What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a term coined by cosmetic surgeons to describe the treatment of sagging skin and is designed to restore a youthful appearance. Ultherapy is a FDA-cleared nonsurgical alternative to a facelift that stimulates collagen production with the goal of counteracting signs of aging like skin sagging and wrinkles on the face, neck, and chest as well as drooping of the brow area.

Over the last decade Ultherapy has consistently risen in popularity as a nonsurgical procedure for rejuvenating and firming skin, helping to correct skin irregularities, bruises, tears, burns, scars, wounds, birthmarks, stretch marks, cellulite, dark pigmentation, and wrinkles.

How does Ultherapy work?

Ultherapy works by targeting areas beneath the skin with concentrated ultrasound energy, using the right temperature to support collagen regeneration. The heat generated from the application tool is used to affect three different layers on the patient:

  • Muscle
  • Skin
  • superficial wrinkles

The resulting energy from the ultrasound then stimulates collagen and elastic tissue for firmer skin, less sagging, and fewer wrinkles.

How to prepare for an Ultherapy procedure?

As Ultherapy is a minimally invasive and non surgical skin treatment there is minimal preparation needed. Leading up to a treatment a patient may maintain their regular eating, drinking, exercise, and work routines. There is also minimal downtime after the treatment and thus a patient can resume their normal routine almost immediately after.

On the day of the treatment, a patient should remove makeup and other skin care products from the target area prior to treatment. In some cases, if your provider instructs you to, you may take pain-reducing or anti-inflammatory medication before the procedure begins. Keep in mind though if you take any medication prior to a treatment that affects your ability to drive, you will need to plan to be picked up after the treatment.

The Ultherapy Process

The procedure itself is very straightforward and will have minimal impact on your daily routine. Your treatment provider will start off by cleaning the treatment areas of any oil or residue before applying an ultrasound gel. Next, the Ultherapy device is placed against the skin, and an ultrasound viewer is used to adjust the device to the appropriate settings. The target areas are then treated with Ultrasound energy. You might experience short bursts of heat and tingling during treatment which is perfectly normal. If you happen to experience any discomfort pain medication can often be administered. Treatment time for each procedure varies on average from about 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the application area. For example, Ultherapy treatment on the chest will last about 30 minutes compared to the face and neck areas which can take 60 to 90 minutes.

What to expect after, risks and side effects

As this is a non surgical treatment, there is usually no downtime associated with Ultherapy. In most cases, regular activities such as work, exercise, or socializing can be resumed immediately after treatment.

The benefits of the procedure last for about twelve months and the first signs of results typically show within a few days after the initial treatment. The results of the treatment and improvement in the treated areas are gradual as your body continues to produce new collagen and last until the natural aging process resumes. As such each person’s experience and improvement time will vary based on their body’s ability to produce the collagen.  

Typically there are not many risks or side effects associated with Ultherapy. In most cases the sensations of heat and tingling feelings go away shortly after the procedure ends. On occasion the treated skin areas may become red, swell, or have some tenderness. Possible, but rare side effects may include bruising or numbness in some patients.