Now that Ultherapy is available, are facelifts a thing of the past? Not necessarily. While plenty of patients can benefit from non-surgical skin tightening, facelifts will continue to be better options for some patients.
Ultherapy vs. Facelift
It used to be that if loose, sagging skin was adding years to your appearance, the only way to treat that skin was with a surgery. A facelift would tighten and elevate skin on the lower part of the face, making you look up to a decade younger.
Now, Ultherapy promises to do something similar. It uses ultrasound energy to tighten the skin. The energy is directed at the same layer of tissue that a facelift usually addresses, but instead of snipping and pulling to create a firmer, smoother look, the treatment stimulates the production of collagen in that layer of skin.
Facelifts only focus on the lower part of the face, even though plenty of people develop loose or sagging skin in many areas, such as near their eyebrows and foreheads. Ulthera is FDA approved to work in a variety of areas. It will minimize sagging in the chin area, reduce sagging and drooping in the eyebrow area, minimize drooping neck skin and even work on the chest area, too.
The Benefits of Ultherapy
Several features make Ulthera a preferred treatment over or instead of a facelift. One major benefit is the recovery time. Usually, no downtime is needed after Ultherapy. You might want to take the rest of the day off from work after your treatment, but you might also feel comfortable enough returning to the office the same day.
The treatment itself is also pretty quick, usually between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on what you’re treating. Compare that to a facelift, which can take several hours. Plus, you have to allow time for the anesthetic to take effect and to wear off before and after a facelift. Facelift recovery is also pretty lengthy in comparison to Ulthera’s recovery time. You might need up to two weeks off from work following a facelift.
The side effects after Ulthera are few. Some patients do have some swelling or puffiness in the treated area, but that usually diminishes after a few days. You might also feel tingling in the treatment area, which usually can be taken as a sign that the ultrasound energy is doing its job.
The Ideal Ultherapy Candidate
An ideal candidate for Ultherapy meets three requirements. He or she is in good overall health. He or she needs to have some loose or sagging skin in the desired treatment area. He or she should have realistic expectations for the treatment and its results. That means understanding what Ulthera can and can’t do and not expecting the treatment to change a patient’s entire life. Ultherapy can tighten skin and make you look younger. It won’t help you get a better job or improve your love life.
Benefits of a Facelift
Although Ultherapy is here and has plenty of benefits, a facelift isn’t facing the threat of extinction just yet. That’s because some patients will always be better candidates for surgery than for a non-surgical treatment.
While Ulthera does help to tighten skin, in some cases skin laxity is great enough that surgery really is the best option. It’s best to think of Ultherapy as a great option for people who aren’t quite ready for a facelift but who still have some signs of aging or laxity in their skin.
Facelift and Ultherapy Together
Ulthera and facelift don’t necessarily have to be completely separate procedures. While you’re likely to choose one over the other, it’s also possible for them to work together. For example, you might have a facelift one year. After a year or two, you might decide to have Ulthera to maintain the results of the facelift or to give your initial facelift results a boost.
Alternatively, you might decide to have Ultherapy when you’re just beginning to show signs of aging so that you can delay having facelift surgery. You might eventually want a facelift, but having Ulthera in the meantime can push that date back further and further.
Waiting for Results
One last reason why Ultherapy won’t fully replace a facelift: it can take some time for results to appear. In some cases, it can take three or four months before you see the full results from an Ultherapy treatment.
Although it does take some time for results to appear after a facelift, the process is usually much quicker. You’ll see results pretty quickly, although it might take some time for swelling and bruising to fade.
Ultherapy might not be the new facelift since it doesn’t entirely replace the surgery, but you can think of it as a new option in addition to or instead of a facelift. You might need surgery one day, but for the time being Ulthera might be the ideal pick for you.
To learn more about the procedure, talk to Dr. Paul Vitenas and the aestheticians at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston. Call 281-810-9083 to schedule a consultation today.