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Ulthera ultrasonic treatment- reader reviewed and recommended

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
August 19, 2012 Reviewed by Mark 8 Comments
Since the Ulthera treatment was introduced at my dermatologist’s office last year it has remained on my radar. Although I had already read some positive comments about it and was interested, I wanted to wait a bit to see how other patients responded (and wait for a better price). My time came back in the spring when the treatment was discounted 40%, and I was hearing positive feedback. I couldn’t pass it up, so here’s my Ulthera experience.

The face is divided into two separate treatment areas. The forehead down to where the cheek begins is one and from the top of the cheek down to roughly midway of the neck is the other and you can opt to have either or both treated, depending on your particular concerns. I had from the cheeks down treated which cost $1,500 (discounted 40% from the regular cost of $2,500 performed in the Nashville, Tennessee, area). When scheduling my treatment, I was told the process would take about two hours and if I wanted I could be given Ativan (a relaxer, anti-anxiety medication) when I arrived on the day of treatment, but would need to have someone drive me home.

First, a numbing cream was applied from my cheeks down past the middle of my neck and left on for about an hour. Afterward, the cream was removed and the first of two passes was made over the treatment area. The first pass was deeper than the second and consequently so was the intensity of the feeling. I wasn’t able to take advantage of the medication as I didn’t have a driver, but I would highly encourage anyone having this procedure to plan on it. Although I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, this was tolerable but certainly pushed the limits for me. The numbing cream only does so much since the purpose of the ultrasound energy is to reach deep below the skin’s surface. However, any discomfort immediately stops when the treatment pauses or is finished, so there isn’t any lingering pain. When the treatment is over, that’s all there is to it – no aftercare is needed. There was no visible redness, bruising or swelling. The only side effect I had was a very slight tenderness along the jaw line that disappeared after about a day and a half.

This treatment is not for the impatient as results will take two to three months to unfold. The rebuilding of collagen is the goal and the effects are not visible from day to day, but as the months have passed I have seen results. The second month is when I could actually notice results with the treated area not only feeling more plumped and firmer but also looking smoother and firmer especially at the jaw line and under the chin. The improvement was greater on the face than the neck, but it also was enhanced by looking a bit tighter and smoother, so I could see some improvement over all of the treated area.

For me this has been an absolutely positive experience. Although this is not going to give dramatic results like an invasive procedure would, for only two hours of your time and no downtime whatsoever, the results are well worth the price I paid and I would recommend this treatment.
  • December 15, 2012

    by elena

    It's been now 3 1/2 month since i had Ulthera done in Athens. The procedure itself was incredibly painful, despite the sedatives they gave me. During the first month i was thinking that once again i got sucked into something that did absolutely nothing for my face for a very hefty price. Then 2 1/2 months into it i caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror other than my own (we tend to view ourselves in the same light every day so we don't notice the subtle changes). There was definite improvement. If i have to quantify it, i'd say it took off about 3-4 years. Bottom line: I've tried Thermage, RF, LED, IPL etc and nothing ever worked. This one did. I will be doing it again FOR SURE, but I will be doing it in the U.S this time as it is cheaper and hopefully by then prices will have dropped a bit.

  • August 29, 2012

    by Mark

    Hi Anne - I'm delighted to share that info. with you. It is Gold Skin Care Center, (Dr. Michael Gold), phone (615) 383-2400 and ask for the Laser Center. They also have an informative website that lists their services, specials, etc. (I think the 40% off is just for August, but most likely you could ask about paying now and schedule it for next month since you are coming from out of state.
    They have always been very accomodating and everyone there has treated me very well. (I've been going there since 1998, so most of them know me well and please feel free to tell them Mark Futrell referred you.)
    If you have any more questions or I can help you further please let me know.

  • August 29, 2012

    by anne flynn

    I am wondering if you could share your doctor's name - I'm in NY and they are charging $3500 for the same procedure. It would be way cheaper to fly to Nashville!

  • August 28, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Timothy, this article explaining the differences could be helpful: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

  • August 28, 2012

    by Timothy

    I'm curious to know what the difference is between the ulthera treatments and the ultra renew? obviously the ultra renew is smaller and can be used at home, but, how come the pain levels are so different?

  • August 22, 2012

    by Elena

    Marta, I'm having ulthera on ;
    Friday. Being that I live in Europe, I'm going to Athens, Greece for my treatment. I'm having the entire face done for 4000 euros which is a pretty hefty price, but having checked the London prices it would be equally or more expensive. To be honest, if others don't notice the difference it won't be worth it for me so fingers crossed. I will report back after the treatment. Don't know if they do it differently over there but was told it was almost painless and won't need to take anything.

  • August 20, 2012

    by Mark

    Hi Marta - when I was initially thinking about it, the derm's office gave me an informational brochure with what to expect, etc. and it does state "some patients may benefit from more than one treatment." However, it was presented as a one time treatment for most people but since it is rebuilding collagen on the inside it does bear to reason that not everyone will have the same response. I was told that the patients that had it done in that office so far did show a nice improvement.
    Although it is believed that full results are seen in 2-3 months, if a second treatment is desired the patient should wait until at least 6 months.

    And yes, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if the money wasn't a consideration - the office I go to actually is offering it again as a special this month for 40% off (the same deal I got before).

  • August 20, 2012

    by Marta

    Mark, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I am pleased that the pain was worth the gain. I met the team behind the Ulthera when it first launched and have been dying to hear from a trusted source what the actual experience would be like.

    I do have a question. Was this presented to you as a one-off treatment? Or would you (assuming money was no object) go back for top-ups and, if so, over what timeframe?

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