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HIFU FAQs

Will it hurt?

The procedure can have moments of discomfort but the power is adjusted so it remains within comfortable levels for most people. Some clients may wish to take paracetamol beforehand. 

What will I look like afterwards?

The skin may look slightly red and / or swollen but this wears off quickly. It may feel tingly or tender to the touch. You may feel like you have a bruised jaw. However, these effects usually resolve quickly, within a few hours or days. It is also possible, but less likely,  to develop some bruising due to superficial damage to the blood vessels, but again these are of no consequence and will fade over a few days.

How long does it take to see the results?

Final results can take 3 – 6 months but there is often a noticeable improvement at around 6 weeks.

What areas are suitable to be treated with HIFU?

The most popular area for treatment is the face. However, HIFU is a versatile tool. It can also be used for skin tightening or fat reduction virtually anywhere on the body, but not within the orbit of the eye. The best and most effective treatment for skin tightening within the orbit of the eye is plasma pen.

How long does the treatment last?

The skin tightening aspect of the treatment lasts between 12 months to two years. It tends to last longer on younger people and less time on older people. Results are better and last longer on non smokers and if ladies are older, those taking HRT. The treatment also produces good results on men as men have thicker skins which can be more responsive.

What are the side effects of HIFU treatment?

Typical side effects include redness, swelling and bruising. Temporary numbness is possible but unlikely. The treatment is very safe and for the majority of people there are no side effects of any significance.

I've had Botox / fillers, can I still have HIFU?
HIFU dissolves fillers, so should not be carried out close to areas where fillers have been placed. It can also dissolve threads and hyaluronic acid based skin boosting treatments such as Profhilo or Infini Premium Aquabooster.

HIFU can be carried out after Botox, provided it is at least four weeks since the Botox treatment. Botox can be carried out one week after a HIFU treatment.

Are there any people for whom this treatment is not suitable?

It is not suited to people who have:

  • pacemakers or other implanted electronical devices;
  • muscle wasting diseases including MS; 
  • blood clotting disorders or those taking blood thinners, including aspirin and warfarin
  • had surgery in the area to be treated within the last 12 months
  • metal plates or implants in the area to be treated (dental implants are ok)
Is this treatment safe on darker skins?

Yes.

Are there any clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of this treatment

Yes. Check out this study: Park H, Kim F, Kim L, Bo Y, J Ko, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of wrinkles and skin laxity in seven different facial areas. Ann Dermatol . 2015: 27, 6. 688-693

The treatment has also been approved as safe and effective by the FDA, for brow lifts and to improve lines and wrinkles of the upper chest and neckline (décolletage). It is used “off label” in other areas.

What is the difference between Ultherapy and HIFU?

Ultherapy is the brand name of one of the original companies that made HIFU machines. The treatments are essentially the same.

How does HIFU compare with Pelleve and Endymed?
Hifu versus radiofrequency (endymed, pelleve, thermage) Pelleve and Endymed use Radio Frequency. HIFU is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. Whilst both technologies can improve loose skin, Radio Frequency typically needs a course of treatments whereas HIFU only needs one. In addition, HIFU goes deeper into the skin layers than Radio Frequency, so if your main aim is to improve sagging and jowls around the neck and jawline, HIFU would be the better choice. The SMAS layer, which Pelleve and Endymed donot reach, is what is lifted during a surgical face lift.
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