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Surgical Eyebrow Lift-- A New Ultrasound Alternative

By HERWriter
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Ultrasound is an amazing technology. It has been used as a tool to visualize the inside of the body such as in fetal sonograms, a treatment to soothe and heal muscle injuries during physical therapy, and as a device to treat illnesses such as a lithotripsy machine which breaks up kidney stones. Ultrasound works by creating sound waves that bounce off body structures which can be imaged on a computer screen. Low levels of heat are also produced in the process so if the ultrasound energy is focused on a specific area, the heat or vibration can be used as a treatment.

Now an Arizona-based company called Ulthera has figured out a way to use ultrasound as an alternative to a common plastic surgery procedure. Ulthera received FDA approval in 2009 to sell a medical ultrasound device to perform non-invasive eyebrow lifts. What is unique about this new device is that it uses ultrasound to visualize and “see” what the skin looks like under the surface then delivers calculated ultrasonic energy waves that stimulates the body’s healing response to lay down new collagen.

According to the Ulthera website, clinical evaluations were performed at Northwestern University with three independent physician evaluators. Nine out of ten treated patients showed significant eyebrow lift appearance within 90 days and reported “firmer, tighter skin in other areas of the face and an overall refreshed appearance as well.” Treatment time is approximately 30 minutes and minimal side effects of swelling or redness may occur and last a couple of days in some people.

Given the cost and risk of eyebrow lift surgery and even the cost and risk of injecting Botox®, a common non surgical procedure used to improve eyebrow height, ultrasound eyebrow treatments shows promise in attracting quite a following.

The cost of an eyebrow lift varies depending on the part of the country and type of procedure performed but, according to the doctors at realself.com, easily runs $6,000 and up. As in any surgery, there are risks of nerve damage, scarring, infection and prolonged recuperation time.

Botox® injections cost between $300 to $700.

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I understand your concern so I did some searching. According to webmd in regards to using ultrasound to evaluate the brain:.

Ultrasound waves cannot pass through bones, so an ultrasound to evaluate the brain cannot be done after the bones of the skull (cranium) have grown together. Cranial ultrasound can be done on babies before the bones of the skull have grown together or on adults after the skull has been surgically opened. It may be used to evaluate problems in the brain and ventricles in babies up to about 18 months old.


Ultrasound are sound waves and even when used on muscle can only penetrate to a certain depth.

Thank you for bringing up this potential risk to be considered.

October 16, 2011 - 5:17am
EmpowHER Guest

To apply ultrasound onto the face, near the eyebrows, carries the risk of having the waves penetrate the brain tissue. I am very disappointed in the absence of any medical investigation on brain tissue damage as a result of ultrasound. If ultrasound can break down skin cells, then it can also breakdown brain cells.

October 16, 2011 - 4:15am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.