Insta-Face Lift - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Insta-Face Lift

(WFLX) - Word is just starting to get around about Ulthera. It's a new, cutting-edge cosmetic procedure without any actual cutting.

Its makers promise to improve sagging skin in just 30 minutes: no surgery, no needles and no recovery time.

The question is: Does it live up to the hype?

"Until I use it on my patients in my office, I don't really know how well it works," said plastic surgeon Steve Goldman.

Goldman is the first doctor in northeast Ohio to buy an Ulthera machine and have his staff trained on it, but he has a deal with the company that he can return the equipment if it doesn't live up to expectations.

He's asked three patients to be among the first to try it and give their honest opinion.

"Doing everything I can to stay looking young, have good healthy skin, and not have to have any type of surgery," said 46-year-old Karen Bassin.

"I was diagnosed in 2000 with malignant melanoma," said 47-year-old Dana Ashburn. "And I had a tumor the size of a hardball in my leg." Dana beat that deadly cancer but doesn't ever want to have another surgery.

Sixty-three-year-old Young Cho has never had any cosmetic procedures but wants to try this one. "I want a little tight in my face; that's why."

Ultherapy works by sending focused ultrasound to the layer of fat under the skin. As that fat heals, it produces collagen and tightens sagging skin.

But with results expected to be subtle, how do you assess them fairly?

In general, when you look at those advertisements that have before and after pictures, you'll see, it says 'unretouched photo'. But it's amazing the difference you can make just by tweaking the lighting a little bit.

It's nearly impossible to get the exact same look, even when you're trying. That's why Dr. Goldman is relying heavily on what his patients see when they look at themselves in the mirror. "The company says three months, 90 days to see the maximum effect. In general, we give about six weeks for most patients to really see their result."

In comparing the video of the patients' before and after photographs, a great difference is seen.

"I feel much fuller through here and less lines I think. Overall, my face just looks fuller which I like," said one patient.

"Some tightening in here, some tightening in here on either side of my face," another added.

As for Mrs. Cho, a little tightening, but "not much difference". She does say she feels good to have done something for herself. "Is it worth the money? Yes."

A word of advice, though, from Karen. Don't believe it if you hear the procedure is painless. "I did it without any pre-medication at all. I would not recommend doing that."

For Dr. Goldman the jury is still out if this new procedure is worth it. "I mean, for me to be really happy with this device, I want to see a little more result." 

He says he's going to reserve total judgement until the full 90-days has passed. Dr. Goldman says it will probably be a year before he feels totally confident about what Ulthera can do.

But the more patients who get the therapy, the better he can learn who the best candidates are for this procedure.

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