Ultherapy Reviews

Ultherapy is a new FDA-approved procedure that claims to lift, tighten and tone skin. The treatment is indicated for lifting the eyebrow and lifting lax submental (beneath the chin) and neck tissue.  The cost of Ultherapy is between $3000-$5000 and most people need 3 treatments. However, follow up treatments are recommended every 12 months to maintain results.

The procedure is non invasive and requires no anesthetic or sedation. However, the procedure is painful and some physicians recommend local anesthetic. Ultherapy is a skin tightening device and the technology competes with Solta Thermage, Syneron Refirm and Cutera Titan. Ultherapy is commonly administered on the brow, neck, and under the chin but it can be performed almost anywhere where there is skin laxity. Ultherapy claims “there’s no downtime, no foreign substances, no radical change; just a healthy revving-up on the inside for a natural, noticeable effect on the outside.” As part of our Ultherapy review, I underwent three treatments. I observed a subtle lifting effecting 3 months after 3 treatments. The cost of each Ultherapy treatment is comparable to Thermage and 2-3 times the price of Refirm and Thermage. The results were comparable to Thermage, Refirm and Titan. Ultherapy results were not comparable to injectables or surgery.

Ultherapy works differently to conventional lasers that target the outer layers on the skin.  Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin and delivers energy to the deepest layers of the skin. In a nutshell, it 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. The best use for Ultherapy is as a non surgical brow lift. Ultherapy lifts the brows and opens up the eyes.

Ultherapy penetrates the deepest layer of the dermis, sending ultrasound frequency that promotes collagen production. Ultherapyis causes pockets of damage by heating the deep layers of the skin, which stimulates collagen production. If you are considering having Ultherapy, it is recommended that you consult the pre treatment instructions.  Ultherapy is contraindicated for the use in patients with open lessions or wounds, cystic acne, existing keloid scarring, mechanical implants, dermal implants, implanted electrical devices, metal implants in the face and anticoagulant treatment plan, pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Ultherapy side effects mayinclude mild to moderate redness and swelling, discomfort, bruising, nerve damage and scarring. Ultherapy is a non surgical procedure, however, you should anticipate 2-3 days of downtime. You could return to work immediately, however, your skin will look slightly irritated, swollen and red. This should subside within a few days. It is strongly advisable to wear sunblock anytime you go into the sun and religiously after the procedure.

Before the treatment begins, the physician marks the area to be treated with a pen. A full face treatment took just over an hour. A full face treatment can take anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. With topical anesthetic, you will experience discomfort. Without, Ultherapyis can be reasonable painful, particularly towards the end of the treatment. Ultherapy has been featured on Home and Family, Extral, The View, New You, Prevention, NewBeauty, Details, W Magazine and various international programs.

A handful of notable plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists offer Ultherapy, including Lancer Dermatology, Rodeo Drive Dermatology and Aesthetics, Leaf MD, Wave Plastic Surgery Center, The Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery, Rebecca Fitzgerald Dermatology, Mudgil Dermatology, Grace Dermatology, New York Dermatology Group, Union Square Dermatology Group, Bostom Dermatology and Laser Center, Boston Cosmetic Surgery Center, Fox and Schingo Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Associates of Huntington.

Third party resources are provided for educational reference purposes only and have no association to The Derm Review. Always consult your medical advisor before making decisions.

Ulthera website
Advanced Dermatology – Ultherapy

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  1. John

    I would caution anyone considering any treatment to do their due diligence. We considered adding Ultherapy to our offerings at Precision Aesthetics in NY. The problem is not that it is not effective. Its too effective. There are many reports of people losing volume in their faces and even nerve damage. Ultrasound is great for the body and some of the Ulthera providers are now saying they are only going to treat under the chin and neck and not the face. Check real self for reviews on the procedures and look for a physician locator to find the most experienced provider for whatever procedure you are interested in. Also google search the procedure and negative outcomes. Sadly there is a class action lawsuit against Ulthera which you would see if you do a search for adverse events. As with any procedure do your homework read as much as you can. But FYI Thermage has a 15 year safety record, Ulthera has only been popular for the past few years. Personally it seems to me that ultrasound is too strong for the face which is probably what is causing either nerve damage ( hopefully temporary) and or loss of too much volume as some have reported.

  2. Kati

    I had a surgical facelift on Dec. 28, 2016 (not eye area) on my jowls and neck. It’s three months later and I am still extremely numb in front of my ears and under my chin. The surgeon has never had a patient with so much numbness three months past the procedure before. I love that my hanging skin under my chin is tight and gone. The jowls looked amazing for three weeks and now they’re coming back!! Not as pronounced as pre-face lift, but not satisfactory after spending $11,500. Since I won’t go thru that trauma and pain again, the Dr. is willing to have me try Ultherapy at no cost. After reading all the horror stories, I don’t know what to do. Definitely more negative than positive feedback.

