Most of the common questions the office staff handle at our San Antonio Plastic Surgery office involve pricing. For example, people call asking: What is the cost of Ulthera? This is a very difficult question to answer and let me use this post to FOCUS (get it? if not read on to the end) on why.
The Ultherapy system or Ulthera is a great way to get skin tightening and lifting of the face, neck, and upper chest. It is not a replacement for a face lift since it can not correct hanging skin, but it can help rejuvenate and put off needing a face or neck lift. The cost of Ultherapy varies by what is involved.
For example, say you are in your 30’s and you have a little extra skin around your eyes. You are just starting to get some crow’s feet, and you are noticing a little extra skin of your upper eyelids. You may be a good candidate for an ultherapy brow lift. But in addition, you may also need some Botox or even a little filler. I really need to see you and do a thorough exam and understand your concerns before we can give you a price quote. It may be that all you need is $150 of Botox, or you may need a $1500 Ulthera brow lift.
When meeting with you, I may point out that your cheeks are starting to sag a little bit too. Maybe you are in your 40’s and you have started to notice those deep parentheses lines on either side of your nose (nasolabial folds). I might suggest that you need Ultherapy for face with or without a filler. Again, your cost may just be a $500 Juvederm injection and a little Botox or we may decide you need the tightening of Ulthera on your face. Understanding your concerns and what your problems are I can recommend several options and the cost of Ulthera may just be a small component of that.
Suppose you come in worried about the extra skin of your neck. You saw the ads on TV for things like the Lifestyle Lift and now that they are having financial difficulties you would like to investigate other short downtime ways to improve your neck. If we use the Ultherapy for neck tightening, we will need to treat the lower face as well since the platysma muscle of the neck is connected to the SMAS muscle of the face. Treating both we can get better lift of the neck. The cost of the Ulthera for neck is going to vary depending on how much we treat and, again, whether we supplement with Botox and fillers. There is such a wide range of cost options that it would be unfair to quote you over the phone without ever having examined you. Anyone that does is treating all patients the same and is doing a disservice to you.
One area that is easy to quote you a price is the Decollete (or decolletage) – the area of the upper chest. The FDA has recently approved Ulthera for Decolletage. Since this area is pretty standard the Ultherapy cost here is $1500. I may also recommend some fat grafting to the upper chest. If I do, we typically will perform that about 1 week after the Ulthera treatment. Another area where the price is pretty much fixed is Ulthera around the lips. Here the price is $500, but can vary if we decide to add a little Botox or filler into the lips. Again, the price varies by patient and what you decide to do.
Let me try to illustrate this with a patient story. I recently saw a very pleasant lady in her early 50’s. She was a physician and had been seeing her Dermatologist for years for Botox and the occasional filler. Usually, the Dermatologist was not the one who injected the Botox and filler. That was fine for her because it was the same spots every time. But, the patient noticed that she was starting to get new lines and jowling. Her neck was starting to look like her mother’s and she looked older than she felt when she looked in the mirror. When she told this to her injector, the injector mentioned they had just got the Ulthera system and maybe she should give it a try. The patient was interested so she was led in to see a Patient Coordinator who was excited about the Ulthera system too. She showed her the standard flip chart from the company, checked off the areas the patient wanted treated then looked up on a piece of paper how much it would cost. She gave her a price quote and told her she had time later that week to treat her. At this point, the patient felt a little uncomfortable. She had not seen the Dermatologist for an exam, the coordinator had just looked up the standard treatment and quoted her a price and never really asked her what she wanted. Rather than book, she went home and did her research. She discovered that we were the first in San Antonio to offer the Ulthera treatment and came in for a consultation. I met with her, discussed her concerns, reviewed her face in a mirror with her and then formulated a plan. We discussed the areas to treat and set her up with our experienced Ultherapist, Pat Karr to perform a personalized treatment plan that included Botox and extra treatment in the areas that concerned her the most. When asked why she chose to switch from the office she had been going to for years she told us she appreciated our experience, our consultation process, and our personalized treatment protocols. She is a physician and knows that a one size fits all solution is not how she wanted to be treated and she appreciated being evaluated by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
So, I hope I’ve been able to show you that the Ulthera cost can vary widely depending on what and how we treat.
- I really try to approach each patient individually and based on my many years of experience with the Ultherapy system give you personalized recommendations.
- I will be honest with you and tell you if I think Ulthera is not for you.
- If we can do something that costs less than Ulthera to treat your concerns I will let you know.
- The only way to truly know the cost is to come in and have an evaluation by an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can review your concerns and formulate a personalized treatment protocol for YOU.
P.S. If you didn’t get the focus joke above, the Ulthera system uses FOCUSed Ultrasound to stimulate collagen production. Learn more on our San Antonio Ultherapy Page.