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Ultherapy is a non-surgical facial skin treatment that uses ultrasound to lift and tone loose skin without surgery. This treatment specifically targets the skin and its deep foundational layer of tissue that doctors address in surgery. But it does so without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. The use of ultrasound also enables practitioners to see the layers of skin, ensuring that the energy is delivered to where it is supposed to go without damaging the surrounding tissue cells. Ultherapy works differently from conventional lasers that target the outer layers of the skin. Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin and delivers energy to the deepest layers of the skin. The laser causes damage to the collagen layers of the skin, and this in turn regulates new collagen. The procedure uses ultrasound technology, which has been used for the last decade in fat-burning devices. Ultherapy treatment assists in slowing down the effects of time and gravity on your skin by using the body’s own regenerative response to gently and gradually lift skin on the eyebrow, under the chin, and on the neck, and smooth lines and wrinkles on the décolletage.

Ultherapy works by heating small, targeted amounts of soft tissue below the surface of the skin to a point where the tissue will contract and the body will create new collagen. To achieve a significant lifting effect, the right amount of heat needs to be delivered to the right depths of tissue, and only Ultherapy is capable of accomplishing both without injuring the surface of the skin.

During treatment, tiny amounts of concentrated ultrasound energy are deposited below the surface of the skin. The resulting heat can be fleetingly intense at times and is actually a positive signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated. While there is some mild discomfort with the procedure, it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to the point of being intolerable. Most healthcare providers who perform Ultherapy will pre-treat with a sedative such as valium and also give ibuprofen 1 hour prior to the procedure. Most people often find that form of pain control inadequate, so the practitioner can greatly reduce the discomfort for the patient by applying a topical and a small amount of local anesthesia to key areas of the face.

The treatment results are gradual and natural-looking, with initial improvements noticed as soon as 2 weeks after treatment. The improvements will continue over 3 to 6 months and even longer for the maximum results. Most people go in for a touch-up follow-up treatment once a year or so to maintain their results. Ultherapy is the most popular treatment among the Asian community, who generally tolerate laser and heat-induced treatments more favourably. However, one of the biggest advantages of Ultherapy, in fact, is that it is generally safe on all skin types, including darker skin tones, without causing much concern for hyperpigmentation. People with Asian skin types receive great results from an Ultherapy browlift, which is one the most commonly requested area for treatment, as it lifts the upper eyelid, causing a more open-eyed appearance.

While Ultherapy can provide a very nice improvement, it will never replace the results of a surgical facelift. A facelift will result in more lifting and tightening, as excess skin is removed. Ultherapy is usually more suitable for those who do not require a facelift, which in most cases, are younger patients. It is also ideal for those who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure and/or can’t due to medical reasons. Ultherapy is also an option for older patients who have already had a facelift and want to touch up their results to maintain long-lasting results.
The cost of Ultherapy is between $3,000 and $5,000, and most people need 3 treatments. However, follow-up treatments are recommended every 12 months to maintain results.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.

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