  3. Carol G

    Before you undergo Ultherapy, please read blog on “ultherapy ruined my face”. This poor victim and others have suffered irreparable damage. And I found that people have died as a result. I Googled for reviews and thank God I came across this blog. Definitely made me decide Not to do it!

  4. Susie Q

    Totally waste of money. Got done 2 years ago. Because the skin is inflamed the first few weeks will look like it done something. Your immune system come to injured area that makes skin to plump temporary. But after that is gone, you are left with true result.
    I can’t tell the difference at all. No, I won’t do that again and we all should complain to out government for letting them claim.
    We should get out money back.

  5. Jul

    got the ULTheapy Feb 2, 2016. Yes, it was a bit painful but not so much I couldn’t take it. My treatment lasted 2 hours and I’ve had a lot of bruising. The entire face neck and forehead. Most of the bruising has been on the cheeks and under the chin. The bruising is beginning to diminish but the one under the chin is still quite visible. I have seen a bit of improvement in the jowl area. I’m 70 and if this doesn’t work enough to justify the $3950 that I paid, I’ll probably go with acupuncture. It worked for my mom and in the end was not nearly as expensive as this has been. I also went for an extra 400 for the creams. So now I’m not sure whether it’s the creams that are doing the job or the treatment. But I don’t think I’ll be back for another treatment next year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. Linda

    No thanks, I cannot afford the = $3000 to5000 for the other place and you have to hold the bowl to catch the blood, How could I afford yours and come back every 12 months. For peats sake I am on social security. I want to look better but not delite my money

  7. Allie

    I would not do Ultherapy as it causes fat loss. We need volume as we age. Also, it can damage the thyroid gland. Perhaps a skin peel or topical retinoids would be better options. For a more permanent improvement, a short-scar facelift would be a better use of your money. It can be done with local anesthesia, creating a less risky procedure with a reduced down time.

    Fillers, such a Sculptra and Voluma are also good options, as they have a proven track records and are, for the most part, not risky procedures. They last up to two years.

    I am going to avoid laser and Ulthera treatments because I don’t want to lose any fat in my face. When doctors or med spas purchase these very expensive laser machines, they are eager to turn a profit, even if they find out that the treatments are not ultimately beneficial. They are not going to admit that these types of machines, that are currently used for fat removal in other parts of you body, will do the same thing in your face. They may have found this out after their big purchase! Be skeptical and discerning with those who are after your money.

  8. Sherry

    I turned 50 in September and I’m a triathlete. I had not tried anything before besides botox for my brows, but had been thinking about doing something. I had Ultherapy done June 2014 and the second treatment just 2 days ago. It did hurt a bit, but totally tolerable with a couple Tylenol. This time a different girl did mine who only had 2 years experience. This time I noticed red lines all around my eyes, like scaring. She said it would go away in an hour, but this is 2 days later and it’s still there. I’m worried because I didn’t think I would see anything, just like the time before, everything looked the same. I did notice an improvement in the firmness of my skin, but hadn’t done the eyes or above the eyebrows. I’m going to pray that I didn’t ruin my face after hearing all these bad reviews, now I’m scared! I hope everyone has good results because it is very expensive and it hurts.

  9. Karen

    I had Ultherapy done in 2011 full face and neck. At the time I was 35. I was numbed well with lidocaine and it was still very painful. From what I remember directly over bone was the worst so I believe the nurse avoided areas over the bone. I had a couple welts along my hairline but they weren’t that noticeable, healed in a couple days and the literature stated that could be a side effect. I never noticed any positive result but soon after I started noticing crepey skin on my neck that looks “pulled”. My face is also wrinkling prematurely and looks crepey all along areas the Ulthera was placed; coincidently not directly on my jawline. I’m convinced it is a negative direct result of Ulthera. I had excellent skin care before and after the treatment using an expensive regimen from my nurse and dermatologist. None of my family members on either side are aging this way. So for $3600 I ruined my skin and never saw any evidence of the promised “lift”.

  10. Nicole Jeane

    really horrible reaction i have blood on both jaws my eye is also pooled with blood i cannot believe the reaction i am not on any medicine i would love to send picture i called the nurse who performed it so far no response i will put it on Facebook BEWARE it was done in houston market place ideal image

  11. Patricia W.

    I had Ultherapy done August 2014 on mid to lower face, neck, and around the mouth. Before the procedure I was given Advil that did not mask the pain which compares to snapping elastic bands over the course of an hour. Was told to expect changes by 3 months. This has not happened to my knowledge and I have a preset follow-up appointment at six months (in March) where I will be able to view the before pictures. I was assured that this is a one time procedure that will last 5 years. Honestly, due to the pain of the procedure, would not go through it again. I was particularly interested in treating neck sagging and mouth lines and so far, nothing noticeable. The procedure cost around $4,000.

