HIFU Facelift: Procedure, Side Effects, Downtime

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So you have finally reached that age where symptoms of skin aging have become more noticeable on your face. With tons of aesthetic treatments available promising to return your skin’s condition back to its youthful glow, which of the options is right for you? If the sight of injections, scalpels, and any surgical tool makes you weak in the knees, then this facelift treatment just might be one that you can consider. What is it? It’s none other than HIFU facelift!

Anti Aging process, Asian woman face skin with anti-aging procedures, rejuvenation, lifting, tightening of facial skin, restoration of youthful skin anti-wrinkle. Old and young concept.

What is HIFU facelift?

HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. It is a non-invasive facelift procedure that makes use of an ultrasound device that accurately emits charged energy into the deep layers of the skin, which results in giving the skin a “lift.”

Who are the best candidates for a HIFU treatment?

Patients who have mild to moderate drooping, sagging, and wrinkling skin on the face and neck are the best candidates for a HIFU treatment.

What are the benefits of a HIFU facelift treatment?

The benefits of a HIFU facelift treatment are:

  • Non-invasive or non-surgical facelift procedure
  • Improved skin elasticity and texture
  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines on the face
  • Production of collagen that helps in delaying skin aging
  • Skin tightening

What areas of the face can HIFU treat?

CambridgeMedical states that HIFU treatment is best applied to the following areas where symptoms of skin aging may occur:

  • Cheeks
  • Chin
  • Eyebrows
  • Eyelids
  • Forehead
  • Jawlines
  • Neck
Top view of woman having cosmetic facial high intensity focal ultrasound treatment.

What are the skin problems that a HIFU treatment can effectively address?

HIFU treatment can effectively address the following skin problems on the face and neck:

  • Crow’s feet
  • Double chin
  • Drooping eyebrows
  • Fine wrinkles
  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Frown lines
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Sagging cheeks and jowls

What are the step-by-step procedures involved in a HIFU treatment? 

Prior to your HIFU treatment, it is very important to get a doctor’s consultation. During the consultation, your doctor will assess whether you are a suitable candidate for the treatment. Once this is confirmed, your doctor should be able to determine the areas on your face or neck that needs the treatment.

On the day of the procedure, the first step is to thoroughly cleanse the entire area needing treatment. Next, a numbing cream will be applied onto the treatment area. The cream will take effect after approximately 20 minutes. This will help ease any discomfort that the patient may feel during the procedure. Your doctor will then commence in using the HIFU device, targeting the treatment areas on your face.

How does HIFU treatment work?

The treatment uses a HIFU transducer that generates charged energy into ultrasonic waves. The device responsible for emitting these highly charged energy particles are then directly focused to the treatment area. The thermal energy is then transferred from the device and penetrates the deep layers of the skin. Passing through the superficial dermis (1.5mm depth), the ultrasound energy heats the skin, which then triggers the production of collagen. Lastly, the ultrasound waves make contact with the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) layer (4.5mm depth) causing it to tighten, leading to improved skin laxity, tone, and appearance.

Close up of therapist doing removing sun damage on woman’s forehead with high intensity ultrasound device.

How long will a session of HIFU treatment take?

HIFU treatment falls under the “lunchtime” category of aesthetic treatments. This means that it can be done in under an hour, depending on the breadth of the area that needs treatment. A full face HIFU treatment usually lasts for an hour. An additional 20 to 30 minutes is also needed prior to the procedure for preparation.

Will there be side effects?

There are possible side effects that may happen after a HIFU treatment. These are:

  • Blotching of skin
  • Numbing of skin
  • Slight discomfort or pain
  • Swelling on the treated areas

These side effects are natural as the skin adjusts after the procedure. However, these adverse effects are temporary and should be gone within 2 weeks without any permanent complications.

Is the treatment painful?

The numbing cream applied to the treatment area should minimise the pain or discomfort during the course of the HIFU procedure. You may feel slight pain or hot sensation while the device is in contact with the skin. Pain tolerance differ from each patient, so some may feel slight discomfort when undergoing the treatment and others may not.

How long is the downtime needed after one HIFU treatment?

A HIFU procedure needs minimal downtime. Patients can return to their normal activities right after treatment.

What are aftercare tips following a HIFU treatment?

After a HIFU treatment, be sure to:

  • Avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Avoid other heat treatments over the course of 24 hours
  • Avoid taking anti-coagulant medications as these can hinder the skin’s recovery
  • Use unscented cleansers on the treated area
  • Put on sunblock
  • Increase water intake
  • Apply a gentle moisturiser or hydrating mask to keep the skin hydrated

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