Ulthera - What is Ulthera? What is Ultherapy? Let me explain in detail how this unique skin tightening treatment works…
Passage of time and the force of gravity, what can resist them? Evidently, not the human face. Hooded lids, falling cheeks, lazy jaw line, sagging skin are the signs. They become increasingly noticeable approaching age 40. You look tired even when you are feeling rested. Exactly, what a facelift is designed to counteract you might say.
I’m Dr. Barry Lycka and as a cosmetic doctor, I’d agree. But I’m asking you to set your thoughts about surgery aside for a moment and consider Ultherapy from Ulthera. It’s a face and neck skin tightening treatment, that creates a brand new class of its own, a non-invasive anti-aging system that’s unique in it’s abilities to give facial skin tightening and lift.
You heard correctly, non-invasive, no knife, no needle. That’s why to me it’s such an exciting development, but I’ll try and put you in the picture in a scientific but simple way. The clue to how it works is in the name. Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound, a time-honored technology that is medically proven in treating kidney stones and uterine fibroids, due to its far reach wavelengths. Yes, there are other energy-based therapies. Radio frequency and lasers penetrating up to 2 millimeters. They can have dramatic effects on the surface of the skin, but the face ages from the inside out. Ultherapy treats it that way, which is why it’s so different. Here’s how it works.
Ultherapy bypasses the superficial layer of the skin and can explore to the depths of eight millimeters and treat the depths of 4.5 millimeters. Down here is the underlying connective tissue that aligns the face of muscles, known as the SMAS. This is the very same layer of tissue that’s significantly surgeons pull tight in a facelift. As Ultherapy thermal energy safely heats this tissue, it contracts resulting in an immediate tightening under the skin. Over time this becomes an appreciable lift. That’s because Ultherapy continues to stimulate the growth of new collagen, the protein that builds and obstructured beneath loose skin working from the inside out.
So now, you grasp the principles. So let’s move on to practice. What you experience in the clinic before we reveal those all important results. This is the Ulthera system. It’s made up of the touch screen and the hand held applicator. This houses the deep see transducers. It’s called deep see because the physicians use it for the first time ever to see beneath the skin without having to peel it back. The physician can then plot the treatment line across the forehead for example, share it with the patient and then use the same instrument to apply the therapeutic ultrasound energy. “See and treat”, that’s what makes Ulthera so simple and effective to use.
Compare what happens to the SMAS during the facelift with what happens during the Ultherapy. With the facelift, we’re pulling the skin. With Ultherapy, we’re pulling the muscle beneath it. You can see an improvement after just a few days. Back in our office, we’ve seen some treatments that work immediately. Well, I can’t promise that but this is an exciting development.
Testa and photographs show a real difference between pre-treatment and the skin as it appears 90 days and 180 days later. Even after a year, collagen has been restored gradually, restoring the memory of the skin to the former firmness of youth. In a clinical study of efficacy, in Northwestern University, there was a significant eyebrow lift in 89% of patients.
If you are impressed with these results from the real patients of real clinics, your next question should be, how does it feel?
Now it can hurt and the extent will vary from patient to patient. The feeling is one of a stinging heat below the surface of the skin, which the physician can alleviate in various ways. In all of our patients we’ve been able to control this nicely. And most patients feel a little bit of discomfort for a little time. What I tell my patients is to keep their eyes on the prize and the prize is great in this case. Discomfort only lasts long as the energy is being delivered during in the session lasting 30 minutes for a partial face treatment and 45-60 minutes for the full face. And because of how the energy is given, it only hurts for very short periods of time
And is it worth it?
Well, you’ve seen the difference Ultherapy can make. Most patients observed their first results before they leave the office. Any redness or puffiness should disappear within a few hours. You can get back to your office at your job right away. No post-surgery down time.
Next question, is it safe?
Solar techniques have been proven for over 50 years. Ulthera is the first and only device to receive an FDA approved indication for skin tightening. This is also true of the HPB in Canada which has also approved this.
Final question, is it for me?
If time and gravity have taken their toll to the point where surgery would be better, I’ll be honest with you, with Ultherapy it’s definitely an option for modern sagging and laxity, providing an effective skin tightening treatment that many of my patients are discovering.
And of course, you can ask me a question directly on this site – fill out the form and I will be back with an answer for you!
I’m Dr. Barry Lycka, live better.