  12. Samantha

    I had Ultherapy about 1.5 months ago and I definitely have fat loss, especially under eyes and cheeks. I filled a complaint with Ulhera and they investigating it with my provider. They are also going to monitor my progress. All that have had issues, should file a complaint with Ulthera. It’s not far for these doctors to lie to us, knowing this procedure has these god awful effects.

  13. Another Leslie

    Treated the area my under chin. Looked like a goiter for a couple of days but the swelling then subsided quite quickly. I could see the improvement within days. Now two months out and the improvement is apparent! The procedure did hurt the area directly under my chin where the skin was hangy; the practitioner claimed it’s due to my not having much fat there — the more fat the less it hurts there. I spent several hundred dollars and no regrets. Ultherapy reset the clock nicely and I have an appointment to do my brow.

  14. Sushi

    I had ultherapy done 3 weeks ago. Two days after ulthera, my face was swollen like a pumpkin, so do not believe what they say about no down time after the treatment. My doctor reassured me that the swelling will subside after 3 weeks. It did but not completely, I still look like I have gained 5 pounds when compared to my 15 pounds gain 3 weeks ago.
    My biggest concern is that loss of fat under eye area, now I have a big hollow under my eyes which makes me look so old and tired.

  15. rabbitrant

    This procedure may ruin your life. It certainly won’t make you happy so don’t do it. I don’t know how it is O.K to lie to vulnerable people but i learned my lesson. The best result will be nothing. Because any change it makes to your face will be detrimental. Your face is naturally symmetrical. You age almost symmetrically which means that although you look older, you have the same character, the same look. This device interferes with your face in a very haphazard way, and maybe it does stimulate collagen (or melts fat) but what it does it does not do symmetrically. So your face will just not look right anymore. symmetry is one of the keys to an attractive face old or young, so don’t risk your face as i did with this nonsense..

    • Anonymous

      What you just said is nonsense! We would all like to see before and after pictures. I just had Ultherapy done yesterday and this procedure does not interfere with your natural look what so ever. If this made you look worse then you are one of the minorities and you doctor should be looked into right away. I’m so sorry that you are disappointed.

      • Anonymous

        YES IT DOES. I look like a disaster. I was gorgeous. My face is ruined and I look like a different person. Read my review and pix on real self.

    • anonymous

      PLEASE – do not have Ultherapy done! I got a 2- degree burn and lifetime scar on my face.
      Read the small print. It says “may cause……..”

  16. suzanne

    I can’t afford a lift so thought I would try ultherapy. I spent $600 for the jaw area. It was definitely uncomfortable during procedure but not enough whereby I couldn’t stand another round. It has been 3 months and there is definitely an improvement. Very subtle but well worth it!!! It was NEVER meant to offer dramatic results so stop complaining. I intend to go and have my eye area done next.

  17. Ria smith

    I did ultherapy about two months ago. Seriously no results and sometimes I feel I look worse then before. Goal waste of money.

  18. Patty Simpson

    51 y/o and I had ultherapy on face and neck. Very painful, swollen face post procedure. Minimum results after 3.5 months. Waste of a lot of money in my opinion. Amazing how physicians will sell you this procedure with a straight face.

    • Anonymous

      Yes! Me too! I had it done June 30th and that nerve is driving me bananas! My face looks welted on my cheeks and my eyes now look sunken in! Totally look awful and lumpy. Big regret messing my face up like this with this procedure. It’s awful.

    • Anonymous

      I had it done yesterday and I look like crap . I am 58 had the full face and neck done , now I have a few issues with how my treatment went and want to know if this is normal. First off I felt a horrible shooting pain in the top of my head while my forehead was being treated. At the time my cheeks were being done it felt like the skin was sizzling. Although I have no visible burns , marks or bruises I still have a bad headache and some pain and numbness on the top of my head. I woke up this morning with a ball like a goiter or something under my chin and it feels hard not sure why , swelling? My practioner had issues with her machine and we had to stop the treatment , I have to go back tomorrow I am wondering if this will affect me negatively

      • Cindy

        I had th same thing. When I pressed on a nerve above my right eyebrow I got an electric shock about 5 inches away up on my scalp. It was a small shock. As if someone yanked hairs out of my head all in that one spot. It finally went away after 40 days or so. I had a lot of numbness in jaw which lasted for th same amount of time. Much better now.

