Ultherapy is an ultrasound technology designed to non-surgically tighten and lift the face , neck and decolletage. As such it is the only FDA-cleared non-invasive procedure used for lifting the above mentioned areas.
How does it work?
The first technology ever available for non-surgical skin tightening was Thermage , a radio-frequency device that made big headlines in 2001. Radiofrequency penetrates 2-3 mm into the skin, into the dermal layer that produces some collagen.
What is revolutionary about Ultherapy is its depth of penetration. Most collagen production occurs in the fibromuscular tissue layer, the last layer of skin on top of bone, about 4-5 mm deep. Ultherapy through heat mimics an injury to the fibromuscular tissue layer, which sets of the repair cascade consisting of tissue contraction or “skin tightening” and collagen production in order to repair. In other words this technology very cleverly tricks your skin into thinking it has been injured in order to stimulate skin tightening. In fact during a face lift procedure the same layer is stimulated by the surgeon with a very hot needle or “bovie”.
Since Ultherapy uses a deep wavelength it completely bypasses the outer layers of skin. This means that unlike a laser it does not result in any downtime. The only possible side effects include slight redness for a few hours, slight swelling, and possible tingling or tenderness to the touch.
The procedure can be somewhat uncomfortable and while most patients do well with no pain control at all, we do give patients the option of nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” as an anesthetic option.
The results are gradual , since collagen production takes time, and continue to improve for 6 months.