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Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery


What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound to lift and tighten loose skin by stimulating collagen in the very deep layer of the facial muscle. There is no downtime, and it is the only FDA approved system designed to actually lift and tighten the skin of the face and neck. There is currently no other non-invasive device like this.

Am I a candidate for Ultherapy?

A good candidate for Ultherapy is someone with skin around the face and neck that looks and feels less firm. A lowered eyebrow line or sagging skin on the eyelids, for instance, is often the first sign of "maturing" skin. Loose skin under the neck and under the chin signals a patient might be a candidate. Typically, those in their thirties and older who have mild to moderate skin laxity are candidates. There are also those under thirty who use this treatment as a “preventative” measure, as well as those looking to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.

While Ultherapy is not a replacement for a surgical face lift, it may be an option for those not ready for surgery, or for those looking for a less invasive option with zero downtime.

How do I prepare for Ultherapy?

The procedure can take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on how many areas are treated. There is no downtime, but some patients have mentioned minimal bruising and tenderness along the bony areas of the face and neck following treatment.

How is Ultherapy performed?

Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed and toned. As we age, collagen loses its strength and its ability to stand up to the effects of gravity that pull the skin downward. Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound to generate a thermal affect under the skin. The thermal affect essentially jumpstarts a repair process that strengthens existing collagen and produces fresh, new collagen.

The procedure can take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on how many areas are treated. There is no downtime, but some patients have mentioned minimal bruising and tenderness in the face and neck following treatment.

If and when any discomfort does occur, it happens while the ultrasound energy is being delivered. This sensation is temporary and is a positive signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated. Speak with our Ulthera physicians to discuss any questions you might have, including pain management.

How is Ultherapy different from other cosmetic procedures?

Ultherapy is the only non-surgical cosmetic procedure that uses focused ultrasound to stimulate the growth of new collagen deep within the skin. The production of new collagen occurs over time, so results can become more apparent over three to six months. The procedure takes two to three hours depending on the areas treated, and there is no downtime.

It also is the only procedure to use ultrasound imaging, which allows us to actually see the layers of tissue we target during the treatment and ensure the energy is deposited precisely to where it will be most effective.

What results can I expect?

Patients have reported experiencing a rejuvenated feeling and appearance following treatment, and most patients have said they feel lighter immediately after. There is no downtime, and makeup can be applied immediately after. Patients are also able to resume their normal skin care regimen following treatment.

While a person's skin will continue to age no matter what, Ultherapy causes the production of collagen over time, so optimal results are most visible three to six months following treatment. Future touch-up treatments can help keep pace with the aging process, which varies by individual.

What is involved in recovery?

There may be slight redness for up to an hour or so following the treatment, and a small percentage of patients may have slight swelling, bruising, or tenderness to touch, but these are mild and temporary in nature. Tenderness may last up to one month following treatment.

Is Ultherapy safe?

The procedure has been cleared by the FDA after demonstrating safety in clinical studies, and over 100,000 treatments have been performed safely worldwide. In addition, ultrasound energy has a proven track record, with use in the field of medicine for more than 50 years.

Why Choose Us?

When considering a cosmetic procedure, whether surgical or non-surgical, look for an expert with specialized training or is affiliated with a major medical center, such as Cleveland Clinic. Ask your doctor or skin care specialist about credentials and training. All patients seeking Ultherapy treatment meet with a Cleveland Clinic cosmetic physician to discuss the procedure and help determine what level of treatment is right for them.  

Is this procedure covered by health insurance?

Like all cosmetic procedures, Ulthera is not covered by health insurance. For questions about pricing and payment, please call our Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center at 216.444.4004. One of our Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center representatives would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.