HIFU Treatment, Face Lift, and Rejuvenation | Costs and Advantages
- 2021-05-09 16:32:20
- by Brilliant Skin Australia
Aging is probably the most natural and expectable phenomenon that happens to all of us. Like it or not, our skin loses its glow and facial wrinkles appear over time, and the mirror will not smile back at us as before. The search for the elixirs of youth and ways to recover our beauty has a very long history. Although scientists have not found a way to delay aging, skin beautification and rejuvenation methods are becoming more advanced. HIFU treatment is among the most effective and safe skin beautification and rejuvenation methods.
What is HIFU Treatment?
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is among the relatively new non-invasive and painless replacements for face lifting and tightening.
HIFU uses ultrasound waves, which are the same waves used in sonography. However, HIFU targets specific skin layers with focused beams of ultrasound energy to encourage the production of collagen fibres. Collagens are responsible to strengthen body tissues, including the skin; therefore, this event causes tighter wrinkle-free skin.
HIFU has been used for many years to treat cancer tumours. However, it was used first in 2008 for cosmetic treatment.
HIFU application for eyebrow lifting was approved by the FDA in 2009. In 2014, the FDA confirmed this method as a way to improve lines and wrinkles of the upper chest and neckline. Since it is a modern treatment, some of its applications have not been confirmed by the FDA; however, there is no evidence indicating the harmful and damaging effects of HIFU applications, as a method safer than cosmetic surgeries.
Although there are scant clinical studies on the HIFU treatment method, a few studies have shown the effectiveness of this technique as a safe and effective way of wrinkle improvement. The positive effects of this treatment appear after few months without the risks associated with surgery.
HIFU device targets those skin layers below the surface with focused beams of ultrasound energy. The ultrasound energy immediately heats up this layer. When the target cells reach a specific temperature, they experience cellular damage. It may seem that this event contrasts our goals, which are the improvement of facial skin quality. Cell damage can encourage the production of collagen proteins. Collagen is responsible to maintain the natural structure of the skin and many other tissues of the body. The increase in collagen causes tighter, firmer skin.
Therefore, an increased level of collagen results in firmer, smoother, and wrinkle-free skin. Since a beam of high-energy ultrasound energy is focused on a specific layer, the layers in the higher
and lower areas are not affected. The muscles, nerves, and other cells are also remained untouched.
Who Benefits from HIFU?
Generally, individuals, aged between 30-75 years, with mild-to-moderate skin laxity who want to delay the aging process of their skin can largely benefit from this method. The main objective of HIFU is to slow down the aging process; therefore, younger clients show a better response to the treatment. Clients over 25 years can also benefit from this method as one of the most effective skin aging prevention techniques.
Individuals, whose skin is damaged by constant exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays or suffer from severe skin laxity, need to have several treatment sessions to achieve the desired results.
Older people with severe skin laxity are typically not good candidates for HIFU and probably need cosmetic surgeries. It is also not useful for individuals with a lesion, infection, cystic acne, and metal implants.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), HIFU and other nonsurgical rejuvenation methods can be good alternatives to facelifts. Since 2008, HIFU has become more popular and has been extensively used in recent years. The use of HIFU treatment increased by 60% in the recent five years.
HIFU has many aesthetic benefits, including:
- Wrinkle reduction
- Tightening sagging skin on the neck and double chin areas, known as turkey neck - Lifting the cheeks and eyebrows
- Enhancing jawline definition
- Tightening and smoothing of facial skin
- Lifting neck and the décolletage
- Correcting the smile lines
- Applicable to all color skins anytime
Advantages of HIFU
HIFU is one of the most advanced non-surgical and non-invasive facelift technique with many advantages, including:
- One to three therapeutic sessions are enough to achieve desired results.
- HIFU results last for about 12 to 18 months.
- Treatment sessions are short between 30 up to 90 minutes.
- HIFU does not require injection and incision to the skin.
- HIFU is a painless technique that does not cause bleeding and does not require wound dressing. HIFU can increase the durability of surgery results.
- HIFU can be accompanied by other therapeutic methods, such as micro-needling.
- HIFU costs are much less than surgical methods.
HIFU Treatment or Facelift?
As compared to facelift surgery, HIFU is more cost-effective and safer. However, its results may not last as long and repeated procedures may be needed. A summary of the major differences between each procedure is provided here. First, look at this comparison at the end of this section to make a good conclusion.
