Our Ulthera expert, Medical Aesthetician Nancy Dugan provides some important details on how Ulthera procedures are planned and priced.
Joseph: I’m interested in an Ulthera neck procedure and I’ve spoken to other doctors about it, but the price range is so wide between practices. Why is that?
Nancy: Hi Joseph, We customize our treatments, and experience has taught us that the more lines, and the higher the energy, the better the result, so we calculate the lines by the size of the area, as well as the quality, laxity, and depth of the skin. There are several transducers to deliver the energy to the skin: 4.5 mm, 3.0 mm, and 1.5 mm in order of depth. The energy can be adjusted on each of the transducers according to the desired result as well as the mentioned criteria. We calculate our pricing on the number of lines required to get the best result. The “neck” is considered to be the area from the jaw line down to the clavicle. The area directly under the jaw line generally takes @ 120 lines per transducer. It would be less for a small person, and more for a larger person. The sides of the neck leading to the clavicle has up to 3 columns of 25 lines on each side, so it could require up to 150 lines per transducer for that. Ultimate treatment with ultimate results would use all 3 transducers, but read on and compare to what you’re concerned with. The “lifting” transducers are considered the 4.5m and the 3.0 m. The blue 4.5m transducer works on the s.m.a.s muscle (the one they tighten in a facelift) located under the fat layer, to stimulate collagen and tighten that area. A second 4.5m transducer, the purple one, is a little more superficial in its action, so we use that when there’s a lot of fat in the face to target that, because fat resides a little higher in the skin above the s.m.a.s. muscle. The 3.0m transducer reaches the connective tissue of the dermis right above the fat layer of the skin. That’s the layer that gives your skin its tenseness, strength and support. The “finessing/smoothing” transducer is the 1.5m. The 1.5m works at the very top of the connective tissue right under the epidermis, and that is for the crinkly looking skin on the surface to build it up and plump it out.
So, on average, a neck treatment can be as few as 500 lines with 1 transducer, maybe 800 lines with 2 transducers, and up to 1200 lines using all 3 transducers. So, for a neck procedure, costs can vary from $2500 -$5000 depending upon what we’ve got to work with in the case of the skin, the size of the area, and where we’re trying to get in so far as results desired. That all being said, we usually do the lower face (cheekbone to jaw line) too, because that helps the jowls that the neck treatment won’t affect as much. Adding that to the full neck would add another 430 lines with 2 transducers, and another 190 lines if all 3 are used. Lower eyes take about 60 (using 3.0 and 1.5 only), peri-oral (upper lip) takes about 30, chin, another 30, these only with the 1.5. So, what you need, is a consultation to determine your priorities and to estimate the number of lines it will take to get you to where you want to be. To address your initial question, some offices do a standard protocol of about 550 lines or so, and that’s why they can just price it without looking at you in much depth, however that’s likely not the way to get what you want, because are any of us really “average”?