Ultherapy: Non-Invasive Skin Tightening
Ultherapy, previously referred to as Ulthera, is an intensely focused ultrasound device that can be used to tighten, tone, and lift skin without any surgery. Ultherapy like almost every other laser and device, was developed at Harvard Medical Schools Wellman Center for Photomedicine, where Dr. Omar Ibrahimi trained as a resident and served as a faculty following his training.
Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy, the same type of technology used to safely look into the wombs of pregnant women. With Ultherapy, one can see into the deeper layers of the skin with the device and deliver highly focused ultrasound waves in a precise fashion that can result in tightening of the skin without harming the overlying layers of the skin. This technology may result in an immediate contraction and tightening, but the procedure can also stimulate collagen remodeling, potentially resulting in additional improvements over a few months. One can achieve a non-surgical face lift with a full face procedure and individual areas may also be targeted to result in higher eyebrows (nonsurgical eyebrow lift), and a smoother and tighter neck. The device may even be used to improve and tighten skin in areas that were previously unable to be tightened such as the chest, abdomen, arms, legs and around the knees.
Ultherapy is a treatment that must be customized based on individual needs. Your age and current skin condition/appearance does impact the level of treatment you will need. Be very wary of places that quote you the same price regardless of age or current condition/appearance of skin.
Common/Frequently asked questions on Ultherapy
Q: What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment that uses safe ultrasound energy, designed to tighten, lift, and tone loose or sagging skin. Because the energy is delivered in a way that spares the upper layers of the skin, there is no significant downtime.
Q: What makes Ultherapy unique from other procedures?
Ultherapy was designed to deliver energy to the deep portion of the skin. No device could previously reach these layers effectively, hence why a surgical approach was needed previously. Ultherapy allows for a highly personalized treatment because prior to delivering any energy, Dr. Ibrahimi reads an ultrasound image that allows him to deliver the energy where it will be most effective.
Q: Am I a good candidate for Ultherapy?
If you have skin that has sagged or relaxed and does not look as firm as you would like, you may want to consider Ultherapy. Some of the earliest signs of aging include a lowered eyebrow or sagging skin in the jowls or neck. This common occurs in the 30 and older age range.
Q: Do men get Ultherapy?
Ultherapy has been shown to work for both men and women. In fact, most men prefer a non-invasive approach to skin tightening.
Q: Why choose Dr. Omar Ibrahimi and the Connecticut Skin Institute for Ultherapy?
Ultherapy was developed at Harvard Medical Schools Wellman Center for Photomedicine where Dr. Omar Ibrahimi was not only a resident but also served as a faculty member.
Dr. Omar Ibrahimi does each treatment himself.
Each treatment is customized based on individual needs. What most people don’t know is that the intensity of the procedure is determined by the number of lines used. So say you go to a place that only uses 800 lines for full face where as you really need a customized plan of about 1200 lines, you may not get the best results. Be very wary of practices/providers that quote the same price for everyone, especially before even seeing you as a patient. The procedure requires one to read an ultrasound image and decide where to deliver the energy. You wouldn’t let the local medical spa read an ultrasound of your baby; why would you trust them to use a device of which they have little scientific knowledge and that delivers highly focused ultrasound energy to the deeper layers of your skin?
Our physician is considered a luminary and key opinion leader for laser and device treatments and is invited to speak at national meetings on these topics. We carry out cutting-edge clinical trials as well and we have a long track record of achieving the best results while minimizing the risk of complications.
Q: Will Ultherapy achieve everything I am looking for?
It depends on what type of improvement you are looking for. Remember that it isn’t a single change that results in an aged appearance and that one technology may result in improvement but oftentimes Ultherapy works best in combination with other treatments. For example if you have loose and lax skin but you are also unhappy about brown or red spots on your face, then you would be well served by laser skin resurfacing as well as Ultherapy. Our comprehensive inventory of devices and our expertise in using them will allow us to design the best personalized plan for you.
Q: What results can I expect?
Ultherapy may improve mild to moderate loose or sagging skin. It is not a facelift but an alternative to one. Ultherapy can lift the brow, which in turn reduces excess skin on the lids, opens up the eyes, and gives a more refreshed look overall. It can also improve the appearance of loose skin in the jowls or neck.
Q: Tell me, is Ultherapy uncomfortable or painful?
All procedures that deliver energy (whether it be laser or ultrasound energy), involve some discomfort. This is something that varies from person to person. We have extensive experience with pain management for device based procedures. Dr. Ibrahimi will adjust the procedure based on each patient’s response and comfort level. The great news is that there is no pain after the procedure.
Q: What is the recovery time?
There is no downtime typically, and patients can return to their normal activities after treatment.
Q: When do I see results?
A: Most patients see some initial effect but most lifting and toning will generally take place over months, as old collagen is turned over and replaced with new, more elastic collagen.
Q: How long do the results last?
The results are generally long-lasting but one must remember that the skin continues to age with time. Future touch-up treatments can help maintain the results, much like changing the oil in your car keeps it running well.
Q: Can Ultherapy replace a facelift?
No. Ultherapy cannot achieve the dramatic results of a facelift. However, many patients do not want a dramatic result obvious to everyone they see. Ultherapy can offer an alternative to a facelift that results in mild to modest improvements for those who prefer the safer and less downtime approach of a non-invasive treatment.
Q: What about treating regions other than the face?
Recent research by dermatologists shows that Ultherapy can be effective in tightening sagging skin on the body. The chest, abdomen, under the arms and around the knees are all areas that have responded to treatment.
Q: Are there any side effects?
Side effects are typically mild and very short lived. Side effects increase when untrained providers perform Ultherapy. One may experience mild redness for a few hours following the treatment, and sometimes slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to touch for a few weeks. These side effects are typically mild and temporary.
Q: How much does it cost?
Ultherapy typically costs between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the extent of treatment. For a precise cost, we will need to see you in consultation.
Q: How many treatments of Ultherapy are needed?
Most of my patients only need one treatment, while those with a moderate to severe amounts of laxity may need more than one treatment. Annual touch-up or maintenance treatments can help slow down the rate of skin aging.
*Results may vary depending on the individual.