For more than 50 years, ultrasound technology has been used in the medical field with far-reaching success. In recent years, it has also been widely used in the cosmetic industry and is known as Ultherapy.
It happens to all of us. One day, we look in the mirror and we don’t quite recognize that person staring back. We ask, “Who is this, and how in the world did this happen,” as if we think it would never happen to us. This is the normal, inevitable process of aging, and no one is immune. The very best of us cannot escape time and nature’s gradual impact on our daily lives and especially our appearance. While growing older is a fact of life and is far better than the alternative (we are alive and breathing!), we do not have to throw up our hands just yet.
There is no shame in aging gracefully, but if you are like most people, you will want to keep looking your best no matter what age you are. In addition to maintaining your overall health and taking good care of yourself, it may also be time to consider other treatments. Some people look to special creams and facials to help them in this quest for youthfulness. Others may opt for superficial procedures such as chemical peels or Botox. Still, others may choose a more intensive route via plastic surgery.
Still, many more people will fall into an “in-between” category. They show some moderate signs of aging and they want something a little more beyond daily creams and superficial fixes; however, major surgery is a little too invasive for them. If this is the case, we offer a multitude of options to choose from. There are many technologies available today which are becoming more and more popular and one of the best techniques currently in the market is the Ulthera System – or Ultherapy.
Ultherapy Review: What Is It and What Does It Do?
For more than 50 years, ultrasound technology has been used in the medical field with far-reaching success. In recent years, it has also been widely used in the cosmetic industry and is known as Ultherapy. Developed by Ulthera(R) Systems and Merz Solutions, Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure which causes the body to naturally produce new collagen on its own by applying focused ultrasound energy to various areas of the skin. Collagen is a protein which tightens and maintains the skin’s elasticity. As you age, collagen starts to break down, resulting in the weakening and sagging of the skin. The Ultherapy technique reverses this breakdown and lifts and firms the skin and erases fine lines on the face, brows, neck, and decolletage, or chest.
Cleared by the FDA, Ultherapy not only boosts the skin’s appearance, it allows doctors to view which areas of the skin will respond the most from the treatment. There is no downtime – patients can return to normal activities immediately. Moreover, this procedure generally needs to be done just one time for results that last for years. While some people report an immediate difference after treatment, results typically show up over 2 to 3 months’ time as the increased collagen production takes effect.
What Is the Process?
Before undergoing the treatment, a consultation with the practitioner is required in order for him or her to assess your health and your skin’s condition and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He or she can also address any concerns and answer any questions. In some cases, if the skin is too thin and fragile, Ultherapy may not be recommended.
Once given the green light by the doctor, there are no special preparations needed before the procedure. The doctor may prescribe prescription medication to help in relaxation and comfort before and during the process. After cleansing your skin, the doctor will apply the ultrasound gel and guide the Ulthera DeepSEE transducer device over the skin’s surface to identify areas most in need. This device is also instrumental in determining the proper depth of treatment to avoid affecting any bone structure. Once these areas are determined, the focused ultrasound energy is applied. Depending on the areas being treated, the length of treatment ranges between 30 and 90 minutes. After undergoing the treatment, there are no restrictions or post-treatment care. You can immediately resume all normal activities.
With this treatment, there are side effects which vary with each individual. During the process, it is normal to experience the sensation of minute amounts of energy being applied under the skin. This sensation indicates the activation of collagen production. This feeling typically lasts only while the energy is being deposited. After the procedure, slight swelling, tingling, and redness on the treated areas may occur, as well as some tenderness when touched. Additionally, some numbness in the treated areas may affect motor functions in those areas for a few days. These effects are temporary and most of them should subside after a few hours.
What Are the Ultherapy Advantages Over Other Treatments?
Ultherapy holds numerous advantages over other more superficial methods of lifting and firming treatments. Below is a rundown of the pros:
- Unlike lasers, radio frequencies, and other techniques, Ultherapy is non-surgical and non-invasive, so there is absolutely no downtime.
- This technique actually stimulates your own body’s production of collagen which is responsible for keeping your skin firm and youthful.
- With Ultherapy, the Ulthera DeepSEE transducer device bypasses the surface of the skin and goes to the right depth needed to deliver the right amount of ultrasound energy at the right temperature.