  19. mamx4

    I had Ultherapy on my neck about 6 weeks ago and developed significant bruising and discomfort. After about a week, I noticed a “lump” feeling in my throat that just won’t go away and actually causes a little difficulty swallowing food. Could I have developed scar tissue deeper in my neck from the Ultherapy? I am a little unsure about how to proceed. Should i wait longer to see if it goes away?

  20. Ultherapy

    I am 42 years old, & not ready to go under the knife on my fasces for an eyebrow lift. I just had the procedure about 2 hours ago – above & below my eyes. I have had laser360 few times, so I was expecting it to feel similar. It was more painful, mainly above the eyes over the eyebrow bone. When she started above my eyes, it hurt my temples. I felt like I was starting to get a really bad headache. It was tolerable, I just kept taking deep breaths to relax. It is a bit sore around my eyes. If it works I will go back and get my neck done. I have to wait for about a month or so to see results.

  21. ray

    I had Ultherapy on my brows a week ago and I thought was extremely uncomfortable. I still have pain on my scalp. Has any one experienced this? I have not noticed any thing remarkable to my brows yet.

    • Anonymous

      I am experiencing the same thing and during the procedure which was done yesterday when my forehead was done it was so painful I screamed . It felt like I was getting an elctric schock on top of my head

      • Anonymous

        I have the treatment last week ,i experience exactly the same, for the moments no results can be seen. Any how not worth to have ultherapy because it takes the risk.

  22. Donna

    I just got Ultherapy done today. I had read about it, and was ready for it. Presently, I have some swelling under my neck and above my lips. It was somewhat painful, but fine. I do not notice any results yet, but am hopeful. I am 52…and if I can see some positive results within the next 2-3 months, I will be very happy. I do recommend this procedure, I did some comparing of prices in the USA and Canada, and since I am on vacation in Mexico, I decided to do this here. The price for the full face & neck cost me $2100.00 canadian…well worth it.
    Will keep you all posted, as time goes on. Good Luck to All..!!

    • Anneon

      Hi…I’ve been thinking of having this done for a year now, after sort of being sold the idea by a couple of clinics. I am being very wary as it is so expensive, but I do not believe all the negative reviews, and they always seem to be written by very angry women (with very bad English!) that probably have severe self esteem problems so that when they look in the mirror they see what they feel, and if you do that you naturally take bad photos of yourself. We can all take good and bad photos of ourselves! Anyway, can you tell me the name of the clinic in Mexico where you had this done? I go to Mexico frequently for my work, and were they recommended to you? thank you

  23. Agnes

    Hi Laurie,

    I am about to have Ultherapy, am 71 years old and thinking that maybe this treatment works better the younger you are as there is the more collagen to revive?

  24. Leslie

    I am 47 years old, andI had ultherapy on my lower face and neck December 10, 2013. I was mildly red one day later, and a tiny bit swollen. I experienced numbness which dissipated within a week’s time, except for a spot beneath my chin. I still have some minor numbness and tenderness, which is improving daily. I had no bruising. I can see an improvement in skin texture and firmness already. I have had several friends ask “what are you using on your skin? It looks great!”. I was sedated for treatment, so cannot speak to the painfulness of the procedure in process. I am (so far) pleased with the results.

  25. Merry

    I completely agree with Laurie. I had full face, lips and around eyes over a month ago. Absolutely NO results other than I still have apin all around my face. Hurts to touch my face. I am so sorry that I wasted $3,600 for nothing. I guess all is takes is money to adverstise on Dr. Oz.and the rest of the shows that highly promoted Ultherapy. Shame on me for falling for it. Rebooked my appointment with the palstic surgeon.

  26. Cameron E.

    I have looked at having a laser treatment for years.
    I am not only a little afraid, but I am also a little skeptical.
    I know many friends who have had laser surgery and found no improvement, and the ones who have had botox done just don’t look good.
    Has anybody here actually had Ultherapy done and seen a result?

  27. Laurie

    PLEASE – do not have Ultherapy done! I had it done to my entire face 4 months ago with absolutely no results to date except for painful, red burns on either side of my neck and numbness around my jawline! My doctor is well-known and well-respected, however there is some dangerous documentation on this procedure – please research it carefully!

