HIFU – High Intensity Focused Ultrasound: Procedure, Benefits, Cost & More

Looking older than you feel?

If you’re curious about what HIFU is, you’re probably at a stage in your life where you feel your appearance may not be what it once was. Your features don’t quite seem to sit how they used to and you’re discovering new lines and creases starting to make an appearance on your once familiar face.

Over time, as life comes at you in so many unexpected ways, it’s easy to neglect yourself to the point where you may now be looking a little older than you would like.

These changes are inevitable and they often add to our character, but sometimes it’s ok to postpone them for a few years in order to take back some of the lost time we would all love to have back.

And treating yourself to a healthier-looking, more contoured face is the perfect place to start.

You’re only as young as you feel, and if you feel younger than you look, then treatments such as our High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy will see to it that your appearance matches your youthful spirit.

What is HIFU Treatment?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a trending non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that was initially used for treating tumours but has fairly recently become a popular cosmetic treatment.

The first use of HIFU for cosmetic purposes was in 2008. Since then it has steadily become increasingly recognised as a safer, less intrusive alternative to surgical facelifts.

How it works.

HIFU releases warm pulses of high-intensity, focused ultrasound energy under the surface of the skin, particularly targeting the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System), the deep tissue layer below the dermis, causing the muscle layer to contract. The SMAS is the same layer of tissue that plastic surgeons tighten when performing a traditional surgical facelift.

The ultrasound generates safe thermal damage at the cellular level to the layers beneath the surface of the skin which as a result stimulates the body’s natural development of collagen.

Why is collagen production important?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is essential in the creation of connective tissue. This protein is a primary component of muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons and of course, skin.

Collagen makes up 80% of your skin’s composition and is the protein that firms and tightens skin giving your face definition and a more youthful appearance.

As we age, our bodies produce about 1% less collagen per year and our elastin fibres thin out causing the skin to sag and wrinkle. HIFU treatment is designed to encourage the natural production of collagen resulting in improved skin elasticity, skin texture and the stretching out of those wrinkles.

Want to know more? Call us today to make an appointment for a complimentary consult with one of our aesthetics experts. 

What’s the Procedure Like?

Because HIFU is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require injections or surgery, the procedure is uncomplicated and relatively quick depending on how many areas of your face you want to target.

How do I prepare?

No special preparation is needed other than to make sure your face is make-up free and that you don’t have any pre-existing lesions, skin infections or bruising in the areas being treated.

Is HIFU painful?

HIFU is a relatively painless procedure with some patients claiming it feels similar to laser hair removal. You may feel a slight, stinging sensation but overall the treatment is not painful.

You might also experience some slight swelling and redness after the HIFU treatment but typically patients have little or no negative after-effects.

What about aftercare?

  • You are encouraged to avoid direct sunlight to the treated area as the affected area can be sensitive to UV rays.
  • Avoiding alcohol is also recommended because alcohol lowers blood pressure minimising much-needed blood flow to the treated areas. Additionally, alcohol puts an extra load on your liver which is needed to break down the inactivated fat. Drink a lot more water instead.
  • Avoid hot water on your face as your skin can be quite sensitive for a while, even if it looks fine.
  • Don’t scratch the affected area even if it has become irritated.

Our experts at Dr Salon will inform you of all the dos and don’ts for you to follow post-HIFU treatment.

How often can I have HIFU treatment?

Depending on what areas you are targeting and how advanced your skin laxity is, the frequency of HIFU treatment can vary.

People with mild to moderate skin laxity will generally see results in a shorter time period and will only require 1 to 2 sessions over a span of 12 to 18 months. Those with advanced skin sagging may need more than 2 sessions to get the results they desire.

Typically, collagen production can take up to 12 weeks so results can vary depending on how fast your body produces the protein and how much fat reduction is needed.

How will HIFU treatment benefit me?

The benefits are clear. Tighter, younger-looking skin with fewer wrinkles and the obvious boost in self-confidence that you feel as a result.

Depending on what parts of your face you want to target for HIFU treatment, the benefits can vary.

  • Lifting of sagging skin under the neck.
  • Decreasing wrinkles and lines caused by harsh elements.
  • Tightening the jawline for improved definition.
  • Lifting the cheeks and eyelids gives you a fresher and more energetic appearance.
  • Encourages the body’s natural healing process.
  • The results are more natural-looking than a traditional surgical facelift.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, HIFU therapy has some other appealing advantages over surgical facelifts.

  • Cost is much cheaper than a traditional facelift.
  • Treatment is fairly short, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.
  • Relatively painless with minimal, if any side effects.
  • No need for invasive surgical procedures or injections.
  • No downtime. After treatment, you can resume your daily activities.
  • The effects can last anywhere between 12 to 18 months depending on your skin laxity.

How Much Does HIFU Cost?

Depending on how many sections of your facial area you want to target and how advanced your aging signs are will determine the cost and frequency of the treatment.

Ideally, HIFU treatment works best for people in the 40 – 50 year age range or with mild to moderate skin laxity. HIFU works optimally for people who are not at the severe end of the saggy-skin spectrum.

For people with more advanced wrinkles and skin laxity, multiple sessions may be needed. Comparatively, someone with mild to moderate aging signs would most likely only need one session.

Our costs are applied on a case by case basis depending on the quality of your skin and how much work is required.

At Dr Salon, our prices range from anywhere between $350 to $1800 which is highly competitive with Australian industry standards. Make sure you check out our Specials page for our generous deals and packages.

Is HIFU Treatment Safe?

It’s perfectly understandable to question the safety of a procedure that effectively ruptures the cells of your skin with heated, ultrasound pulses. However, the available data and the large majority of client testimonials strongly suggest that HIFU is not only harmless, but the benefits far outweigh any risks.

Added to that, it’s practically painless.

What do the experts say?

A journal published on Dermatologic Surgery’s website after reviewing 231 studies concluded that HIFU treatment is fundamentally safe with minimal adverse effects.

“Ultrasound seems to be an efficacious, effective, and safe modality for correction of skin laxity, lipolysis, and decrease the appearance of cellulite. Adverse effects are minimal including procedural pain, postprocedure erythema, and swelling. Clinicians and patients are both satisfied with results after treatment. In this review, the authors will provide an update on the use of US in the dermatologic field.”

Read more here

Another journal published on the National Library of Medicine website concluded similar results.

“HIFU could be a safe, effective, and non-invasive procedure that can be used to improve facial wrinkles and skin laxity in Asian skin. It is particularly effective for clinical improvement in the jawline, cheek, and perioral areas.”

Read more here

Yes, it’s safe

The general consensus from experts in the medical field is that HIFU is a safe and effective way to correct and improve skin laxity and overall skin quality. Moreover, the studies also show that not only is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound safe but the patients are typically happy with the results.

With a minimal chance of side effects and the non-invasive nature of the procedure, HIFU has become a much more desirable alternative to traditional, surgical facelifts.

At Dr Salon, you have the added assurance that you’re being treated by experienced professionals, making an already safe process even safer.

Low Risk, High Reward

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound therapy has become the preferred method for skin tightening, reducing wrinkles, improving skin tone and texture and enhancing facial definition.

Best of all, the HIFU procedure encourages all of the improvements to occur naturally as opposed to risky and painful, surgical methods.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain with High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound therapy and the testimonials are evidence that HIFU is not only a reliable and successful treatment but also a relatively inexpensive one.

With excellent cost-effectiveness, a high safety rate, quick and painless procedures, minimal downtime and noticeable results, HIFU should be your first option for turning back the clock on your skin.

Want to know more? Call us today to make an appointment for a complimentary consult with one of our aesthetics experts. 

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