What is HIFU?
HIFU or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, also called Ultherapy, is the latest alternative to a traditional facelift. At one time, the only way to reach the deeper facial structures and connective tissue was with a surgical knife. Today, ultrasonic sound waves can take us there! HIFU can reach and affect that deep foundation layer of the dermis with no downtime or post procedural recovery. Although ultrasound is considered harmless, when the energy is focused on a specific area, it will pass through the epidermis without damaging it, but it will destroy the underlying tissue.
Doesn't sound so harmless, but, that's actually a good thing when you are dealing with the deeper muscle tissue in the face. Why? Because when the tissue gets stimulated, or broken down, it triggers a regenerative response. In other words, it creates an ideal condition for the collagen to grow. When collagen builds, the skin gets firmer, tighter, and lifted over time. The results show naturally and gradually and continue to improve up to six months after treatment. The final result takes several months to see.
This non-invasive procedure has been proven to slow down the signs of aging and even put it in reverse. The FDA has cleared the HIFU procedure as safe and effective in clinical studies of over 200,000 patients worldwide. The areas that have successfully been improved with the use of HIFU include under eyes, jaw line, cheeks, chin, neck, forehead, decollete and mouth. It has even been shown to improve the skin condition of those with acne.
The HIFU treatment has some level of discomfort, but depending on the technician, a pain reliever can be used. It has been described as having a hot sensation by some. Others report an achy feeling over the bony areas. It is a few seconds long during the application of ultrasonic energy. It is a good sign that the collagen process has started. Usually, the patient returns to their normal activities right away. Some cases may have redness or swelling, but it is mild and temporary. A session could last between 30 and 90 minutes. The treatment generally lasts a year, depending on the patient. Age and the condition of the skin is a factor for the treatment strategy; patients older than 50 benefit from an additional treatment 4-6 months after the initial session. Most times, it only requires a touch up visit after a year. The ideal ages for HIFU is late 30s to early 50s. This is when skin still has some elasticity and is mildly loose.
‘Ultrasound Facelift’ or ‘Ultherapy’ has become one of the most sought after lifting treatments for face and neck. It has been said to reduce the appearance of aging by 4-8 years in just one treatment. This safe non-invasive procedure stimulates the natural collagen production with out the side effects and recovery time of traditional surgery. The results are noticeable and immediate. What's better, they also continue to gradually improve as time goes by. Facial contouring and fine wrinkles are targeted while skin is lifted and rejuvenated.
Prices on HIFU treatments can vary greatly. Generally, you can expect to pay about $2,000 for a full face and neck ... and the neck and jowl line can be about $1,100, while just a brow lift can be about $500 - $600.