Although there were many other skin lifting options—invasive and non-invasive—already available in the market, Ultherapy® quickly became one of the more popular facelift procedures in Singapore. Why is that so? Here is an interview with Dr. Terence Tan from Halley Medical Aesthetics on some of the most common questions people have about Ultherapy in Singapore.
There are a number of unique attributes of Ultherapy that boosted its popularity despite the wide variety of competing treatments by surgeons, aesthetic doctors, and facial spas.
Firstly, it is safe. Ultherapy is the only non-surgical, non-invasive, and no downtime skin tightening treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). It uses focused ultrasound energy to stimulate the body into producing collagen to lift, tone, and tighten sagging skin.
This brings me to the second unique aspect of this treatment. Because there are no surgical knives and no incisions involved, there is absolutely no downtime or recovery time needed for this treatment. After Ultherapy, you can go back to work, pick up your children, or go for dinner. Life goes on as per normal.
Next, Ultherapy is very precise. Unlike other treatments, Ultherapy is the only treatment that allows the doctor to see where to treat. The treatment is done with the Ulthera device that has a very advanced, ultrasound imaging system that allows us to scan the layers of skin tissue. Then using what we call the transducer, we are able to apply the ultrasound energy at precisely 4.0mm, 3.0mm, and 1.5mm under the skin at the SMAS layer, to kick-start collagen production. This ensures high accuracy with minimal risk during the treatment process.
The Ulthera device is a real game-changer in that doctors are now able to target this same layer without making any cuts into our patients. Ultherapy treats the SMAS layer without disrupting the skin with pinpoint accuracy at exactly 1.5mm, 3.0mm, and 4.5mm under the skin with the help of transducers. Its unique ultrasound imaging ability allows us to determine the optimal placement of energy before we deliver the focused ultrasound energy.Our skin’s response to this energy is an increased production of new collagen in our body, giving the desired skin tightening effect. This process develops over a period of 90 days, and evidence also shows that the lifting and firming process continues even after that.
Many of my patients are surprised to find that they can combine Ultherapy with other treatment modalities to achieve more dramatic results. For instance, for patients who want a brow lift, doctors often use botulinum neuromodulators. Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin help to relax the muscles and achieve a lift. But for a more long-lasting result, we can combine this with Ultherapy of the brow and forehead. Patients are surprised to hear of such combined treatment options.
Numbing cream is applied to the area that requires treatment before the procedure. This will make the treatment a more comfortable one. After about 20 minutes, we will wash off the numbing cream and apply gel to the face. This ensures good contact between the face and the transducer.Throughout the treatment process, the doctor will do an ultrasound imaging of the treated area. This is to ensure that the ultrasound energy is deposited to where it will be most beneficial for the patient.The treatment duration depends on the area treated. Treatment of the whole face and upper neck takes 60-90 minutes, while treatment of the undereye takes approximately 30 minutes.
“My friend says that it’s extremely uncomfortable! Do people usually complete the procedure?”
The procedure is very tolerable and patients complete their treatment with no problem at all. Any discomfort is managed before treatment begins with numbing cream, and we customise the intensity and power of the treatment to suit all patients. There is no need to worry about pain.
Your skin might be flushed and there might be some swelling right after the treatment but these will disappear within a few hours. The treated area will also feel tender to touch, almost like the skin is “aching” for a few weeks after Ultherapy but that is normal. It is an indication that the skin is responding to the treatment. Optimal results are expected in about three months’ time.
There are no incisions or surgical cuts made during the treatment. Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy to lift sagging skin, and it is a no downtime treatment. There is no need to take time off after your treatment, and you can resume all your activities right after the procedure. Even if the treatment is done during lunch hour, you can go back to work without worrying about any side effects.
Over time, your skin will gradually be tighter, lifted. With tighter skin, you will also notice a reduction in hollowness over the sunken parts of your face thus giving you a more rejuvenated look. Your pore size will appear smaller and your skin will have lesser wrinkles and sagginess when you smile or talk. You will look fresh and young again.
Ultherapy is one of the best skin tightening treatments, especially for those who are not looking for a surgical facelift. Let us compare Ultherapy with other skin rejuvenation treatments:
Ultimately, it depends on the patients’ requirements, budget, and preference. But all these treatment modalities complement one another and are often combined to achieve our skin goals.
The result from Ultherapy is long lasting. But we are ageing all the time, every second, every minute, every hour, every day. I always tell my patients that when we go for a haircut, the hair that has been cut off, remains cut off. Does that mean you don’t need a haircut again? No, because our hair is growing all the time. I would recommend a yearly refresh to keep pace with the body’s natural ageing process to maintain a youthful, rejuvenated look.
I would recommend Ultherapy to people who are looking for skin tightening treatment. It is a great treatment to reverse ageing. It is effective, it is safe, and there is no downtime.We have recommended Ultherapy even to the 20s, those with eye bags and chubby cheeks can be treated with Ultherapy too. Ultherapy is suitable for both men and women.Other areas that will benefit from Ultherapy: eyebrows, double chin, jowl, and chest. Most of my patients come in for either the full face and upper neck or jowl treatment, and these areas show good results.
Yes, you have to be. It is important to have Ultherapy performed by a skilled professional who is an expert in using the Ulthera machine.