Ulthera: Meet the New Weapon for War on Wrinkles

As she aged, Sandi Bachom, 69, a filmmaker and producer in Manhattan, tried Botox to keep the inevitable wrinkles away, but she was wary of anything more invasive. She wanted, as she explained recently, to avoid “going under the knife.” [Source: Ultherapy.com]

So a couple of years ago, at the suggestion of her dermatologist, Dr. David Colbert, she first tried Ultherapy, in which ultrasound waves are shot through a gel into the skin. She had the treatment on her face and neck, particularly the tricky jowls.

“I call it my ‘way-back machine,’ ” Ms. Bachom said.

“It has effective, fast results, and it’s natural enough so you don’t look like ‘Brazil’ the movie.”

The session took about 15 minutes and included some pain: Ms. Bachom was offered a squeeze ball and Valium.

The treatment provided a noticeable lift to her face that lasted nearly two years, she said; she repeated it last November. “It was worth the money,” Ms. Bachom said. (Dr. Colbert said his Ultherapy prices start at $5,000, depending on the area addressed.) Across New York City, women young and old are riding the ultrasound wave. Doctors rave about Ultherapy because it leaves no evidence.

“There’s no needle marks, no peeling and no bruising,” said Dr. Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist in New York who performs Ultherapy in her office. And, Dr. Fusco pointed out, patients are comfortable with the new technology because they associate ultrasound with the test many women have during pregnancy. “It’s something they have heard of before, and if you can do it on pregnant women, they feel it’s safe,” she said.

Dr. Fusco added that while the therapy is actually “very safe,” she warned that it’s not appropriate for patients who have a history of cold sores, a pacemaker or a cheek or chin implant. Additionally, any kind of skin disease can be worsened by the treatment, and when operating the Ultherapy machine, she avoids pressing it near the thyroid gland in the neck or at the middle of the forehead or chin, where “nerves course superficially,” she said