Ulthera motive: Forehead lift without surgery

Posted on October 18th, 2010 by Michelle

Angry EyesThe FDA has given its blessing to a device that uses ultrasound technology to erase the worry from your forehead.  Ulthera, Inc., a therapeutic ultrasound medical device company, got the thumbs up for the use of its Ulthera™ System to achieve a non-invasive forehead life, or frequently called and eyebrow lift.

Ultrasound is the treatment you might have used at the physical therapist’s office after that sports injury, your doctor’s office when the gallstones flared up or that the OB/GYN used when you were pregnant to show you the baby’s heartbeat and determine whether it was a boy or a girl.

Ulthera’s DeepSEE technology combines the ultrasound imaging and therapy, channeling that energy into your forehead. The company says its device is different from other in-office aesthetic devices because it allows doctors to see below the skin’s surface and guide the ultrasound energy to specific places at varying levels without surgery.  We can feel our brow furrowing just thinking about it, but some heavy hitters were testing the technology, including Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of California at San Diego and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.  Those are pretty good credentials, if they get them.

According to Ulthera’s press release, it works like this: “Focused ultrasound energy triggers the body’s natural healing response, resulting in new and improved collagen support and gradual firming, tightening and actual lifting of skin tissue over time.”

“We use imaging to anticipate where the energy will be placed, and then we deliver small amounts of very productive energy to targeted planes of tissue. This precision contributes to both safety and effectiveness, and because this is accomplished without damaging the superficial layers of skin, patients experience no down time,” said principal investigator Murad Alam, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology and Otolaryngology and Surgery, and chief of the Section of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery at Northwestern.

After one treatment, research documented gradual improvement over 30, 60 and 90 days.    Patients reported less hooding (drooping of eyelids) and a more “open” look around the eyes.  Because it is non-invasive, there’s no downtime and like Domino’s Pizza, it usually takes 30 minutes or less.  In Canada, Europe and Asia, clinicians are using Ulthera on the lower face and neck as well.

We couldn’t find any cost estimates for this process, but we can guarantee it will be cheaper than the surgery it could eventually replace. Brow or forehead lift surgery, the 22nd most performed procedure in 2008, was going for $3,000-$8,000.

And if it turns out it doesn’t wipe away the worry, maybe the DeepSEE technology can show us where those little voices in our heads are coming from.

2 Comments on “Ulthera motive: Forehead lift without surgery”

  1. Michelle

    It is intriguing, isn’t it Diana? Of course, if I erase those furrows, there will no longer be any visible signs that I’m thinking. Tough call …

  2. Diana Cliff

    You gotta love a procedure that is non-invasive but effective. I’ll be looking into this one. Locating the source of the little voices in my head will be a bonus.

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