Dr Julia Sen, Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon
    Dr Julia Sen, Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon

      HIFU

      What is HIFU?

      High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is an FDA approved non-surgical treatment which delivers energy to the deep levels of the skin and underlying tissue, creating heat. The heat results in the breakdown of the target tissues, stimulating a repair response in which new collagen is formed. The new collagen takes several months to generate and produce the final results. It is safe to repeat the procedure after this time, where indicated. The effect of HIFU is lifting and tightening; it has been referred to as a “non-surgical facelift”; but is much less invasive than surgery, does not require anaesthetic and can be completed in the clinic in less than an hour. The effects are less dramatic than surgery, as are the risks and there is little or no recovery time. It is most effective in people who have early to moderate signs of ageing rather than those with advanced laxity. The results last one to two years depending on individual and lifestyle factors.

      HIFU technology was initially developed for the treatment of prostate cancer. Subsequently, it achieved FDA approval for non-surgical brow lifting and treatment of wrinkles of the décolletage and neck. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have reported a 65% increase in the number of non-surgical facelifting procedures such as HIFU between 2012 and 2017.

      HIFU can be used alone or in combination with other therapies to

      Improve jawline contour
      Tighten skin on the neck & décolletage
      Lift eyelids/eyebrows
      Smooth facial wrinkles
      Reduce appearance of nasolabial folds
      The treatment is delivered in the clinic by application of the device handpiece to clean skin using a gel to help transmission of the energy. The heat created can be felt during application and may at times be uncomfortable. Taking a simple painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen 30 minutes before the procedure may help to reduce this.

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