    • Judy

      I too had Ultherapy in Oct 2013. I did the full face & neck. It took her 4 hours to do it. I was in so much PAIN I should have gotten up and walked out! Amazingly I just has slight bruising under my chin, and slight redness, but the pain felt like I was getting shock treatments! The electricity shooting thru my head was unbearable. The things we do for beauty! I had these bumps ( like cysts) under my skin that were like acne I’ve never had in my life! And they were painful! They couldn’t figure out why or what it was. I ended up calling the home office of Ulthera in Phoenix speaking to kelly out there. A lot of double talk. No answers. It is now Jan 31st 2014- over 90 days and see no results. Actually I see lines that weren’t there which really pisses me off.
      None of my friends have noticed a difference. I didn’t tell them. They said people will start telling you you look “FRESH” but that’s BS. I had to go to my dermatologist for those bumps( cysts). I’m not sure what that electric current stirred up on my skin, but it wasn’t collagen ! I would NOT recommend it. Waste of money!

      • Anonymous

        oh my God I just had it done and felt that same horrific pain on the top of my head I screamed , like shock treatment . I am swollen my head is num I see my skin looking tight but I beleive it is swelling.

        How are you feeling now

      • Jane

        Thank you so much for taking the time to educate those of us who might want this procedure. It helped me a lot. You might think I’m crazy, but I’m going to have a LifeStyle Lift instead. I know LOTS of people have horror stories from that as well but the secret is to go to an office with a good surgeon. The ‘procedure’ is nothing if not done by the right doctor. The one in the Cleveland office is fantastic (I’ve seen many faces she’s done in person). She is retired from full time practice and now just “moonlights” with LSL. She used to work at the Cleveland Clinic in their PS dept. I’ve noticed that some LSL offices have doctors from third world countries and who don’t have very good academic pedigrees. Any thoughts? Wish me luck 🙂

      • karen

        Hi Judy- I am experiencing very adverse effects after ulthera. It’s been 3 months. I have nerve damage, loss of fat and healthy tissue, wrinkles I never had before. The list of problems goes on and on. My eyes, lips and mouth have been affected as well. Can you please phone me at 310-854-2384. I would love to speak to you or anyone else having negative side effects. I’ve been told that it could take 12 to 18 months for my to nerves regenerate. Please call me.

    • karen

      Hi Laurie, did the jawline numbness go away over time. I am experiencing problems with using my facial muscles as well. Please let me know.

    • joann smith

      I was looking for somebody who had the same as experience as I am. I had the procedure October 31 which was about a month ago and my face keeps turning bright red. In some places my face is so red it’s purple and it comes and goes. I also went to one of the top plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills and paid top dollar.

      • Anonymous

        Joann Smith
        I am 49 years old. I have had Thermage. it made a big difference. I am considering Ultherapy and will do my research well before I proceed. AS FOR THE PURPLE ON YOUR FACE THAT COMES AND GOES…be careful its not a menopause thing. In the last 12 months I experience literally red face and purple cheeks. it turns out I am allergic to foundation. I have to go on prednazone as soon as I notice the signs. Watch these reactions carefully and write down what products you have used on your face. I am considered a very attractive woman and have used make-up, including foundation my whole life so this “allergic reaction” comes as a huge surprise. Very frustrating but very real. I thought it was Botox. No. I thought it was something I was eating. No. Its foundation and it doesn’t matter if its allergy-free foundation, every kind of foundation is now reacting to my skin. Í just wanted to point this out as something to think about, detail your reactions on your face. You might be surprised to see its your makeup and not Ultherapy, I could be wrong but I bet you I’m not. D. Cameron Sept 5, 2014

  28. Jakayla

    I also went to a beautician who recommend Intense Pulsed Light and it made my pigmentation worse. I am now using Hydroquinone and it is slowly fixing this. Now I am doing my research reading reviews about Ultherapy, Thermage and Fraxel.

  29. Katherine T

    One morning I woke up and noticed I was starting to look like the photos of my grandmother. I went through a period of depression but my husband encouraged me to get something done. After a year of research I decided I am going to have Ultherapy done. It looks like the latest laser technology and much better than Thermage. The only thing I have had done before is IPL at my beautician. That was a waste of time.

  30. Simone

    I have tried all of the non surgical laser procedures you discuss above and considering have Ultherapy after seeing the session on Dr Oz. I will write a review after I have had the Ultherapy procedure and again after 3 and 6 months. Can I upload my photos on here as I would like to show you my before photos?

  31. Fern

    Several months ago I began researching Ultherapy as an alternative to a facelift. I had two consultations with plastic surgeons and read hundreds of Ultherapy reviews. I was convinced this was better than Thermage, Fraxel and other lasers. I had the procedure done for a cost of $3,7000 in New York City. I spent the night in a hotel that cost $200 and with my bus tickets the total cost was just over $4000. I am happy with the results and it looks natural. My friends haven’t said anything and I prefer to keep it that way.

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