As we age, many of us encounter problems such as wrinkles, sagging cheeks, and loose neck skin. I often get patients asking me for the best way to reverse these effects of ageing.
Ultherapy is one treatment method that has gained a lot of interest in Singapore. In this post, I will address these three key areas about Ultherapy in Singapore:
- What happens during an Ultherapy treatment
- The cost of Ultherapy in Singapore, and what affects the cost
- How to find out if you are a good candidate for Ultherapy
What are the benefits of Ultherapy?
There are four main benefits of Ultherapy that explain why Ultherapy is so popular in Singapore.
1. Ultherapy is effective
Ultherapy yields a good skin tightening effect at:
- The upper neck region
- Eye bag area
2. Ultherapy is safe
Ultherapy is the only non-surgical and non-invasive skin tightening treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
It uses focused ultrasound energy to stimulate your body into producing collagen to lift, tone, and tighten sagging skin.
3. Ultherapy is non-invasive
Ultherapy doesn't involve any surgical knives. You do not need to endure downtime after Ultherapy. You can go back to work, pick up your children, or go out for dinner after a session.
4. Ultherapy has enhanced precision
Ultherapy is the only treatment with an advanced ultrasound imaging system.
With the Ulthera device, your doctor is able to see beneath your skin. This helps him/her to accurately apply the ultrasound energy to the precise layers under your skin to kick start collagen production.
This ensures a high accuracy with minimal risk during the treatment process.
How does Ultherapy work?
All of us have a layer under our skin called the SMAS (subcutaneous musculo-aponeurotic system).
Being rich in collagen and elastin, this layer is what plastic surgeons traditionally target to get the desired lift during an open surgery.
With the Ulthera device, your doctor is now able to deliver energy to this layer without making any incisions.
Your skin responds to this energy by increasing the production of new collagen, which helps your skin to achieve the desired tightening effect. This process develops over a period of 90 days, and evidence has shown that the lifting and firming process continues even after that.
Ultherapy is also able to deliver pinpoint energy exactly where you need it (1.5 mm, 3.0 mm, and 4.5 mm under the skin) with the help of transducers.
What are patients surprised to find out about Ultherapy?
A lot of my patients are surprised to find out that they can actually combine other treatments with Ultherapy to achieve more dramatic results.
For instance, a patient who comes in with hollowness and sagging of the undereye area will be able to see a significant overall lifting effect when you combine Ultherapy with an undereye threadlift.
For patients who are looking for a brow lift, doctors often use injectable treatments such as Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin to relax the muscles and achieve a lift.
If you are looking for a more long lasting result, you can combine that with Ultherapy of the brow and forehead.
How much does Ultherapy treatment in Singapore cost?
The cost of a full-face Ultherapy treatment in Singapore ranges from $2,000 to $6,000.
The price varies depending on the area that is being treated, and the severity of your issue.
For instance, spot treatment of the upper face may cost you around $640. This includes the forehead, brows, and eye area. Treatment on your cheeks may cost $2,000 as the treatment area is much larger.
However, every Ultherapy treatment is personalised, so it is best that you go to your preferred clinic for a consultation.
Important tip: Always ask for a price breakdown of your treatment to ensure that there are no hidden costs before committing to one.
For example, when clinics propose a full-face Ultherapy treatment, be sure to ask if it includes the jawline or upper neck. Some clinics may have excluded them in the treatment pricing. Trustworthy clinics are usually transparent with all their pricing.
What happens during an Ultherapy treatment session?
First, numbing cream is applied to your treatment area before the procedure. This helps to make the treatment more comfortable.
After 20 minutes, your doctor will wash off the numbing cream and apply gel to the face. This gel ensures good contact between the face and the transducer.
During the treatment, your doctor will do an ultrasound imaging of the treated area to ensure that the ultrasound energy is deposited to where it will be most beneficial for you.
Your treatment duration depends on the area that is being treated. A treatment of the whole face and upper neck takes 60-90 minutes, while treatment of the undereye takes approximately 30 minutes.
Is Ultherapy painful?
