HIFU, short for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, has been present in medicine for over 20 years. Recently, also in aesthetic medicine.
HIFU technology is brilliant in its simplicity. It does not use any complicated materials or phenomena (just air). However, HIFU devices have a rather complicated structure to ensure their proper and safe operation plus the air used must have some unique features. By giving the ultrasonic wave appropriate frequency and intensity, we make the cells vibrate and rub against each other causing the effect of overheating or even controlled burns. The thermal effect appears at a given depth, which can be selected. As we very well know, controlled heating of the skin stimulates its natural regeneration and shortening of collagen fibers. This way, the skin gets a better tension.
HIFU devices used in aesthetic medicine are equipped with several heads that can send energy to a depth of 1.5mm, 3mm or 4.5mm, and even deeper. Your doctor may use them as needed.
The unique feature of HIFU is that it works very deeply and at certain points -no other procedure is able to heat the tissue to a depth of 4.5mm. Deeper impact becomes dangerous because nerves and blood vessels run nearby. That is why it is so important for the procedure to be performed by an experienced and qualified specialist.
Importantly, HIFU requires no downtime. Concentrated ultrasounds pass through the epidermis and accumulate at one point, deep in the skin. The top skin layer remains intact –there is no tissue healing, scars and postoperative discolorations as a result.
HIFU is an effective lifting method and there are not many of them. It is perfect for sharpening the contours of the jaw, raising “hamster” cheeks or eyebrows. It’s also great for the neck. HIFU is also getting more and more popular for the entire body lifting. However, there are better methods for wrinkles or flabby skin.
The effects can be seen immediately after the procedure. For the complete result of the facelift, in the form of a permanent change in the face shape or cheek tension, you have to wait from several months upto half a year.
The effects of the HIFU treatment
- face and neck lifting
- lifting of drooping eyelids
- alignment of facial asymmetry
- improving the proportion and shape of the face
- improvement of skin firmness and elasticity
- improvement of skin density
- increase in facial volume
- stimulation of collagen and elastin synthesis
- skin rejuvenation
- prevention of aging, especially around the eyes, middle and lower face
- drooping skin on the face
- loss of face volume / oval
- decrease in skin density
- reduction of wrinkles and furrows
- double chin
- “hamster” cheeks
- drooping eyelids
- facial asymmetries
- wrong proportions and face shape
- loss of body firmness, e.g. abdomen, arms
- sharpening facial contours, e.g. marking the jaw line
- metal implants in the treatment area (on the cheeks); dental implants are not a contraindication
- skin infections -viral, bacterial, fungal diseases
- skin allergies in the treatment area
- active skin lesions (e.g. psoriasis, lichen planus, seborrheic dermatitis)
- open wounds in the treatment area
- acute systemic infections
- isotretinoin based anti-acne therapy (minimum 3-month break from treatment termination)
- steroid therapy
- anticoagulant therapy
- circulatory disorders
- tendency to form scars and keloids
Frequency and number of treatments
The frequency and number of treatments depends on the type of skin, the severity of the problem to be corrected and the expected effects by the patient. 1 to 3 treatments at intervals of 3-4 months are advised. The effect can be seen immediately after the first treatment, but you need to wait from several months up to half a year for the full results.
Advantages of the procedure
- no age restrictions
- safe method if performed by a qualified specialist
- no recovery period
- do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), especially ibuprofen and Nurofen
- do not heat up the treated area strongly for 2-3 days (sauna, hot baths, sun, solarium)
- avoid strenuous exercise for a week after procedure
Expected postoperative symptoms
Undesirable postoperative symptoms
Recommended complementary treatments
- ablative fractional laserfractional microneedle radiofrequency
Duration of the procedure
- 15-30 minutes for one treatment area, e.g. cheeks