Enjoy the Results of a Nonsurgical Facelift
West County Plastic Surgeons offers Ultherapy® for St. Louis residents who would like to achieve the results of a facelift—without surgery or downtime. This new, FDA-approved technology combines focused ultrasound energy and the body’s own healing power to lift, tighten, and tone lax skin on and around the face. Ultherapy® provides an attractive option for patients who are not ready to undergo facelift surgery and recovery, or who simply prefer a nonsurgical, noninvasive alternative to achieving a lifted, more youthful appearance.
Ultherapy® uses the power of ultrasound, which has been safely used in medical applications for more than 50 years. The Ulthera® System uses a small handheld device to direct microfocused ultrasound with visualization (MFU-V) to specific areas of the face or chest that have loose or sagging skin. Typically, these areas lose elasticity because of a natural breakdown of collagen, elastin, and underlying structural tissue. Ultherapy® energy travels through the skin to safely treat these deep structural tissues and stimulate new collagen production. The end result is a tighter, firmer, smoother appearance.
What Areas Does Ultherapy® Treat?
Ultherapy® was initially cleared to address sagging in three key areas: on the brow, under the chin, and on the neck. The FDA later approved it for reducing deep wrinkling on the décolletage, that area below the throat at the top of the chest.
Loose skin where the eyebrows sit can give the whole brow a heavy look, creating a constant look of concern, anger, or exhaustion. Tightening the skin there can reduce hooding and open the eyes, allowing for a more alert and pleasant natural look.
While excess fat is frequently the cuplrit behind a double chin, loose skin can also hang down and create the appearance of a bulge. Ultherapy® tightens that skin, whether the sagging is due to natural aging or significant weight loss.
Drooping tissue can cause a condition with the very unflattering name of “turkey neck,” because the sagging skin resembles the bird’s floppy wattles. Rejuvenating the collagen there creates more definition, giving patients a more youthful silhouette.
Since this area is frequently exposed to the sun, the ongoing breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin can lead to the development of deep wrinkles and what is known as crepey skin. Ultrasound energy can smooth it out.
West County Plastic Surgeons offers Ultherapy® in St. Louis to tighten away wrinkles and skin laxity with nonsurgical ultrasound technology. This treatment applies to the 1) eyebrows, 2) submental area (under the chin), 3) neck, and 4) décolletage (chest).
Details about the Ulthera® System for St. Louis Patients
Some of our Ultherapy® patients notice visible results immediately after their first treatment, but maximum results usually appear gradually within two to six months of treatment.
That gradual improvement occurs because the Ulthera® System works in two distinct phases: First, the targeted ultrasound waves cause molecules to vibrate, creating friction and heat. When collagen fibrils are heated to a specific temperature, they contract, causing an immediate lifted appearance that many patients enjoy. Next, the body interprets the ultrasound treatment as “injury,” so it immediately initiates a wound-healing phase, which includes repairing damage and creating new collagen. Over time, the new collagen and elastin provide added underlying support, helping to lift and revitalize sagging tissues.
- Anesthesia: Although anesthesia is not required, we often recommend numbing medication for patients who have a low pain tolerance.
- Length of procedure: 60 to 90 minutes per treatment
- Estimated recovery time: Most patients find that they can resume their normal routine immediately following treatment.
- Side effects: Ultherapy® may cause mild, temporary side effects, including redness, swelling, discomfort, mild bruising, numbness, or tenderness to the treated area, but these side effects typically resolve soon after treatment. During the clinical study evaluation, no serious or long-term adverse events were reported.
Why Is Collagen Important?
As a protein found throughout the skin, collagen provides a firm-but-flexible support structure that keeps skin looking healthy and young. Unfortunately, it regularly breaks down over time due to the natural aging process and damage from ultraviolet radiation. As the decades go by, lost collagen is replaced less frequently. Without its support, skin sags. As noted above, ultrasound energy from an Ultherapy® treatment can revitalize the collagen, making it structurally supportive once again.
Before & After
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*Results may vary.View Patient Results
Procedures That Complement Ultherapy®
For optimal aesthetic results, our patients often choose to combine Ultherapy® with other facial rejuvenation treatments or procedures, including the following:
- Fractionated laser resurfacing. Fractionated laser resurfacing corrects uneven skin pigmentation and reduces fine wrinkling of the face and hands. It works to improve the surface of the skin, while Ultherapy® works below the surface to improve collagen and elastin.
- Dermal fillers. Long-lasting dermal fillers replenish age-related volume loss, addressing one of the main causes of facial aging. Sculptra® Aesthetic complements Ultherapy® very well because both work slowly to rebuild lost collagen and strengthen underlying tissues.
- BOTOX® Cosmetic. When a lifted appearance does not sufficiently revitalize a patient’s facial appearance, we frequently recommend BOTOX® Cosmetic, which softens the wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle contraction. In the forehead, for instance, Ultherapy® provides a natural brow lift, while the BOTOX® prevents certain muscle contractions that cause deep creases across the brow. When used in this way, a combined approach achieves superior results.
40-year-old woman. One session of Ultherapy to lower face/neck. 30 days between before-and-after picture.