Q: I know that Ultherapy Treatment NYC which is designed to produce facial lifting is basically ultrasound. I have had so many abdominal ultrasounds when I had a high risk pregnancy, but I never saw any tightening of my belly. Why would it work on my face?
A: This is a great question. Ulthera designed a high intensity focused ultrasound wave to be delivered as deep as 4.5mm (17/100th of an inch). Ultrasound used for diagnostic purposes is not so focused and does not create heat in the deep tissues that is perceived by patients. Ultherapy’s focused ultrasonic energy creates enough heat by creating molecular vibration, that it is felt as pain. It causes collagen production and actually is proven to help contract the SMAS connective tissue layer that is the infrastructure of the facial tissues that plastic surgeons suture up during a facelift to help secure the sagging structures. This contraction of the infrastructure is what gives the lift to the face from the Ultherapy and that would not occur with diagnostic ultrasound.
Q: I am a bleeder. I take Coumadin for my irregular heart beat and I want to know if I can have Ultherapy to help lift my face?
A: There is a risk of bruising mentioned in the list of side effects of Ultherapy. In the beginning of the history of Ultherapy, the treatment was given very close to the corner of the eye and before the development of the more superficial transducers that we now have, the deeper energies would increase the risk of vein oozing near the corner of the eye. The skin is so thin that some energy might have been radiated back off the bone. Some patients have more ropey veins in this area and be more at risk of bruising. There might be other areas at risk of bruising, but keep in mind that bruising is temporary and usually spontaneously resolves on the face without any long term complications. For this reason, I do not prohibit patients who take Coumadin, whose INR can be checked to be less than 2.5, from having Ultherapy.