If you desire a more youthful appearance we recommend you research the benefits of Ultherapy. Ultherapy is the only non-invasive procedure currently cleared by the FDA to lift the skin under the chin, on the neck, and around the eyebrow. Some have called Ultherapy a nonsurgical facelift.
To lear more about Ultherapy I interviewed Emilia Hanson, RN at Timeless Skin Solutions.
Dr. Joe: Emilia, first thank you for taking time to talk to us today about Ultherapy®. What is Ultherapy® and what are its indications?
Emilia: Ultherapy® is the only non-invasive procedure, FDA-cleared to lift and tighten skin on the neck, under the chin and above the brow. In addition, Ultherapy® is FDA-cleared to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the décolletage.
Dr. Joe: How long as Ultherapy® been used or available?
Emilia: Ultherapy® has been FDA approved since 2009 and earned its first FDA approval for a non-invasive brow lift.
Dr. Joe: What kind of results do you see with Ultherapy® at Timeless Skin Solutions?
Emilia: The results we have achieved with Ultherapy® in our office have been impressive. We can lift sagging skin on the neck, jowls, cheeks, brows and chest. The result: upturning of the lips, lifting of the brows, reduction of sagging skin and softening of lines
Emilia: Ultherapy® is performed with the patient lying down on a comfortable treatment bed. Prior to treatment, the specific areas to be treated will be marked and ultrasound gel is applied to the skin. Next our medical provider will use Ultherapy’s® ultrasound imaging to determine the optimal placement of the treatment energy. We treat all areas with 2 passes of the focused ultrasound, thus allowing treatment to multiple depths in the tissue yielding better “lifting” results.
Dr. Joe: Is there any special preparation patients must do prior to the procedure?
Emilia: While there is no special preparation needed, patients may elect to take a pain and/or anti-anxiety medication. If a patient elects to take medication, we ask that they make arrangements for a ride to and from the treatment as it is unsafe to drive under the influence of these medications.
Dr. Joe: How long does an Ultherapy® treatment session last?
Emilia: A typical patient treatment will last 1-2 hours depending on the specific areas being treated
Dr. Joe: How many treatment sessions are needed or recommended? And, how long do results last?
Emilia: One treatment is all that is needed. We recommend treating about every 2 years depending on the individual patient and expectations. Results last for about 2 years which is why we recommend re-treating to maintain and enhance results.
Dr. Joe: Is the Ultherapy® procedure uncomfortable?
Emilia: For some the treatment can be uncomfortable. Ultherapy® produces heat in the tissue which can cause discomfort. This heat is what causes the tissue to respond and rejuvenate, thus resulting in lifted skin.
Dr. Joe: Is there any downtime with Ultherapy® such as time off work? And when can normal activities be resumed?
Emilia: There is no real downtime with this procedure. About 10% of all patients treated have bruising post treatment. Many times these patients are taking some kind of blood thinning agent that contributes to the bruising. For these patients, bruising is most often seen around the more bony prominences of the face like the jawline and occasionally the cheek bones. Normal activities can be resumed immediately following Ultherapy®.
Dr. Joe: What is the typical demographic of the patients you see in your practice?
Emilia: The majority of our patients are in their 40’s or 50’s and are looking for general anti-aging treatments for lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, texture, tone, and laxity. Our patients often express the desire for healthy skin – they aren’t trying to look younger – they just want to look their best with regards to their age.
Dr. Joe: How much does Ultherapy® cost and is it covered by insurance?
Emilia: Ultherapy® costs depend on the areas being treated, and can range from $1,500 to $3,750. Ultherapy® is considered a cosmetic procedure and therefore is not covered by insurance.
Dr. Joe: Ultherapy® is sometimes touted as a nonsurgical face-lift. Is that how you would describe it and how does it actually compare to a face-lift?
Emilia: Ultherapy® lifts and tightens sagging tissue, but not in the same way as a facelift. The lifting with Ultherapy® is natural and gradual; whereas facelift results are seen more immediately. Since Ultherapy® is nonsurgical, it has the advantage over a facelift of no downtime, no scarring, or swelling. Ultherapy® is a great choice for patients who are not interested in surgical options, yet want to achieve lifting in the skin.
Dr. Joe: Who can perform the Ultherapy® procedure (physicians, PAs, NP, nurses, etc.) and what kind of training is required?
Emilia: In the office of Timeless Skin Solutions, only our medical staff performs the Ultherapy® treatment. This includes our RN’s, physician assistants, and physicians. Ultherapy® training is done in the office with a great deal of hands on training. Our staff has also attended additional Ultherapy® training where they have earned the distinction of Advanced Ultherapists. This specialty training means our staff has been taught advanced treatment protocols allowing Timeless to customize treatments so our patients get the best results possible.
Dr. Joe: How long does it take for patients to see results?
Emilia: There are some very small immediate changes in the tissue, but over a span of 4-12 months the skin will continue to heal thus allowing for collagen rebuilding and lifting/ tightening of the tissue. We have patients come to the office for before and after photos at 4 months and 8 months, this allowing the patient to see the changes over time.
Dr. Joe: How satisfied are patients with their results from Ultherapy®?
Emilia: Our patients are very satisfied with their results. It is important that patients are evaluated to ensure they are an appropriate candidate for the treatment and that appropriate expectations have been established in regards to what the treatment can do. Ultherapy® leaves the skin lifted, tightened, with less wrinkles and no real downtime or scarring.
Dr. Joe: Emilia, that was invaluable information. Thank you for sharing it with us!
*the photograph at top of article is of a laser device and not the Ultherapy device but the concept the photo illustrates is similar to Ultherapy.