Nowadays, people want a non-invasive, no-downtime approach to aesthetic procedures and skin tightening seems to be what people want almost as much as fat reduction. In this episode Nurse Paula Young discusses the Ultherapy procedure and how it is one of the most sought after procedures for tightening the skin on the face, neck and décolleté. Listen to this latest podcast on SoundCloud Lift Sagging Skin with Ultherapy
Paula Young: Hi everyone. This is Nurse Paula Young with the Living Sage Plastic Surgery Network on Apple TV. And today I want to talk to you about a newer procedure that we received in our office, and it was actually by popular demand of our patients actually asking us to get this procedure in. And you may have heard of it because, you know, a lot of these aesthetic companies are doing a lot of direct-to-consumer marketing. And you will see ads and magazines and on television and even on a lot of the medical talk shows that are out there like The Doctors to give an example.
So the treatment I want to talk to you about today is Ultherapy. And the reason why — another reason why we got this procedure in our practice for our patients is our patients are looking for treatments that have no downtime and are noninvasive but they want results. Well, you know, we talked about this before. It’s kind of like Catch 22. A lot of these noninvasive procedures or most of them, it takes time to see the results. And a lot of people either don’t have the time to see the result or they want a quick fix or they just want to look better instantly and they don’t want to wait that time.
Well, if you want to see results and you can afford to wait the time to see them, then Ultherapy can be a treatment for you. So, let’s talk about what it is. It’s basically a skin tightening treatment that’s non-surgical and it uses a focused ultrasound. And what it does is it lifts sagging and crepey kind of skin. And these treatments takes anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes and you can perform on various parts of your face, even your neck and even the decollete. And what it does is it helps your body regenerate its own new collagen. And over time what this does, it starts to gradually tighten and lifting sagging skin.
So this is one of those treatments where before and after photos are going to be paramount for you to see the results because you don’t see them for, you know, one, two or three months. You kind of forget what you look like because it’s so gradual overtime, so really good before photos and really good after photos are really, really important. So these ultrasonic waves which are sound waves, what they do is, you know, they have been used for years and years for medical imaging technology, mainly, like for ultrasounds when you’re pregnant and you want to see what the baby looks like and if the baby is healthy.
Well now what they’ve done is they’ve taken this ultrasound technology and they’ve learned how to cause almost like a mini facelift so to speak. So, what’s great about it is it’s completely non-surgical, it’s completely noninvasive, and it can tighten any kind of skin on your face, neck and decollete. Those are the areas that really respond really well. And there’s no downtime with it so you can really do it on, you know, on your schedule and go right back to work or go out even that evening. And it’s very safe and usually only takes about one to two treatments and the results can last quite a long time.
So, most often some patients will opt for a series of treatments because this will give you more dramatic results and the results can last a lot longer. So, whatever provider you can go to you want to see if you can purchase your treatments in packages, maybe you can get a discounted rate that way.
So, I’ll give you an example. Here’s the areas of your face that I know I’m getting Ultherapy treatments and these are the areas of my face that I’ve treated. I’m 57 years old this year and my skin are starting to sag from aging like it’s going to do with anybody. So there are a couple areas that I have done on my face. Number one is the most important one was around my brows. And it actually gives you like a brow lift, so it’s really nice. It’s one of the very few non-surgical brow lift options that are offered in aesthetic practices. And it really does give you great results that you can you pretty much depend on.
And also what I had done was the upper face lift. Now, this focuses on the brows and around my eyes like the crow’s feet area and things like that. And this is a really great alternative for people who maybe don’t want a neuromodulator like Botox or Dysport injected, if they’re a little bit nervous about having that done. This is a great alternative for that. Or, it’s also a great addition for patients who have neuromodulators injected. You add the neuromodulators along with the Ultherapy it can really give you long-lasting results.
Another area of your face that you can treat is the sagging jowls, the lower face. That is probably one of the most popular areas that we treat using Ultherapy. This lifts and firms the checks and the jowls and these are the areas of your face that really do show signs of aging a lot faster.
Now, you can move down into the necks with Ultherapy. Now, sometimes it’s a little bit difficult to treat neck because you got – sometimes you may have some sagging skin or you may have some lumps and bumps. You go around the Adam’s apple and things like that. And it’s a difficult area to treat but it does give up great results.
Now, sometimes necks – necks are a funny thing. We have a lot of treatments for necks. It, you know, what it is the problem? Is it sagging skin? Is it loose skin, like really loose hanging skin or is it fat? So if it’s fat, there are other options. We – I have a podcast episode on that as well like CoolSculpting or Kybella. These are treatments that we can do to minimize fat in the neck. And if it’s really hanging loose skin, there’s thread lifts and there’s also mini neck lifts. So, if you really going to want to do your neck, this is kind of like for the shallow kind of crepey little bit loose kind of skin. That’s what Ultherapy is best for.
But when you have that really deep sagging kind of jowls and skin coming down, thread lifts and mini facelifts and mini neck lifts maybe an option for you. This is why it’s important that you go in for a consultation to find out exactly what you’re dealing with. Because if you’re going to spend money on this procedures you want to make sure that the treatment option that is selected for you is going to give you the results that you’re looking for, or close to what you’re looking for.
