Ultherapy is a non-surgical technique that lifts, tightens and tones the skin on the face and neck, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Dr. Sheena Kong is pleased to offer this FDA-approved treatment at her medical spa in Downtown San Francisco. She recommends Ultherapy to patients who want noticeable yet natural-looking results without any incisions, injections or downtime. If you'd like more information about your options, Dr. Kong invites you to schedule consultation for arguably the best Ultherapy San Francisco has to offer.
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How is Ultherapy different from other treatments?
Lasers are precise but only treat the superficial layers of the skin, and while radiofrequency reaches deeper depths than lasers, it imprecisely "bulk-heats" tissue at variable temperatures. Ultherapy available in the Bay Area is the only technology that precisely heats tissue at prescribed depths.
Ultherapy technology uses focused ultrasound energy to target the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the face and neck. The ultrasound waves deliver heat to the skin's foundation, which prompts the body to produce new collagen and rebuild new skin cells. This improves the overall tightness and firmness of the skin, lessening the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Dr. Kong's Bay Area Ultherapy treatment works best on patients who have mild to moderate wrinkles and skin laxity.
Dr. Kong can use Ultherapy for full or partial treatment of the face and/or neck. At her downtown San Francisco Medspa, an Ultherapy session typically takes between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on the degree of correction needed to attain the desired results, and the size of the treatment area. If Dr. Kong is treating the full face and neck, treatment will take two hours.
Dr. Kong will place the smooth Ultherapy handpiece over the skin in the treatment area; the handpiece then projects an image of the underlying tissue on a screen, so Dr. Kong can "see" where she is delivering treatment.
Dr. Kong's San Francisco Ultherapy treatment is not painful, but Dr. Kong can recommend an over-the-counter or prescription medication to take prior to the appointment to prevent any discomfort. Ultherapy patients generally do not need any downtime after treatment to recover. The skin may look flushed, or feel tender, but these side effects are only temporary and will resolve quickly.
Ultherapy results will improve in the weeks and months following treatment, as more collagen continues to regenerate, with full results at about six months. Dr. Kong encourages her patients to return for annual touch-up treatments to maintain their results.
What Is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is a safe, non-surgical skin-tightening procedure that uses the body’s own natural healing response to gradually lift the skin on the neck, chin, and brow and smooth lines and wrinkles. There are no incisions, needles, or lasers used in this procedure and no post-treatment downtime.
How Does Ultherapy Differ from Other Treatments?
Unlike lasers, radiofrequency, and other treatments, Ultherapy uses ultrasound – sound energy – to stimulate collagen production deep in the skin’s foundation. Although skin restoration begins immediately, this treatment can produce a significant lift of tissues over a 2-to-3 month period.
Lasers use light energy, which cannot penetrate to deeper skin layers at optimal temperatures, and are suitable only for superficial treatment. While radiofrequency can reach deeper than lasers, it does not allow for precise heating of tissues at precise temperatures. With Ultherapy, ultrasound imaging is used, which allows the surgeon to see the targeted tissue layers during treatment to ensure that the sound energy is applied where it is most beneficial.
How Safe Is Ultherapy and What Are the Side Effects?
Ultherapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after its safety was demonstrated in clinical studies. In addition, tens of thousands of treatments have been performed across the world with no significant adverse events reported. Side effects are minimal with this treatment. There may be slight redness for a few hours after the procedure. Some patients experience slight swelling, tingling, and tenderness, which typically subside within a few weeks.
How Does Ultherapy Stimulate Collagen Production and How Does that Benefit the Skin?
Collagen is the protein our bodies produce naturally that gives our skin its firmness, elasticity, and youthful appearance. As we age, we produce less collagen and existing collagen loses its strength and ability to keep the skin firm and toned.
In an Ultherapy procedure, ultrasound energy is focused deep below the surface of the skin to create a thermal effect, which jumpstarts the natural healing response of the body. It strengthens existing collagen and stimulates the body to produce new collagen and rebuild skin cells, which can result in firmer skin, less sagging, and fewer wrinkles.
Is Ultherapy a Replacement for a Facelift?
Ultherapy is an uplift – a procedure to lift the skin on the brow, chin, and neck – rather than a facelift. Although it is not a replacement for surgery, it can be a viable treatment option for people who want to achieve a lifted, toned, more refreshed look without undergoing surgery, and for those who want to prolong the benefits of facelift surgery.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ultherapy Treatment?
Any woman or man with maturing skin may be a good candidate for Ultherapy. You may benefit from this procedure if laxity has caused your skin not to look or feel as firm, or if you have:
- Sagging skin on the eyelids
- Lowered eyebrow line
- Loose skin in the neck or under the chin
This procedure is typically recommended for people in their thirties or older. It can provide some lifting and a more toned and refreshed look for people who are not ready for surgery, for those who want to prolong the benefits of surgery, and for younger people who want to stave off the natural aging process.
How Many Treatments Are Needed to Get Results?
Most people only need one treatment to achieve desired results, and annual touch-up treatments can help them maintain results. Some people with a fair amount of laxity in the skin may need more than one treatment.
How Is an Ultherapy Procedure Performed?
Dr. Sheena Kong can perform a partial treatment or a full Ultherapy treatment of the entire face and neck. Depending on the extent of treatment, the procedure may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
First, the treatment area is cleaned, and then Dr. Kong places a smooth Ultherapy handpiece over the skin. An image of the underlying tissue is projected on a screen so she can adjust the device to the appropriate settings and see precisely where the ultrasound energy is delivered.
How Does an Ultherapy Treatment Feel?
Ultherapy treatment performed by Dr. Kong is not painful. You will feel small amounts of ultrasound energy as it is deposited at precise depths, but the sensation only lasts while the treatment is being delivered. As comfort levels vary, Dr. Kong can recommend a prescription or over-the-counter medication to take before your appointment to help make your treatment comfortable.
When Will I See Results from Ultherapy and How Long Do They Last?
Although patients may see some initial results with Ultherapy, most of the lifting and toning takes place over a period of 2 to 3 months after the procedure. As the process of building collagen continues, further improvements can appear for up to 6 months after Ultherapy treatments are performed.
Results of the procedure typically last as long as the body continues to produce more collagen and until the aging process once again begins to affect the skin. Many patients still have fresh, young collagen a full year after Ultherapy treatment. Dr. Sheena Kong can perform touch-up treatments annually to help you keep pace with the aging process and maintain your firmer, more youthful looking skin.
Ultherapy vs. Thermage: Which Treatment Is the Best for Skin Tightening?
The treatment that is best for you depends on several factors. If you have loose skin on your eyelids, Thermage Eyes (Thermage CPT) eyelid treatment is for you. Thermage CPT with the new Total Tip can reach deeper than the older format of Thermage treatment. However, if you are an older patient with laxity around the face and neck, our Ultherapy San Francisco treatment will likely be more effective.
Ultherapy vs. Thread Lift, which treatment is better?
Threads used in Thread Lift will dissolve within a few months after been embedded in patients' face. The Lift is provided by the scar tissues generated during the Thread Lift procedure. Ultherapy works on SMAS layer by ultrasound induced heat stimulation. This is the only way to tighten the skin.
How frequent shall I get Ultherapy after my first Ultherapy treatment?
Dr Sheena Kong recommends repeating her Bay Area Ultherapy on patients at least once a year before your skin cells slow down in building collagen again.