It all began at an editorial meeting. FashionEtc's publisher, Andrea Greeven, had seen a TV segment on women undergoing non-invasive procedures to stave off surgery. Many were starting in their 30's. Thermage, Ulthera, Zerona, these women were doing everything not to have to go under the knife, and they were impressed with the outcome. "Does anyone want to try this?" she asked.
I raised my hand.
I wasn't about to go to just any doctor, mind you. I did my research, online and through friends. Several women I spoke to had been to see Dr Mark Schwartz. They raved about him, and about the Ulthera treatment they had done in his office.
I was impressed with Dr. Schwartz's office and the friendliness of his staff. They answered all my questions patiently, even the wackiest ones. I have a fear of pain, and they promised me they would make me as comfortable as possible.
As for Dr. Schwartz, if every doctor was like him, this would be a better world. Smart, patient, kind, funny, he walked me through the procedure and gave me all the information I needed.
"Ulthera is a relatively new treatment that's been FDA approved for about a year and a half now," said Dr. Schwartz. "It harnesses ultrasound energy to target the muscle layer under the skin. The energy from the ultrasound heats the muscle, the muscle shrinks, and what happens in turn is the skin lifts up. There is very little downtime—you can have it in the afternoon and host a dinner party for 50 people at night and no one's really going to know.
"The other thing to consider—it's not the most pleasant sensation, it does sting as you're having it done—but it's the kind of thing that comes and goes very quickly. You feel it while you're being treated, but an hour later you won't be in pain.
"Because of the science, it takes about three or four months to see the final results. It's not a quick fix. It's the kind of thing where you'll see gradual results, which I think is a positive thing because it ends up looking more natural."
How long will it last? I wanted to know.
"The studies tell us that it lasts about two years, because even though this will help to mildly lift your skin up, we're not going to cure gravity. I've had the machine for about a year, so in my anecdotal experience it will last at least a year," he continued.
Is it better than Thermage?