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Ultherapy Vs. Traditional Facelifts

Many patients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Marin County as well as Sonoma and Napa County may be on the fence about what procedure to have regarding your sagging facial skin tissue. Ultherapy is one treatment that gets good results, as is the surgical traditional facelift, so how do you choose? Here are the differences, and the similarities, between Ultherapy and a traditional facelift.

Differences in Procedures

Traditional facelifts are an invasive surgical procedure done "under the knife" from a surgeon. Ultherapy procedures are non-invasive and done with FDA approved safe ultrasound technology. There is a tremendous difference in the facial trauma to the tissues, since facelifts are done with knives and pulling of the skin while Ultherapy is done with gentle ultrasound waves and no knives or pulling of tissue.

Appearances Afterwards

With a traditional facelift you are going to have a much more dramatic difference in the before-and-after. However, many patients also say that it looks "too tight" and "plastic" afterwards until it starts to relax. With Ultherapy, results are more subtle than a facelift, but they look completely natural and do not have that "plastic" look at all. It really depends on how much difference you are looking for and how natural you want to look afterwards.

Cost of the Procedures

Facelifts are very expensive because it is a surgical procedure, however the Ultherapy procedure is much less expensive and can be done in the office since it isn't surgery. This can result in less stress or financial burden for those getting the procedure in our San Francisco or Marin County Plastic Surgery Center.


There is much more downtime for a traditional surgical facelift than for those getting Ultherapy, again because Ultherapy isn't a surgical procedure. Typically, people getting Ultherapy have only very minimal swelling and can return back to work that same day.

Who is Suited for the Procedure

There is a bit of difference on who is more suited for a facelift versus who is more suited to have Ultherapy.

  • Facelift - The ideal candidate can be any age, as long as they are in good health, and can be done on skin that has any degree of laxity to it. It can do more with any individual due to the fact that it is the surgeon's manipulation of the skin tissue, and not your body's natural manipulation.
  • Ultherapy - Patients who are 35 to 65 years of age with mild to moderate laxity to the skin, who are again in good physical condition, are more suited to the Ultherapy procedure. Since this is a natural ultrasound produced procedure, the body takes the controls to change instead of it being an unnatural process.

How Quickly Will I See Results?

Facelifts done at our San Francisco & Marin County plastic surgery center have immediate results after they undergo surgery and have recovered. Ultherapy patients may see results more gradual, over the course of a couple of months. This slow change is the result of collagen growth, which doesn't happen overnight like the man-made results of a facial lift done by surgery.

So you see, there are many things to consider when you are thinking about having a procedure to help tighten and tone your facial tissue in San Francisco or Marin County. If you have questions about which one is right for you, Dr. Miguel Delgado can answer your concerns. A simple consultation with Dr. Delgado can help ease your mind and give you the results that you're wanting.


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