lunchtime procedure without recovery, ultherapy may be a good option.

While not a scientific poll, the reviews on the cosmetic procedure community web site, RealSelf.com, are as follows (as of February 8, 2011):

Titan = 55% say worth it,  38 total reviews: 21 worth it, 17 not worth it

Ulthera = 100% say worth it,  24 total reviews: 14 worth it, 0 not worth it, 10 not sure (most waiting for 2-3 month period to end)

Does Ulthera hurt?  How much does Ulthera cost?

Every person has a different pain tolerance so it’s no surprise that while some people report just a mild warming sensation, others report quite a bit of discomfort.  Patients might benefit from the use of over-the-counter oral pain medications to make the procedure more comfortable.

Typical Ulthera treatments range from $1,500 to $2,500 with the more expensive treatments often requiring more than one session.

ULTHERA OR SIMILAR TREATMENT PROVIDERS

 

The following is a short list of Ulthera providers in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York areas.

LOS ANGELES AREA:

Wave Plastic Surgery Center
Peter Lee, MD; David Kahng, MD; Jonathan Shifren, MD
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
3680 Wilshire Blvd. #202
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-4800

Keller Facial Plastic Surgery
Gregory Keller, MD
Facial Plastic Surgeon
221 West Pueblo Street, Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 687-6408

Michal Plechas, MD
Plastic Surgeon
1913 East 17th Street, Suite 110
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 953-7373

The Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Sanjay Grover, MD
Plastic Surgeon
360 San Miguel Dr, Suite 507
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 759-9551

SAN FRANCISCO AREA:

Kathleen M. Welsh, MD
Dermatologist
2299 Post St #312
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 292-6350

Greg S. Morganroth, MD
Dermatologist
2420 Samaritan Drive
San Jose, CA 95124
408-369-5600

Harry Mittelman, M.D.
Facial Plastic Surgeon
810 Altos Oaks Drive
Los Altos, CA 94024
(650) 941-8888

Philip J. Miller, MD
Facial Plastic Surgeon
60 East 56th Street, Third Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 750-7100

NEW YORK AND OUTLYING AREAS:

Wexler Dermatology
Pat Wexler, MD
Dermatologist
145 East 32nd Street, 7th floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 684-2626

Hazen Plastic Surgery
Dr. Jill Hazen, DO, FACOS
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
311 Commons Way
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 921-7747

Andrew N. Kornstein, MD
Plastic Surgeon
1373 Redding Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 292-9190

The Cosmetic & Skin Surgery Center
Michael R. Warner, MD
Cosmetic Dermatologist & Derma-surgeon
63 Thomas Johnson Drive, Suite B
Frederick, MD 21702
(301) 698-2424

Typical Ulthera treatments range from $1,500 to $2,500 with the more expensive treatments often requiring more than one session.  

Click here to read about Ulthera Reviews

Click here to read about Does Ulthera hurt?

Click here to read about Comparing Ulthera to Thermage
 
 

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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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  1. […] Ulthera – Facelift Without Surgery […]

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  3. […] Ulthera does not include the use of needles or surgical tools, making it entirely non-invasive. The device, which is administered in a physician’s office, does not require anesthesia, and the entire process takes approximately an hour or less. Some patients recount gentle pain during the draw and some wee redness or soreness afterwards. Some less plain side effects include swelling, tingling, and tenderness around the treated area. There is no recuperation time associated with the project; patients can sail approximately their normal each day activities immediately after leaving the physician’s office. […]

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