The Surgeon Minute

Lift & Tighten Skin Without Surgery

Lift & Tighten Skin Without Surgery

For Dr. Tiffany McCormack of Reno, “surgery is the gold standard for lifting, but not every patient needs surgery. Not every patient wants surgery. And there are areas on the body where surgery is not a great fit”. One such non-surgical option is Ultherapy, an FDA approved device that delivers ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin. In the hands of a skilled technician, the results can be quite dramatic.

by Katherine Stuart
and Tiffany McCormack, MD

Great Results for the Right Patient

Ultherapy can deliver great results for the right patient. The ideal candidate falls into one of three categories:

  1. A younger patient who either doesn’t need or is not yet ready for a facelift, but who has started to experience some collagen loss
  2. A patient whose problem area isn’t ideal for surgery such as the décolletage, sagging skin on upper knee, or inside of the upper arms
  3. Someone who has had surgery and doesn’t want more, but needs a bit of maintenance.

The technology is a, “great alternative for just that little bit of tightening and lifting,” explains McCormack.

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Being FDA approved for lifting the neck, lower face, brows and décolletage, it can also be used “off label” to treat the top of the knees, inner arms, buttocks and any skin wrinkling above the belly button. It works by delivering a very precise stream of ultrasonic energy to the tissues beneath the skin, which causes your body to produce more collagen. McCormack uses the analogy of weight lifting. As you lift more weight, you incur tiny tears in your muscles and when those tears heal, your muscle is stronger. It’s the same with your collagen. Since collagen is a key component of the fountain of youth, more of it means plumper, smoother, tighter and younger looking skin.

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Great Results Depend on the Skill of Your Technician

It’s really important to see someone who has had the proper training in this device. “I think it’s really provider and technician dependent,” says McCormack, because there are three different treatment levels. A technician must understand anatomy in order to customize the results for each individual patient. For example, if a patient has asymmetric brows, McCormack may use a deeper level of energy on one side than the other in order to improve symmetry. Or she may decide to work with two different transducers at different energy depths in order to activate specific fascia in one area and the deep dermis in another. It takes skill, knowledge, and creative thinking to deliver exemplary results. Furthermore, McCormack thinks it’s important to go to someone who knows what they’re doing and whose been trained appropriately with this procedure because, “if not, all that energy that they’re delivering through the system could go in the wrong plane which is a) more painful than it needs to be and b) completely ineffective and a waste of your money.”

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If you’re someone who’s looking for an effective alternative to surgery when it comes to tightening the skin, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, trained in Ultherapy, to see if this device could be a good option for delivering your desired results.

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