HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment which promotes skin tightening, lifting, and contouring, using ultrasound energy to encourage the production of collagen, in turn resulting in firmer, more youthful skin. At Belmore Facial Aesthetics clinic, we are delighted to be offering ULFIT, ‘The World’s First Portable HIFU system for Non-Surgical Face Lifting and Body Contouring.’
HIFU has been around for a while, however, it has not always been used for cosmetic purposes, Initially HIFU was developed as a treatment for cancer. Scientists discovered through this usage that HIFU had a significant lifting and tightening effect on the skin and began working on applying this for cosmetic purposes. The type of ultrasound used during HIFU treatment is different to that used for medical imaging, instead, HIFU utilises high energy waves to target specific areas of the face and body.
HIFU uses focused ultrasound energy to target the layers of skin below the surface. The ultrasound energy works to heat up the tissue, once the cells in each target area reach the desired temperature this causes cellular damage. While this may sound like a bad thing, this damage is what stimulates the cells to begin producing more collagen, providing structure to the skin and improving firmness and elasticity. Our skin is in a constant process of renewal, however, as we age the speed at which this happens begins to decrease, causing the skin to develop visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging. HIFU treatment works in such a way that causes this process to speed up again, improving the firmness of the skin and allowing for a more youthful appearance.
A traditional facelift is a procedure in which a cosmetic surgeon will lift the soft tissues of the face, remove excess skin that is causing the face to look saggy and then drape the skin back over the newly repositioned contours, aiming for the result of a much more youthful appearance. Patients who undergo a traditional facelift will have the treatment carried out under general anaesthetic as there is often a lot of pain associated with this procedure. Traditional facelifts are usually associated with a significant period of recovery time, the risk of side effects can be quite high and they can at times result in an unnatural appearance. HIFU on the other hand, is a natural procedure which leaves patients looking only like a more youthful, refreshed version of themselves.
HIFU is considered a very safe and effective non-invasive procedure for both reducing wrinkles and tightening the skin of the face, and for helping to remove stubborn areas of fat on the body. HIFU is a great alternative for those who prefer a non-surgical option which does not carry the risks and recovery time of a traditional face lift. While HIFU can produce wonderful lifting and tightening results on the face, these should not be confused with traditional face lift results which will obviously be much more dramatic. As with any cosmetic procedure, we must be realistic in how much we can achieve and this treatment will be most suitable for those patients looking for a natural age-appropriate result.
HIFU is a wonderful treatment but as with any cosmetic procedure, there are limitations to its power and certain patients will not be suitable.
HIFU works best on candidates aged between 30-60 with mild to moderate skin laxity. Those with severe skin laxity and sagging may not see noticeable results and treatment in this case may not be recommended.
What makes a good candidate for HIFU:
HIFU is not recommended for the following patients:
Once you have had your initial consultation to confirm suitability for HIFU we will arrange an appointment for you to come back and have the treatment carried out.
Your clinician will explain how the treatment works, what they will be doing and will advise you on what you may feel, they will then usually mark up the area being treated to guide them during the procedure. An ultrasound gel will be applied to the skin and the treatment will begin; this involves passing a hand-held device over the skin several times. Patients have reported feeling some heat and discomfort during treatment, this is not uncommon and should be expected with a treatment of this nature. Unlike other cosmetic procedures there is no real preparation required for HIFU and again, no real recovery time, you can resume most normal daily activities right away. Side effects associated with HIFU are uncommon, but you may experience mild and temporary swelling, redness, bruising or numbness.
For Lifting and tightening:
For fat reduction: