Our Skin Care Center offers a number of non-invasive skin-improving procedures, including Ultherapy, an FDA-approved procedure that tightens the skin of places like the neck, chin, and brow. While many people are familiar with older skin-tightening procedures, such as surgical facelifts and Botox, fewer know about newer, less traditional options.
We sat down with Medical Spa director Dr. Lisa Pacheco to ask some of the most common questions about Ultherapy, from what it is to how long it lasts to what it costs.
Q: What’s Ultherapy, and how does it work?
LP: It’s a non-surgical skin-tightening procedure that uses ultrasound energy to stimulate your own collagen, located under the surface of your skin. Instead of having an injection to increase your volume, or having surgery, this actually encourages your own collagen cells to tighten the skin.
Q: Where areas can be improved with Ultherapy?
LP: Ultherapy is FDA approved for the face and décolletage, though it has also been used for the arms, elbows and knees, as well as the lower abdomen. It targets the specific area called the Superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), an anatomical layer that is in certain areas of the body, but not other areas.
Q: What’s the downtime after an Ultherapy session?
LP: There’s no downtown. You can go back to work right away. You might be red for an hour after the procedure, and experience a day or two of tenderness or slight swelling, but you can return to all of your normal activities immediately.
Q: How much does the procedure cost compared with other cosmetic skin procedures?
LP: It’s hard to compare prices, because Ultherapy is in a different class. If you’re just doing surgery just for the lower face, it’s about half the price of surgery for the lower face, and there’s no scarring. If you’re doing it for the chest area, there is no surgical option to do that, so you can’t compare it. You can maybe choose an injection or have a laser procedure, but the difference between those options and Ultherapy is that Ultherapy lifts the skin under the dermis, tightening skin from its foundation. Lasers smooth the surface of the skin–it’s more superficial.
Q: Who is the ideal Ultherapy patient?
LP: Ultherapy is appropriate for adults of all ages. The ideal patient is someone who has mild to moderate skin laxity, such as a sagging neck or a wrinkled chest. It might be someone who would like to delay a surgical facelift, or someone who might have had a surgical facelift who needs a touch-up on certain areas.
Q: How long do Ultherapy results last?
LP: Skin never stop aging. Ultherapy procedures are permanent because they never become undone, but the skin will continue to age and loosen. Unlike filler or Botox, which leaves or dissolves, it doesn’t ever go away, but the entire skin continues to age and losen.
People might do a touch-up every other year. It’s important to understand that Ultherapy tightens the same amount, no matter how much tightening you wish for. If you have a lot of laxity, it’s only going to tighten the same gradual, natural-looking amount. With severe laxity, Ultherapy alone is not the best option.
Q: What’s the difference between Ultherapy and injected fillers?
LP: Ultherapy and fillers are very different, and used for very different things. Often a combination of the two procedures is a beautiful option. Ulthera tightens, but doesn’t replace volume. I might use Ultherapy to tighten the jawline, and then use filler to replace volume loss in the curve of the cheek.
Q: What’s the difference between Ultherapy and Botox?
LP: Botox injections are a completely different animal than filler injections – it relaxes muscle. Say you have frown lines–they are caused by a muscle contraction that becomes habitual. Any muscle when you use it, the bigger it gets. Botox makes it so that muscles can’t contract. If you do it regularly over a year, those muscles will shrink. For example, you can use Botox on the lower corners of the chin, to relax that downturned mouth. Again, Botox can be used in combination with Ultherapy for great results.
Q:What are your goals for your Ultherapy patients?
LP: Our goal and our aesthetic is to restore the natural contours and shape and the architecture of the face. I work toward a more of a natural restoration of the individuals face, as opposed to creating an anime or exaggeration of the face. In Montana, people don’t want that look–they want a natural, refreshed look.
Schedule A Consultation With Dr. Pacheco Today
Do you still have questions about Ultherapy, and whether it could be the right skin-improving procedure for your needs? Call our team today to ask questions, learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pacheco.