What Is HIFU?
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound therapy, HIFU, is a non-surgical, non-invasive form of high-energy dermatological treatments. It is suitable for the face, neck and décolletage as well as other areas of the body including the abdomen, legs and buttocks. Using a range of customisable settings, the HIFU treatment can target areas to tighten and lift the skin as well as destroy and reduce fat cells.
How Does HIFU Work?
The high energy ultrasound waves emitted from the HIFU device can penetrate to varying depths of the deep dermal skin layers. Here they can selectively and safely heat cells to up to 75°C. Short bursts of this heat then trigger controlled wounding of target tissues. The subsequent wound healing and tissue regeneration that occurs will then lead to a natural restructuring of the tissue and tissue structures. As a result, the skin gradually becomes firmer, tighter and plumper and a natural lifting effect is achieved.
What Problems Areas Can HIFU Treat?
HIFU can be used on the face and body to combat age-related sagging skin and wrinkles. Excellent results are also achieved for fat reduction and body contouring on areas where stubborn fat-deposits are not responding to diet or exercise.
HIFU And Fat Sculpting
Body sculpting is achieved by the targeted destruction of fat cells in the treatment area. The customisable settings of the HIFU device ensures surrounding tissues are largely unharmed which results in shorter recovery time following treatment. Cellulite and stubborn fat deposits can be targeted and destroyed directly and body firming and contouring achieved.
HIFU And Skin Lifting And Tightening
Whilst not as dramatic as the results achieved with a surgical facelift, HIFU can target areas of the face and neck to provide a subtle lift for those looking to avoid surgery. An immediate tightening of the skin can be felt after the procedure as the collagen fibres shrink and contract. The most benefit will be seen, however, in the months following treatment as the collagen and elastin fibres are produced and skin layers remodelled.
Does HIFU Hurt?
During the HIFU treatment, you may feel some mild discomfort, often as a tingling, stinging or warm sensation, each time the pulse of energy is emitted. The total number of ultrasound pulses varies depending on the area to be treated and the desired result. Treatments typically take anywhere from 10 to 50 minutes depending on the size and number of areas being treated. Local anaesthetic or numbing cream can be applied if required.
What Are The Benefits Of HIFU?
Unlike laser or radiofrequency therapy, which penetrate the skin from the outside in, the energy emitted from the HIFU device projects focused ultrasound pulses directly into the deeper layers of the skin, without any damage to the skin surface. This significantly reduces the downtime of the procedure.
Risks And Contraindications
Compared to other fat removal or deep tissue tightening and lifting procedures, HIFU therapy is a relatively low-risk procedure. Caution must be given when treating areas with little subcutaneous fatty tissue, such as back of the hands, knees etc, to reduce risk of injury. Areas with implants such as pacemakers and breast implants cannot be targeted with HIFU therapy. The HIFU facial treatment is also not suitable for active acne with open wounds or those with a tendency for keloid scarring.