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Off-label Ultherapy treatment

Article-Off-label Ultherapy treatment

Ultherapy’s lifting and tightening effects go beyond FDA-cleared indications for treating eyebrows, the submental area, neck and décolleté, according to Bingham Farms, Mich., based medical aesthetician Holly Cutler, who uses the technology off-label to lift the buttocks.

Cutler tells The Aesthetic Channel that noninvasive Ultherapy [Merz Aesthetics] uses focused ultrasound that not only targets skin, but also muscle. A one-time treatment lifts the muscle and stimulates the body’s collagen and elasticity, during the course of 90 days. Ultherapy treatment has lasting effects, and there’s no downtime or bruising associated with it.

Researchers studying Ultherapy treatment’s long-term efficacy report that the lifting and tightening from customized micro-focused ultrasound with visualization treatment with vertical vectoring on the face and neck lasts for up to a year, according a study published February 2016 in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology

“It’s a great option for people of any gender, any skin type and any age — though, typically over 30 — looking to improve the appearance of maturing skin on the face and neck without the pain and downtime of traditional surgery,” according to Cutler.

In addition to using it for cleared indications, Cutler uses Ultherapy for noninvasive butt lifting.

“The Ultherapy butt lift is for those individuals who may have a more flat and sagging appearance in the buttocks, and desire a more toned, lifted, contoured and defined appearance to restore youth and shape, without surgical intervention…,” she writes.

To better mimic surgical results without performing surgery, Cutler combines Ultherapy treatment for butt lifting and Sculptra (injectable poly-L-lactic acid, Galderma) filler injections, which help to create a more youthful shape to the buttocks.

“The procedure takes about 90 minutes for the Ultherapy and additional time if adding Sculptra,” Cutler writes. “Sculptra injectable, if added, can take two to three sessions, spaced six weeks apart, and the effects can last two to three years.”

While providers should inject and apply topical anesthetic when treating the face with Ultherapy, Cutler writes that she uses only a topical anesthetic when treating the buttocks. Pain from Ultherapy during treatment tends to be worse on bony areas, but, in general, is tolerable.

Cutler writes that her practice charges from $2500 to $3500 for an Ultherapy butt lift, depending on the size of the area. Sculptra injections are an additional cost.

While this doesn’t provide the more dramatic outcomes possible with a surgical approach, the combination offers patients advantages compared to other cosmetic options for the buttocks: Fat injections don’t take well and are invasive. Surgical procedures don’t have a high rate of patient satisfaction; they’re painful and put patients at risk for complications; and surgery is costly, she writes.

Ultherapy can be costly, too, especially if targeting multiple areas of the body. And while Ultherapy works to tighten and lift, it isn’t the best option to treat stretch marks and doesn’t reduce fat, according to Cutler.

“You have to really look at the person’s needs and concerns to determine what will work best for them,” she writes.

 Holly Cutler reports no relevant disclosures.