I always customise the intensity and power of the treatment to suit my patients’ needs.
My treatment always begins with a numbing cream, so any discomfort is usually managed. From my experience, most patients complete their treatments without any issues.
What can you expect after Ultherapy treatment?
My patients usually experience flushed skin and some swelling right after the treatment. These effects usually disappear within a few hours.
You may also find that the treated area will feel tender to touch, almost as if your skin is “aching”. It is normal for this sensation to last for a few weeks.
This “aching” sensation you feel is an indication that the skin is responding to the treatment. You should be able to see optimal results in three months’ time.
Will you need to take time off after Ultherapy treatment?
There are no incisions or surgical cuts made during the treatment as Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy to lift sagging skin.
You do not need to take time off after your treatment. You can resume your activities after the procedure. I have had patients who completed a treatment during their lunch break and went back to work after.
What are the risks of Ultherapy treatment?
Ultherapy is an ultrasound-based device so there is almost no risk of nerve damage.
With live imaging, nerve irritation can be easily avoided. Your doctor is able to see the ultrasound image of your skin throughout your treatment process.
Do note that there are many knockoffs of the Ultherapy machine that claim to achieve the same effect. Thus, it is important that you check if the machine that your doctor uses is an authentic Ultherapy machine.
How long does it take to see the results of Ultherapy?
You should be able to see an overall lift of your face with a slight tightening effect right after the treatment. Over time, your skin will become tighter and more lifted.
With the tightening of the skin, you will also be able to notice the following:
- Reduction in hollowness over the sunken parts of your face
- Smaller pores
- Less wrinkles
- Diminished sagginess
Is Ultherapy the best treatment for skin tightening compared to other facelift methods?
Ultherapy can be considered as one of the best skin tightening treatments, especially for those who are not looking for a surgical facelift.
Here’s how the other facelift methods compare:
- Laser skin rejuvenation
This type of treatment focuses on improving skin complexion and skin texture. Ultherapy focuses on reaching deeper into the skin layer to stimulate collagen production.
- Dermal fillers
They add volume to the face in areas where it is hollow. However, it does not tighten the skin like Ultherapy.
Ultimately, it depends on your goals, your budget, and preferences.
Tip: These treatment methods are complementary. Some of my patients have combined a few of them to achieve their skin goals.
How long do the results of Ultherapy last?
Ultherapy gives long lasting results with just one session. The optimal results will take place around three months later because it takes time for your body to regenerate new collagen.
However, the longevity of the results depends on you. The treatment helps you produce new collagen on the inside, but your natural ageing process will dictate how long that translates into visible results on the outside.
For my patients, I usually recommend a yearly refresh. That keeps pace with the body’s natural ageing process to maintain a youthful look.
Why is it important that Ultherapy is a FDA-cleared treatment?
Being FDA-cleared is important because it gives you peace of mind that the treatment you are getting is safe and effective. It also assures doctors that the treatment has benefits that outweigh potential risks.
Right now, there are many knockoff devices in the market. They claim to be able to do the same as Ultherapy. However, they do not bear any safety seals from the authorities.
When you are deciding on a treatment, safety should always be your first consideration. I always tell my patients that there is no need to sacrifice your safety in the pursuit of beauty.
How can you find the best doctor for Ultherapy in Singapore?
In choosing the best Ultherapy doctor for yourself, you should take into consideration the following:
- The ability of the doctor to listen and provide an unbiased consultation
- Transparency in pricing with no hard-selling or upselling
- Credentials of the doctor and the practice
- His or her previous works to see if their aesthetic sense appeals to you
I would advice you to speak to a few different doctors, and find one that you are most comfortable with.
Dr. Terence Tan obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and Master of Medicine (Surgery) from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He was accepted as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 2003. He then furthered his training with medical aesthetic specialists. He is happily married, and a father to two boys. When not in his scrubs, he loves cooking for the family and planning their next holiday.
- Friedmann DP. et al. Combination of intense pulsed light, Sculptra, and Ultherapy for treatment of the aging face. Wiley Online Library. 9 June 2014.