Many patients seek to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, lines and sagging skin in areas around their neck, chin, brow and upper chest. Ultherapy provides FDA-cleared noninvasive ultrasound micro focused therapy treatment that tightens these areas as well as stimulate new collagen production in an all-natural and nonsurgical way.
Collagen is an essential protein found in our bodies that keeps tissues strong and firm, but as we age it breaks down and our skin begins to sag resulting in fine lines and baggy eyelids (baggy eyes). Intense focused ultrasound, also referred to as monopolar radiofrequency and intense focused ultrasound technology is a safe yet energy-based technology which has proven itself successful at lifting sagging skin while encouraging new collagen generation (neocollagenesis).
Monopolar RF and intensive focused ultrasound both use transducers to concentrate variable acoustic energy onto small target areas in the subcutaneous layer, such as SMAS. When heated, it causes thermal injury by denaturing proteins, leading to collagen fiber contraction that lifts skin tone while also stimulating newcollagenesis resulting in overall rejuvenation of skin tissue.
Both technologies have been shown to safely treat facial and neck laxity, with MFU becoming an increasingly popular treatment method among physicians. MFU has been shown to quickly tighten skin by stimulating new collagen production while remaining minimally invasive – two traits physicians value highly when it comes to improving patients’ necks and chins.
MFU creates a focal point of thermal injury in the SMAS tissue, leading to contraction of collagen fibers as well as neocollagenesis and reorganization of elastin fibers. The SMAS connective tissue supports fat and muscles beneath the surface of skin; its lack of reflection of ultrasound waves from reticular dermis layer distinguishes it from vascular layers of skin, and ultrasound imaging enables physicians to ensure MFU energy will reach targeted areas for treatment.
White et al demonstrated through a cadaveric study that ultrasonic energy applied directly to the SMAS produced the best results in terms of skin tightening. A commercially available device combining MFU with high-resolution ultrasound imaging offers visualizing tissue planes down to 8mm depth for more effective MFU energy application (Ultherapy; Ulthera Inc of Mesa Arizona USA). For optimal performance with this device it is crucial that an appropriate frequency range between 4-7 MHz is selected to ensure an optimum balance of attenuation and penetration.