How Invasive Is It?
HIFU is a non-invasive technique, which does not require injection or incision on the skin. In contrast, a facelift is a very invasive procedure, which requires general anesthesia, incision, suture, and dressing.
HIFU Costs in Brilliant Skin Clinic
HIFU costs are far less than lifting. The exact treatment costs depend on the skin condition and the total number of sessions, which is something about $2,100 up to $2,800 on average.
HIFU Recovery Time
There is no downtime, and you can immediately get back to your normal life after the treatment. There is no post-treatment need to use a medicine, ointment, or similar items. Moreover, you can treat your skin as did it before.
In contrast, the facelift is a relatively long surgery that takes between 2-4 hours. The facelift recovery time is between 2-4 weeks. After the surgery, dressing is placed on your head, the drainage of fluid from the surgical site continues for several days, and the sutures are typically removed after one week. Pain, swelling, and bruise are among the common postoperative complications, which may persist for few weeks or even months.
Given previous studies and experiences of clients, almost all individuals receiving HIFU will see their desired outcome after about three months. On the other hand, almost all of those having facelift surgery will see the desired results after one year.
Long-Term Results of HIFU
Although HIFU has more immediate results and far fewer risks, it does not have long-lasting results. The degradation rate of newly produced collagen increases with the skin aging process and the skin returns to its pre-treatment condition, which typically happens almost one year after the treatment. As compared to HIFU, facelift surgery results last longer (12 years, on average). HIFU Results.
Physicians are, generally, recommended to use less-invasive treatments. For example, when a headache can be eased with an acetaminophen tablet, morphine should not be used. Of course, morphine is the most effective pain killer, but it has many side effects, such as addiction. This logic applies to skin beautification and rejuvenation methods. If the aging results are not severe, major surgeries, such as lifting, are not required. The overall cost of undergoing HIFU treatment every year for 12 years is relatively equal to the cost of lifting surgery.
Therefore, while the total costs remain equal, surgical procedure is riskier. Finally, HIFU rejuvenation is based on the natural rejuvenation behavior of the skin. In other words, skin laxity and wrinkles are treated only by stimulating the skin to produce natural body proteins. Therefore, foreign materials are not injected into the body, facial muscles are not paralyzed, and there is no excessive stress from anesthesia, wounds, and sutures.
What Does HIFU Feel Like?
You may slightly feel discomfort. Some patients describe it as tiny electric pulses or a very light prickly sensation. If you are worried about pain, you should know that HIFU is a painless procedure or has very slight pain.
Immediately after the treatment, you may experience mild redness or swelling, which will gradually recede over few hours.
There is no special preparation needed before undergoing a HIFU procedure. All makeup and skincare products should be removed from the target area before having HIFU.
HIFU procedure is done in the following stages:
- Physician or technician cleans the target area.
- A topical anesthetic cream may be applied to the target area.
- The physician or technician applies an ultrasound gel on the skin. This gel is applied like a lubricant in sonography.
- The HIFU device is placed on the skin before starting the treatment.
- Physician or technician adjusts ultrasound waves using the device's monitor. Ultrasound waves are delivered to the target area in short pulses. Each tr treatment session takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
- The feelings of heat and tingling may be experienced while the ultrasound energy is being applied.
- You return to your normal daily activities right away after the procedure.
Number of HIFU Sessions
To achieve the best results, many clinics recommend having three HIFU sessions in the first year. For the next years, one to two sessions per year is recommended. Although the number of sessions depends on the client's skin condition, our experience shows that the aforementioned number of sessions produces the best results.
HIFU Side Effects
All cosmetic treatments for the face and body have probable complications. Nevertheless, the majority of HIFU complications are temporary and mild and the risk of severe complications is very low.
HIFU is considered a very safe method if it is performed by a skilled and experienced technician. Similar to all therapeutic methods, the experience of a physician or technician is a very important factor in preventing side effects and enhancing its effectiveness.
HIFU Complications: Slight redness or swelling.
The best characteristic of this therapeutic method is that you can resume your normal daily activities right away after the procedure. Some slight redness or swelling may occur, which should subside after a few hours. A light tingling sensation may persist for a few weeks. However, these side effects are not annoying.
In rare cases, temporary numbness or bruising may be observed on the target site. Such side effects usually go away within few weeks.