- Over 1 million procedures have been performed globally; additionally, this technique is marketed in over 60 countries.
- Only one treatment is needed for results that last for years, although some people combine it with other superficial treatments for optimal results.
- Ultherapy and the Ulthera DeepSEE transducer device are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Unlike radiofrequency treatment, Ultherapy can be used on the neck and chest area.
- Ultherapy costs are much less than traditional plastic surgery.
- Ultrasound energy penetrates more deeply than lasers or radio waves.
- While results take a little time to appear, they are longer-term.
Millions of patients have undergone this procedure and have reported very satisfactory results. In addition, for someone who wants a little help but is not ready to go “under the knife”, this treatment is ideal.
What Are the Ultherapy Risks?
As with any medical procedure, there are possible Ultherapy risks. There have been reported incidences of the following:
- Muscle deterioration
- Eye herniation
- Nerve damage
- Permanent scarring
- Vision loss
- Fat atrophy which can result in a “sunken” facial appearance.
- If there are any dermal fillers, Ultherapy may dissolve them. Therefore, it is vital to speak to your doctor about any filler injections you have received within the last year.
- Ultherapy should not be used directly over breast tissue, especially if breast implants are present.
- Ultherapy is not recommended for older patients who have thinner skin and less fat. This is because of the applicator’s deep-reaching properties which could do damage to the subcutaneous fat layer.
Additionally, if the patient has any open wounds or cystic acne conditions, Ultherapy is not recommended on the areas affected by this condition. Also, patients with active implants such as a pacemaker or defibrillator should not undergo Ultherapy treatment. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not undergo this procedure and Ultherapy is not authorized for use on children.
While the reported possible risks sound unsettling, they are rare. The Ulthera System and the Ulthera DeepSEE transducer device used during the procedure are certified by the FDA and are safe when used by a trained professional. Furthermore, the practitioner and/or authorized personnel should adhere to the safety and security precautions at all times to prevent any unauthorized use of the system. It is highly recommended that you find a practitioner who is experienced and familiar with these devices and the procedure itself. Your practitioner will also detail all possible risks during the initial consultation. During the procedure, you can also give your practitioner feedback on the pain levels so that he or she can make adjustments to the device settings.
What Are Some Disadvantages of Ultherapy?
While on the whole, Ultherapy is safer than other procedures including surgery, it is not for everyone and does have some disadvantages over more traditional treatments:
- As technologically advanced Ultherapy is, it cannot duplicate the longer-lasting effects from plastic surgery.
- While some discomfort is expected, some patients may experience more pain than others. The doctor will usually use local anesthesia and also prescribe pain medication for your comfort during the procedure.
vWhile less costly than plastic surgery, Ultherapy costs are still quite significant. Depending on the location you live in and the size of the area of skin to be treated, expect to pay from $900 up to $4,500.
- While approved for a wide age range (30 to 70 years of age), Ultherapy works best if skin still has some elasticity and there is minimal sun damage. If there are deeper wrinkles, sags, extensive sun damage, and other more pronounced signs of aging, another procedure may be recommended instead of or alongside Ultherapy treatment.
- As compared to other procedures such as Botox injections or plastic surgery, you may not see results right away. However, after a few weeks, you will begin to see a change in appearance as skin begins to tighten.
While Ultherapy is not typically recommended for older patients with thin skin, this treatment is acceptable for areas with excess adipose tissue such as jowls or a saggy neck. Depending on the device used, ultrasound energy can penetrate as deep as 8 mm, while other devices are more superficial.
Ultherapy Reviews Summary: Everyone Is Unique as to What Works for Them
Keep in mind that individuals respond differently to different treatments. What works for one patient may not be as effective for another. While Utherapy by itself has worked for countless people, it can produce even better results when combined with other superficial procedures. It has even been used after plastic surgery for extended results.
In closing of this Ultherapy review, it is speculated that the Ulthera System and Ultherapy will continue to rise in popularity in years to come. Like all medical procedures, the risks and disadvantages must be considered. However, if the patient is in good health and free of certain diseases and conditions, there should be no concerns. It is vital that any individual considering any type of cosmetic treatments speak with his or her doctor and discuss any risks with each procedure – including that of the Ulthera System – and make an informed decision as to which treatment is best.