High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive treatment to lift and tighten the skin. HIFU delivers focused beams of ultrasound energy into the deep dermal and subdermal layers of the face and neck where collagen fibres are produced. In these deeper layers, collagen synthesis is enhanced to lift and tighten the skin. This allows HIFU to avoid trauma or incisions to the skin for a natural lift and wrinkle removal. Since 2009, HIFU has received US FDA approval for non-surgical brow lifts and removal of wrinkles of the neck and upper chest. Numerous clinical trials have shown that HIFU is a safe and effective non-invasive treatment for skin lifting and tightening and removal of fine wrinkles, without the risks of a facelift.
The benefits of HIFU treatment to the skin are:
HIFU is a non-invasive alternative to surgical face lifts. During the treatment, micro-focused beams of ultrasound energy are delivered to focal depths of the skin at 1.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.5mm. These micro-focused beams of ultrasound energy generate heat in the dermal and subdermal planes of the face and neck. A thermal coagulation phase is then initiated in these focal depths of the skin. Over time, new collagen fibres are built in the skin and existing collagen fibres are remodelled to lift the skin and eliminate wrinkles. One of the benefits of a HIFU facelift is the ability of the technology to address aging in three different planes- superficial dermis(1.5mm); deep dermis (3.0mm); and SMAS (4.5mm) for better lift and wrinkle removal. The micro-focused beams of ultrasound energy also bypass the skin to avoid incisions or downtime.
If you have sagging in your face and neck (e.g. sagging cheeks, laugh lines, jowl lines, poor jawline definition) and fine wrinkles, you are suitable for a HIFU facelift. Patients with mild to moderate severity of sagging are good candidates. If you have severe sagging or skin laxity, you may get better results with combining your HIFU facelift with other modalities of non-surgical face lifts.
To minimise any discomfort, your face is first numbed with numbing cream before starting the HIFU facelift. During the HIFU facelift, an ultrasound gel is applied to your skin. The HIFU handpiece will be placed at precise positions of your face.Using an ultrasound viewer, the doctor adjusts the device to the right settings. High intensity focused energy is then delivered to the dermal and subdermal planes of the face and neck. The entire treatment takes 60-90 minutes.
HIFU facelifts are safe when the treatment is performed by an experienced doctor. To get good results, the treatment has to be customised for each patient by your doctor.
HIFU is generally safe with very low risks of side effects if the treatment is performed by an experienced doctor. More commonly, there may be temporary redness, swelling and discomfort. These reactions are transient and should not last beyond a few days. Very rarely, HIFU may cause temporary paresthesia or numbness.
There may be mild discomfort or warmth for a few seconds as the ultrasound energy is delivered into the skin. This usually occurs over bony prominences or when the deeper layers are addressed.
No, there is no downtime or recovery time for a HIFU facelift. There are no wounds or bruises as compared to a surgical facelift.