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Ultherapy: A surgery-free facelift

Laugh lines can tell the tale of a full, happy life. But after a certain point, they’re like a story best kept to one’s self. Learn about a new treatment promising to fade those lines and wrinkles and tone sagging skin without any downtime.

Woman looking at eyebrows in mirror

Sagging skin meets its match

In my early 30s, I’m admittedly not the typical candidate for a facelift-like procedure. However, when coerced with the words “preventative treatment,” I’m enthusiastically up for anything. I recently gave the Ultherapy treatment a try at the North Valley Plastic Surgery center in Scottsdale, and just a week post-treatment I’m already seeing some very welcomed benefits.

The 411 on Ultherapy treatments

What is a Ultherapy treatment?

Think of it as a facelift minus the knife. Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that battles aging collagen by using concentrated heat from a smooth ultrasound applicator to stimulate new collagen growth. While lasers are typically used to address skin’s texture, pigment changes, broken capillaries and acne scars, this ultrasound treatment goes to a deeper layer to address collagen-related issues.

What does it do?

This surgery-free treatment is a lowered eyebrow line or sagging eyelid’s worst nightmare. It tackles moderate skin laxity with concentrated ultrasound energy deposited below the skin (penetrating deeper than its laser-based treatment counterparts) and goes just deep enough to stimulate the layer that produces new collagen, according to Dr. Steven Gitt, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

It addresses the same layer of skin otherwise treated in cosmetic surgery, that lifts and supports the skin, controlling the tension and the skin’s smooth, youthful appearance. While it could be credited for some mild improvements to the skin tone or sun damage, that’s not the goal. Rather, it’s best used for tightening and improving the skin’s volume.

Does it hurt?

In a nutshell, yes, it hurts. This isn’t one of those spa-like treatments where you lay back and observe the light tingling sensation while you remind yourself “that means it’s working!” The discomfort I felt was during each “zap” as the heat waves were sent below the skin. The upside, however, is that the discomfort was temporary and subsided right away. I experienced some slight redness during the treatment and just a couple of hours after, but it was nothing noticeable enough to keep me from meeting up with my girlfriends for dinner later that evening.

Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, so come prepared with a Motrin 800 milligram if your doctor isn’t as kind as mine to offer a menu of pain management prescriptions.

How does it work?

The Ultherapy ultrasound treatment works its magic by delivering low levels of heat below the skin’s surface to stimulate new collagen growth. A full face and neck treatment lasts about an hour and a half, whereas a partial face or brow lift can be done in just 30 minutes.

Patients like me might notice results right away with some lifting above the brow and tightness around the jaw line. However, this is one treatment that continues to improve over time. Practitioners advise that lifting and toning will continue up to 90 days after the treatment as collagen continues to regenerate.

Be sure to check out where you can see more before and after photos, read testimonials and find a clinic near you.

Warning: If you’ve had injectables or fillers, proceed with caution. The ultrasound treatment can break down those proteins and undo all the work you’ve invested in.

The bottom line

If you want to improve the appearance of fine lines and sagging skin without going under the knife, Ultherapy is a great choice. It’s also a terrific preventative treatment to sustain collagen growth and care for your skin before wrinkles become a burden. A full face and neck treatment costs around $3,000 while just the brow area alone can be closer to $350. Compared to a facelift either now or in the future, we think it’s a great investment.

North Valley Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ is comprised of a team of board certified surgeons who specialize in breast augmentation, body enhancements, facial rejuvenation and skin treatments.

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