What is High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)?
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive and non-surgical facelift technology, that helps to lift, tighten and improve the elasticity of the skin so that we look more refreshed, and chiseled. It works by stimulating our body’s regenerative response to gently and gradually lift the skin, as well as smooth out lines and wrinkles.
How does HIFU work?
The focused ultrasound targets a single point to produce high energy that bypasses the skin surface, dermis, and subcutaneous tissues to reach the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) layer – the connection between the skin and muscle where surgical facelift targets.
At the dermis layer (1.5 to 4mm below the epidermis), HIFU thermal energy stimulates existing collagen and promotes new collagen production. As this layer is held together by collagen, a tough connective protein that supports the epidermis and provides our skin with strength and resiliency, the stimulation of collagen production will eventually lead to the lifting and tightening of skin to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
At the SMAS layer, the heating temperature reaches the optimum of 60-70 °C to trigger new collagen proliferation. and provides a spectacular and lasting lift.
As a result of the high amount of heat energy, the ultrasound energy can also reduce fat under the skin, making it particularly useful to reduce double chins and hanging jowls.
Where can HIFU treat?
HIFU is beneficial to tighten mild to moderate laxity and counter the effects of aging. It is safe, effective and has no downtime.
HIFU firms and lifts the full face, jowls and upper neck to help lighten superficial lines and wrinkles such as forehead lines, fine lines around the eyes, crow’s feet, nasolabial folds, perioral lines, lip lines, and necklines.
It lifts droopy upper eyelids and eyebrows.
It loses fats around the chin and neck area and achieves an overall tightening around the neck and chin.
It targets laxity around the abdomen, arms, thighs, butts and chest; it can also remove stretch marks.
What to expect during the procedure?
Local anesthesia will be applied to one’s skin before treatment for a full numbing of the skin. Patients may feel a warm prickly sensation beneath the skin when the ultrasound energy is being delivered into the target tissue.
What is the difference between Ultherapy and HIFU?
Ultherapy is a registered trademark for a brand of HIFU produced by Merz Aesthetics. It is a non-invasive skin tightening procedure that is US FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, above the eyebrows and under the chin as well as improve lines and wrinkles on the décolletage. Ageless Medical also uses Ultherapy and other brands of HIFUs from different country origin to offer patients different comfort levels and prices. These HIFU brands are all proven to provide the same high efficacy for skin tightening.
Is there any downtime?
HIFU targets the deep layers of the skin and does not cause any damage to the surface of the skin. Patients are able to resume their daily activities immediately after the treatment.
What are the expected results and how long can they last?
Depending on the type of HIFUs used, one session to a few sessions is needed to see the best results.
As collagen re-modeling takes 10 to 13 weeks to happen, the full lifting effect of HIFUs will be seen over 2-3 months. Improvements can continue for 6 months.