Ultherapy Pre and Post Care
What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy uses safe, time-tested ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin naturally—without surgery, needles or downtime.
How to Prepare for your Ultherapy Treatment
Stop any medications that thin your blood, as bruising is possible. If you are unsure about whether your medications are blood thinners please review this with our providers prior to your treatment. Over the counter medications like aspirin, daily large dose anti-inflammatories and fish oil supplements may also exacerbate bruising and should be discontinued. We highly recommend starting arnica montana, an oral homeopathic supplement which has been shown to reduce bruising and swelling. You should start 3-5 days prior to the procedure and continue for up to a week if you do experience bruising. Arnica montana is available at most health food stores. The recommended dose is three sublingual pearls three times daily.
Your Ultherapy Treatment Day
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment.
- Thirty minutes prior to your treatment we recommend that you take 800 mg of ibuprofen for pain relief during the session. A single dose like this will not exacerbate your bruising.
What to Expect During the Treatment
During your treatment a variety of ultrasound transducers (the hand piece which delivers the ultrasound energy) may be used. Each transducer treats different tissue depths, from deep to shallow.
The deep transducer is usually applied first and you will feel more sensation than the shallower transducers. The sensation can be likened to a Fourth of July Sparkler “spark” touching the surface of your skin – fine sparks of heat that dissipate immediately. There are many adjustments which can be made through the treatment if you find yourself sensitive. Please let your provider know how you are feeling so we can make those adjustments as necessary. Some patients experience a toothache type discomfort for several minutes after an area has been treated. The ibuprofen which you take prior to the session will help considerably.
Immediately after the procedure the treated area may look slightly pink like you have had a facial. Rarely, some spots of bruising may be already visible, but typically bruising is not evident until 2-5 days after the session. To minimize risk of bruising we will give you ice packs and recommend icing and holding pressure on your cheeks and jawline for about 10 minutes after the session.
If your forehead was treated you may have a mild headache, stinging, or hair pulling sensation in your scalp following the treatment. When this occurs it usually last less than 24 hours but on rare occasions can continue to be sporadically bothersome for up to a week. You may immediately apply makeup following the treatment and there are no post-procedure limitations on activity.
What to expect after Ultherapy
You can expect none or some of the following symptoms immediately after the procedure. These symptoms may persist for up to four weeks. Most patients have very mild symptoms but, as with any medical procedure, each patient experiences it uniquely. Symptoms always subside over time. There have been no reports of long lasting complications. The treated area may be slightly pink for up to a few hours. Bruising, swelling and tenderness can occur in the treated area. Bruising may not be evident for several days following the treatment and often is greenish in color by the time it becomes visible. Most common areas for bruising are along the jawline and cheekbone.
Even without bruising, tenderness to the touch is expected. This is usually most evident along the jawline and cheekbone and most often noted when touching your face, washing or applying makeup. This will not interfere with eating, talking or moving your facial muscles. Irritation of peripheral sensory or motor nerves is uncommon but can happen. This can result in temporary patches of decreased sensation or some weakness of facial muscles (usually the muscle which pulls the corner of the mouth downward). When this occurs it is always temporary and usually resolves within three weeks. With the exception of possible bruising there is no downtime after your Ultherapy. You will be able to return to your normal daily routine and exercise program immediately after the procedure.
When Do I Expect to See Results?
There are two phases of correction after Ultherapy. The first is collagen contracture, which literally is occurring as we perform the procedure. As a result, many patients will appreciate a subtle, but distinct, improvement in their appearance within a few days following the treatment. Ultimately the more impressive correction is from collagen stimulation. Your body responds to the pinpoint thermal injuries placed in the deep tissue by creating new collagen fibers. Collagen fiber formation can take several months, so the final results from Ultherapy may take up to 6 months.
How Do I Maximize my Treatment Results?
Avoid the routine use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and Celebrex for one month. The inflammatory response in your tissue from Ultherapy works in a positive way to stimulate collagen fiber formation and remodeling. If you are not already on a medically oriented skin care program, you may want to discuss this with your provider at the time of your treatment. Topical prescription skin products can help to stimulate collagen fiber formation through direct action with growth factors and through exfoliation to resurface skin. Medical skin care combined with treatments like Ultherapy can maximize the results you obtain and help to maintain the results. Schedule a follow-up medical assessment to review your clinical results and discuss the option of additional treatments to achieve desired outcome for this treatment site and other treatment sites.
Small and affordable follow up Ultherapy sessions in targeted areas which need the most work can be very powerful to obtain the best result depending upon the degree of laxity prior to treatment.
How Do I Maintain The Result Of My Ultherapy Treatment?
Topically applied medical skin care products are the number one way to enhance the result, as well as the duration, of an Ultherapy treatment. If you haven’t already discussed this with your provider, we are happy to develop a customized plan for your skin type at the time of your Ultherapy treatment.
The new collagen fibers which are formed as a results of Ultherapy have a life span of 5+ years, however an optimal interval for retreatment will be sooner than that. Depending upon the severity of tissue laxity and your age, follow up treatment intervals will vary but there are two ways to approach maintenance – more frequent small touch ups and less frequent full treatments.
More frequent small touch up treatments are the best approach for achieving continued, ongoing collagen stimulus as well as cost affordability. Follow up Ultherapy sessions are charged by the energy usage and therefore can be adapted to fit into most patients’ budgets. Frequency of touch ups will again vary but may be every 4-12 months depending upon the individual’s particular needs.
Less frequent full treatments are an alternative. Recommendations for this approach would be every 1.5 to 2 years depending upon need.