Is Ulthera Safer Than Profound RF?
Ulthera received FDA approval in 2014 to heat tissue using focused ultrasound waves. It is important to note that Ulthera never received FDA approval specifically for skin tightening. Ulthera works by firing ultrasound beams into the skin in a cone shape, the tissue is heated where those beams focus to a point. There are three depths that the device can heat to, the most common are 3mm and 4mm which reaches the subcuticular fat. In our experience there has shown good overall skin tightening after treatments. However, over the years we noted several challenges.
The device uses expensive disposable heads. This cost the provider, and in turn the patient, at least $0.60 every time the device is fired and delivers a line of treatment. Because of this, the cost of the procedure quickly mount and there is little providers can do to lower it. There is minimal anesthesia used during treatment, which can last between 3-4 hours. Many patients report significant discomfort. Also, Ulthera results can start to subside after about 12-18 months and many patients may need a second treatment at six months. Finally, there are still about 20-25% of patients that do not respond well to the treatment.