High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
Ageing catches up to all of us and that means sagging skin, which can give you tired-looking eyes and a droopy chin and neck. If you’re looking for a way to combat these signs of ageing without going under the knife, then High Intensity Focused Ultrasound may be your answer. HIFU is a non-surgical procedure that can effectively eliminate wrinkles, lift and tighten sagging skin of the forehead, brows, eyelids, cheeks, lower face (jawline) and neck and firm up loose skin that occurs after weight loss on the stomach, arms and thighs or after pregnancy.
Ultrasound, the technology behind HIFU, works below the surface of the skin to firm and lift droopy tissues from within. Ulthera (Ultherapy) was first released in 2012 and has been growing in popularity with experts worldwide ever since as an advanced HIFU device for serious treatment of sagging skin. This revolutionary method uses non-invasive ultrasound energy to generate low levels of heat in the targeted skin to promote collagen production and tissue rejuvenation. After a single HIFU treatment, ageing skin begins to transform. In the months following treatment, you’ll notice visibly smoother, firmer, and brighter skin as collagen levels in the dermis are restored. It’s not an instant change, but one that happens gradually yet dramatically over time, for more natural and longer-lasting results.
Ageing skin doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks, or send you into surgery. HIFU can help to reverse the signs of ageing without any invasive procedures and with no downtime. It’s the gentle, natural way to achieve brighter, more open eyes, lifted brows, softened lines and reduced pores. With increased collagen production, your skin will have more elasticity and feel softer and more supple, giving you the youthful look you long for.
What problem areas does HIFU target? What kind of results do you get?
HIFU works from the inside out to address mild to moderate sagging skin, without the use of Botox, fillers or any invasive surgical procedures and requires no downtime. The results will be gradual, but visible: brows are lifted, which in turn reduces excess skin on the eyelids and opens up the eyes for a more refreshed look. Along with the face, double chins and sagging skin on the neck, chest, arms, elbows, tummy, inner thighs and knees can all be firmed and tightened to look smoother and more youthful.
HOW DOES HIFU WORK?
Using ultrasonic energy, HIFU is able to penetrate deep below the surface layer of skin and fat to target connective tissue, a tough layer that supports the neck and facial contours. Unfortunately, as we age connective tissues can lose their firmness and begin to droop, resulting in sagging and wrinkles. With HIFU, that loosened connective tissue can be addressed, resulting in a lift to areas of sagging skin that is similar to what plastic surgeons achieve during facelifts or brow lifts, but in a much less invasive process.
What is unique about this procedure?
HIFU has a couple of truly unique advantages. First, it is the only non-invasive treatment that specifically targets sagging skin from the inside for the same kind of deep correction that could only previously be achieved through cosmetic surgery. Also, it is the only procedure to use ultrasound imaging, allowing us to actually see the layers of tissue we’re targeting during treatment so that the energy can be directed to the specific areas where it will have the most effect.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE LIKE?
Depending on how large an area (or areas) we’re treating, HIFU can take anywhere from approximately 30 minutes to just over an hour. It can be used to target brow droopiness and upper eyelid hooding, lift the jawline and reduce sagging of the jowls and neck. Collagen is stimulated and begins to grow after just one treatment and you may be able to notice results immediately.
Results can vary depending on age, with younger patients likely to have a more dramatic response. The ideal candidate is in their 40s to 50s with good skin elasticity and mild to moderate skin sagging of the neck or eye area. Patients outside this age group or with more compromised skin quality may still benefit from HIFU but often require 2 or 3 treatments before seeing results and should expect less dramatic outcomes.
In most cases, results will occur gradually over a period of two to three months. Clinical trials reported patients seeing significant results with tighter, firmer, more youthful looking skin after 10 months.
Is HIFU surgery?
No, quite the contrary. HIFU is a completely non-invasive way of treating the skin and support layers below it without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin in any way.
Can HIFU replace a face lift?
HIFU is a quick and easy way to “uplift” the skin, but it is not a “face lift.” It isn’t as comprehensive as surgery, but it does offer a viable option for those not ready or willing to undergo a procedure as invasive as a face lift or those trying to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.
How is HIFU different from lasers?
The difference is really quite simple: lasers generally focus on the superficial layers of the skin, addressing fine lines, wrinkles and pigment changes while HIFU concentrates on the deep skin layer and the supporting tissue that provides a foundation for the skin. As you can see then, the two technologies are quite different, but still complementary!
Is HIFU safe?
Ultrasound energy has been used safely in the field of medicine for over 50 years and the HIFU procedure has been proven safe in clinical studies, with tens of thousands of treatments performed worldwide.
How long does the ultrasound treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the area being addressed. A full face treatment can take anywhere from 45-60 minutes, while a partial face or brow lift treatment may take as little as 30 minutes.
Is there any downtime?
Not at all! That’s one of the biggest advantages to HIFU. Because it is an entirely non-invasive procedure, there is absolutely no downtime. That means you can return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take.
Who is a good candidate for HIFU?
HIFU is not a replacement for a surgical face lift, but it is ideal for anyone who wants some lifting but isn’t ready to undertake surgery either mentally, financially or logistically. It is also a perfect alternative for younger people who want to “stay ahead of the game” in terms of aging skin or those looking to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.
With that in mind, the ideal candidate for HIFU is someone with skin that is showing the first signs of losing its firmness, i.e. lowered eyebrow lines or sagging skin on the eyelids. Typically, the best candidates are in their 30's or older and have mild to moderate skin sagging.
BEFORE & AFTERS | (Click image to Zoom)
How long until I see results?
Since the effects of HIFU result from stimulated collagen growth, it may take some time to see the full results as the collagen will not replenish itself instantly. While patients may enjoy some visible results immediately after treatment, it usually takes about 2-3 months to achieve ultimate firming and toning. As collagen growth continues, further improvements can be seen for as much as 9 months following a procedure.
How long do results last?
In most cases, the results of HIFU treatment can last for as long as 1-2 years, depending on the condition of the skin. Because the procedure is non-invasive and requires no downtime follow-up treatments can easily be used to help keep pace with the ageing process.
Will I need more than one treatment?
In most cases, only one treatment is required; however, depending on the overall condition of their skin and how well the ultrasound works to stimulate their collagen-building process, some patients may require more than one treatment.
Will I feel the ultrasound during the treatment?
Yes, you will usually feel tiny amounts of focused ultrasound energy being deposited below the surface of your skin.
What does it feel like?
Patients have reported some minor discomfort while the ultrasound energy is being delivered, but this is temporary and is actually a positive sign that the collagen-building process has begun.
Is HIFU painful?
Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, but Alexia wants to ensure that every patient has the best possible experience. We will consult with you prior to your skin treatment and take every possible step to minimize the temporary discomfort you may feel. Patients typically leave feeling comfortable and excited about the benefits to come!
Are there any side effects?
Side effects are minimal and temporary, requiring no downtime. There may be slight redness for up to an hour or so following the treatment, and a small percentage of clients may have slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to touch. You may also experience a sensation of muscle soreness similar to what you would feel after a workout but that usually resolves quickly.
Pricing will be determined upon detailed consultation. Contact us for further details and pricing.