Moving down below the neck, you can also treat the decollete. A lot of women really notice as they’re getting older. They have sun damage on their decollete and you can start to see this little creases and wrinkles and Ultherapy is a really good treatment that we do recommend, one of the treatments that we recommend for this particular area. And it really does help to lift and tighten the skin.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about the procedure. Ultheraphy can be a little bit painful. Now, there’s two reasons why it can be painful. One, you could have a provider that really isn’t trained that well on how to perform treatments. And you really want to go to a practice that performs a lot of Ultheraphy treatments and really understand your skin and how to conduct the treatments in a way that’s most comfortable for you while giving you the most efficacious benefits of the treatments.
You want to make sure you’re getting a good treatment. You don’t want to go in and pay money for an Ultheraphy treatment and have them treat you at the lowest frequency just to make you comfortable. I mean if you really do want to push this procedure, you really want to have a provider that knows how to use this device to get deep enough into your skin to cause the type of damage that we want on purpose to cause your skin to really tighten. So you want to get a beneficial treatment but not to the point where it’s excruciatingly painful for you.
Another reason why it may hurt is you don’t go to a place that really understands how to make the procedures more comfortable for you. There are a lot of different ways that you can make the procedure more comfortable. What we use in our office is the machine called PRO-NOX and what it is it’s a nitrous oxide gas and it really does help to relax you through the procedure and keep you calm. And what’s really nice is as soon as you turn the PRO-NOX off within five minutes, you’re completely back to a normal state. It’s not a gas that lingers on and on and on.
You can also use topical anesthetics to numb the skin. You can also use – maybe your provider will provide you with medications that can relax you, but if you’re going to be medicated like that with pill like Valium or something like that, you do definitely need to make that you have a driver that can get you home safely. You cannot drive on medications like that.
I had it done without anything and I only minded it in a couple of areas. It really – well, it depends on the patient. Some people feel everything and some people are really tough and don’t feel anything at all. Now, me, I’m kind of a wasp and I kind of feel everything, and I honestly did not mind the procedures at all. There were one or two areas that were like little zingers, but other than that, I didn’t mind it at all, and I had my entire face treated. I always stress this point about the experience and the education and the talent of your provider.
We really need to make sure that your provider knows what they are doing. They need to know how to concentrate this ultrasound into the soft tissue where it should be concentrated; they know how to make sure that you are comfortable, and they need to make sure that they are concentrating these sound waves in the right places.
Now, sometimes you can feel it around the boney areas like your cheekbones and your forehead and things like that, that can even be a little bit more sensitive but really it’s not that bad. It really depends on the patient’s threshold.
So the procedures take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on if you’re having just one area done, if you’re having your whole face done or, you know, it does depend on what areas you’re having done.
So let’s talk a little bit about what the downtime is like. Honestly, you’re going to be able to return to your normal activities right away after this procedure. If you had a topical anesthetic, your face is going to be a little bit blanched in color and it’s going to be a little bit numb and you might not want to go right back to work if you’re going to be one of those patients that have the topical anesthetic put on. But typically you’re not going to really see anything other than maybe just a little bit of redness kind of like you’re flashed you know. It’s just a little bit of flashing to your skin, a little bit of pinkness, but that will disappear within a few hours and evenly you can put your make up on right afterwards.
So, you might experience a little bit of tenderness or a little bit of tingling for a day or two in the treated area but it’s really nothing major to even cause you any concern. Typically with this procedure, there’s no bruising involved. But if you’re a patient that is on any kind of anticoagulant therapy such as coumadin or something like that, or you’re predisposed to bruising easily, you might get a bruise or two in the area that is treated.
So if you are on medications that are anticoagulants or any kind of vitamin supplements or something like that, they can cause you to bruise or bleed, or if you’re taking a lot of motrin or something like that, you definitely want to make sure that you let your provider know that you are on these medications, because they do want to make sure that they take precautions to give you the best treatment possible.
What you can expect in results is you can expect a gradual build within, I’d say two to three months is when you’re going to really start seeing the benefits, the further out, the better. Like, you know, three months is the time that you’re really going to start seeing the benefits of a treatment. That’s why we don’t treat on top, like do a treatment in monthly or do the whole face again. You got to give the face and the skin time to lift and tone. It really does take a lot of time for your body to create this collagen and then for like to pull your skin up tight.
So, it’s something that you’re going to want to wait at least three months see how your skin looks and if another treatment is warranted at that time then that’s when you want to do it. Now, it’s everywhere. I mean, Ultherapy is really – it’s one of these hot treatments like CoolSculpting that you’re seeing. It’s pretty much everywhere. So when it’s everywhere like that, this is where you have to be really careful about where you want to go.
You really want to go to a practice that offers several options for tightening loose skin. Not everybody has the same problems. Like I mentioned before, it could be fat, it could be fat loose skin, it could just be little sagging skin, or it can be really droopy crepey skin. So you really want to make sure you go to a practice that offers a variety of options to help you, because a lot of times it’s not one treatment that fits all; the best treatments are usually combinations of treatments, maybe Ultherapy in a couple of threads, maybe Ultherapy and a little bit of neck lift, maybe Ultherapy and some Botox. There are different things that you can combine to give someone the desired results.
So that’s all I have to tell you today about the Ultherapy procedure. It really can be a great procedure for you if you have some loose and sagging skin on your face, neck, or decollete. But always make sure you check out the practice that you’re going to, make sure you check out your provider’s credentials, and make sure you seek out a practice that offers several modalities for loose and sagging skin, because sometimes it may be a combination of therapies that can really give you the results that you’re looking for.
Thank you all so much for listening this week, and we’ll talk to you next time.
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