One of my favorite things about being a dermatologist in Miami is the whole host of “toys” I get to play with and use to make people look and feel better, fresher, and younger. Don't get me wrong, curing and preventing skin cancer is pretty darn cool too, but using laser beams and other devices that are the cutting edge of technology also makes me smile. Normal women collect bags, shoes, and clothing. Not to say that I don't indulge in those items at times, but I mostly save up and buy new technology.
Lately I have felt something was missing. I have lasers and devices for the removal of anything you can think of: hair removal, vessel removal, brown spot removal, nail fungus removal, wrinkle removal and skin resurfacing, redness removal, scar removal, even fat removal. But skin tightening - now that was something I have been biding my time, waiting for the right device to come along. Thermage and Titan weren't consistently effective, or even effective enough for me to be convinced. How can you charge someone thousands of dollars and then not guarantee results? Talk about a nightmare! If I am going to add a device, I have to be sure that it actually works.
And then Ultherapy came into my life. I had read many research articles about the device, and had spoken to several of my friends around the country that actually do the clinical trials for these medical devices. I can't tell you how many times I have been dissuaded by my confidants when I ask them their experience with different technology. But this time, it was different. Everyone I spoke to said the same thing - it works amazingly well, but it hurts. I was intrigued.
So, my mother-in-law was in town a few months ago (and yes I like her so I was not excited about the possible pain factor) and I had Ulthera bring the machine to the office to try on her. Yes, we pre-medicated her with a medication for pain and anxiety, and she tolerated the procedure rather well, and, immediately afterward, she looked amazing. They say the results are best 90 days after the procedure, but we saw immediate tightening in the jowls, neck and even a little lift to her brow. Even better news, as soon as the procedure is over in the area, the pain there stops. I had to have one right away! So we now offer Ultherapy in our office. Finally, I feel complete!
Ulthera is an FDA approved alternative to surgical skin tightening (a face-lift) without the risk involved in a surgical procedure, including down-time, scarring or bruising, and pain. While not as dramatic as a face-lift, results are natural and significant. Ulthera is the first device that uses ultrasound technology to stimulate the body's own collagen response for lifting and tightening the skin and underlying soft-tissue of the face by penetrating deeply into the skin and underlying tissues.
The Ulthera system also uses acoustic (ultrasound) imaging to enable the physician to see the layers of soft tissue beneath the skin prior to treatment to ensure a uniform and accurate application of the ultrasound waves. This differs significantly from any other device that is currently on the market which typically use radio frequency or lasers to stimulate the skin only.
Ultherapy is performed in the office with only ultrasound gel applied to the skin. In my experience, all of our patients have tolerated the procedure quite well, although we do prescribe pain and anxiety medicine prior to the procedure just to make it more comfortable. The skin treatment takes from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the area(s) treated, and the cost of the procedure also depends on the areas treated and the intensity of the treatment needed.
Although many patients see immediate lifting results, the ultimate results do not happen overnight, but gradually over time. It can take up to 2-3 months for optimal skin rejuvenation. Ulthera has been used for close to 2 years, has an excellent safety profile, and excellent results. In fact, on www.realself.com, a review site for procedures, Ulthera has a 90% satisfaction rating, while Thermage is 40% and Titan 56%. Oh, and did I mention you only need 1 skin treatment and it lasts up to 2 years?
Right now, Ulthera is used only for skin tightening around the face and neck, but rumor has it they are working on a body attachment. Hopefully it can take care of the tummy I have to look forward to after this baby is out in a few weeks. Call our office at (305) 864-6200 to make an appointment to find out if Ulthera is right for you.