The New Noninvasive Facelift

Fine wrinkles can be treated with wrinkle fillers, peels and all sorts of lasers. But nothing, other than facelifts, has been successful at lifting the jowls and sagging neck skin. And only browlift surgery has been able to reposition the brows. Technology like radiofrequency and threadlifts haven’t really worked all that well – many surgeons feel that their risks outweigh their benefits. Now there’s a new procedure called the Ulthera system that claims to help plastic surgeons perform noninvasive face and browlifts.

Fine wrinkles can be treated with wrinkle fillers, peels and all sorts of lasers. But nothing, other than facelifts, has been successful at lifting the jowls and sagging neck skin. And only browlift surgery has been able to reposition the brows. Technology like radiofrequency and threadlifts haven’t really worked all that well – many surgeons feel that their risks outweigh their benefits. Now there’s a new procedure called the Ulthera system that claims to help plastic surgeons perform noninvasive face and browlifts.

Ulthera uses ultrasound – high energy sound, to fry and shrink face skin and the underlying tissues. No anesthesia is needed and not a drop of blood is spilled. That sound energy passes right through the skin and targets the areas you want lifted. I’ve seen the early results and I’m impressed with this technology. This thing may actually work and might really become an option for people who just don’t think going under the knife is fun. But hold on to your horses … and your money. Plastic surgeon’s closets are filled with high tech devices that promise the world but don’t deliver. And early results do not translate to sustained effects – we saw that with threadlifts. Let’s all slow down and let the scientists spend some time gathering data – that’s science talk for finding out if the horse will run. 


One thing’s for sure: Ulthera procedures won’t be cheap; a procedure will cost a few thousand dollars and probably would have to be repeated every now and then. But only time will tell if this procedure joins the other white elephants of the plastic surgery world, gathering dust in their closets, or whether this device will win this round of the wrinkle wars.

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