If you are, like me, approaching the big 4 soon, you will understand the constant battle one has to face with aging sagging skin, and skin that’s losing its elasticity and natural texture. The thought of getting a facelift suddenly is not so foreign anymore.
Fortunately, with the advancing technology, going under the knife is not the only option any more. A non-surgical procedure called Ultherapy has recently become very popular. It’s an non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin.
We speak to Dr Israr Wong from Kae Clinic, that operation one of the only 30 Ultherapy machines in Singapore on the procedure and what to expect from it.
HSD: Dr Wong, can you tell us what exactly is Ultherapy?
Dr Wong: Ultherapy is short for ‘ultrasound + therapy’. It is the latest and most reliable ammunition in defending against the sagginess of one’s face / jawline / neck. It is the ONLY FDA-APPROVED technology for face and neck lifting. It is also effective in the tightening of underarms and decolletage.
HSD: What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound has been in use for decades for medical diagnostics (e.g fetal scans, abdominal scans) and medical therapeutics (e.g shockwave for destroying kidney stones). The research scientists at Ulthera had a breakthrough when they managed to focus this harmless energy source into a concentrated ‘bullet’ of ultrasound energy. Not only that, they even managed to perfect the technology such that every ultrasound ‘bullet’ fires into the same depth of tissue everytime, at the exact energy levels required. The targeted tissues are the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system, the layer targeted by plastic surgeons in a surgical facelift) and the subcutaneous tissue and skin( where collagen and elastin are produced and deposited).
HSD: How does this ultrasound work in Ultherapy?
Dr Wong: When this focused ultrasound ‘bullet’ hits the SMAS layer, its energy causes an instant focal contraction of the SMAS layer, resulting in a tightening effect. In one treatment, many ultrasound ‘bullets’ are fired all over the SMAS layer and the contracted SMAS layer results in an instant ‘face / neck lifting’ effect. This energy also stimulates the subcutaneous tissue and skin to produce collagen over the next 6 months, resulting in further improvement.
HSD: Is there any downtime or pain?
Dr Wong: The whole procedure (of Ultherapy for neck and full face) takes around 30 minutes and there is no downtime at all. There is some discomfort during the treatment but that can be managed well with painkillers taken 1 hour before therapy and numbing cream applied 30 minutes prior to treatment. With Ultherapy, the patient can go about his day after a single, 30-60 minute in-office procedure.
Dr Wong: The recovery for Ultherapy is typically very simple. Patients are able to return to their regular day to day activities immediately following the procedure, and there are no special measures that must be taken. Immediately after the procedure, some patients have reported redness, but this typically goes away on its own within a few hours. They may notice a short-term “boost” but the natural process of creating new, more elastic, collagen builds over time—much like the effect that exercise has on building muscle (but without the multiple workouts!).
HSD: What sort of result will a patient expect?
Dr Wong: Results will unfold over the course of 2-3 months and some patients have reported continued improvement for up to 6 months. While ultrasound does not duplicate the results of surgery, Ultherapy has proven to be an inviting alternative for those who are not yet ready for surgery. It triggers and recondition tired skin by stimulating the growth of fresh, new collagen. The result is a tightening and gradual lifting—or shifting—of the skin back into a more youthful position and form-fitting shape.
HSD: Are there other uses of Ultherapy? Facial Sculpting
Dr Wong: Besides lifting, Ultherapy can also be used on chubby areas of the face ( e.g sides of cheeks, jawline, upper neck) to burn off a little bit of the fat deposits and tighten those areas, giving a more sculpted definition to those areas. It enhances the V-shaped facial silhouette that equates to a younger, more attractive face. And aside from the face and neck, it is also effective in the tightening of underarms and decolletage.
HSD: What’s the cost of an Ultherapy treatment?
Dr Wong: At my clinic, Ulthera treatments generally range from $800 (eye and forehead areas) to $3300 (full face and neck).
And fortunately for me, I volunteer myself for a trial Ultherapy treatment to review the procedure on myself. Do look out for my next post after my treatment and I talk about my personal experience with Ultherapy.
About Dr Israr Wong Kai Jie
Dr Israr Wong Kai Jie is the Medical Director of KAE Clinic Medical Aesthetics. He was conferred the Certificate of Aesthetic Medicine and the Masters of Hair Transplantation from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM), the Certificate of Hair Transplantation from Maxwell Hair Clinic of Gangnam, Seoul, and Certificates of Competence for general aesthetics issued by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee of Singapore.
Dr Israr KJ Wong offers all-rounded expertise ranging from injectables (Botox, Fillers), chemicals and light rejuvenation of the skin (Super Skin Rejuvenation), skin lasers (Pixel™ Pro, Korean pigment laser), focused ultrasound facelift technology (Ulthera™) , Super Hair Removal (SHR™) and both surgical/non-surgical options of hair loss.
Dr Israr KJ Wong is also the aesthetic expert for the His Style Diary’s Grooming/Aesthetics section.