Ultherapy Pre + Post Procedure Patient Instructions

4-6 days BEFORE procedure

  • 6 DAYS BEFORE treatment (to prevent bruising): AVOID blood thinning over-the-counter medications such as Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, and Aleve. Also, avoid herbal supplements, such as Garlic, Vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, and Omega-3 capsules.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages 24 hours before (or after) your treatment to avoid extra bruising
  • Inform your provider if you have a history of Perioral Herpes to receive advice on antiviral therapy prior to treatment.


  • Arrive at the office with a “clean face”. Please do not wear makeup. You may bring your own makeup to apply after your treatment.
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment.
  • Prior to your treatment, photography will be taken for comparison on your follow up.
  • You may take Ibuprofen prior to the procedure for discomfort 30-40 minutes prior to the procedure.


  • During your treatment, a variety of ultrasound transducers (the handpiece which delivers the ultrasound energy) may be used. Each transducer treats different tissue depths, from deep to shallow.
  • The deep transducer is usually applied first, and you will feel more sensation than the shallower transducers. The sensation can be likened to a Fourth of July Sparkler “spark” touching the surface of your skin – fine sparks of heat that dissipate immediately. Most patients find the sensation unpleasant but tolerable. Your provider will give you a hand-held device to aid is discomfort management. Please let your provider know how you are feeling so we can make those adjustments as necessary.
  • Some patients experience toothache-type discomfort for several minutes after an area has been treated. The ibuprofen which you take prior to the session will help considerably.
  • Immediately after the procedure, the treated area may look slightly pink like you have had a facial. Rarely, some spots of bruising may be already visible, but typically bruising is not evident until 2-5 days after the session.
  • To minimize the risk of bruising we will give you ice packs and recommend icing and holding pressure on your cheeks and jawline for about 10 minutes after the session. If your forehead was treated, you might have a mild headache, stinging, or hair-pulling sensation in your scalp following the treatment. When this occurs, it usually lasts less than 24 hours but on rare occasions can continue to be sporadically bothersome for up to a week.

What to Expect

  • You can expect none or some of the following symptoms immediately after the procedure. These symptoms may persist for up to four weeks. Most patients have very mild symptoms but, as with any medical procedure, each patient experiences it uniquely.
  • Symptoms always subside over time. There have been no reports of long-lasting complications.
  • The treated area may be slightly pink for up to a few hours. Bruising, swelling, numbness, and tenderness can occur in the treated area.
  • Bruising may not be evident for several days following the treatment and often is greenish in color by the time it becomes visible. The most common areas for bruising are along the jawline, cheekbone, and around the eyes.
  • Even without bruising, tenderness to the touch is expected. This is usually most evident along the jawline and cheekbone and most often noted when touching your face, washing, or applying makeup. This will not interfere with eating, talking, or moving your facial muscles.
  • Irritation of peripheral sensory or motor nerves is uncommon but can happen. This can result in temporary patches of decreased sensation or some weakness of facial muscles (usually the muscle which pulls the corner of the mouth downward). When this occurs, it is always temporary and usually resolves within three weeks.
  • Except for bruising, there is no downtime after your Ultherapy. You will be able to return to your normal daily routine and exercise program immediately after the procedure.

Recuperation + Healing

  • There are two phases of correction after Ultherapy. The first is collagen contracture, which literally occurs as we perform the procedure. Thus, many patients will appreciate a subtle, but distinct, improvement in their appearance within a few days following the treatment.
  • Ultimately the more impressive correction is from collagen stimulation. Your body responds to the pinpoint thermal injuries placed in the deep tissue by creating new collagen fibers. Collagen fiber formation can take several months, so the results from Ultherapy may take up to 6 months.

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