top of page

HIFU
(High Intensity Focused Ultrasound)

HIFU.jpg

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a global skin rejuvenation treatment which is uses ultrasound technology to send sound waves in lines through every layer of the facial tissue causing trauma and thus a healing response over time. HIFU can firm and tone the epidermis and dermis and tone and tighten the muscle, helping to redefine the facial features and smooth the facial tissues, removing fine lines and wrinkles along with promoting body contouring on areas such as stomach and arms.

Pricing

Body Contouring - 1 area
Eye or Brow Lift
Upper Facelift
Lower Facelift
Full Facelift
Neck lift – £250
Full facelift & Neck

£300
£130
£180
£180
£320
£250
£550

What is HIFU?

HIFU-Body Manual.jpg

HIFU stands for high intensity focused ultrasound and is used as a one off (well every 1-2 years) treatment to firm and lift face and neck skin. It uses ultrasound energy to encourage stimulate natural collagen production, which results in firmer skin and will provide noticeable effects through an ‘ultrasonic facelift’, without making any cuts to the skin. 

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a relatively new cosmetic treatment for skin tightening that some consider a noninvasive and painless replacement for face lifts.

HIFU treatments were first introduced in 2007 and was then approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 for brow lifts. However, it’s only since 2013 that this excellent treatment has been making waves and quickly growing in popularity as an effective non-invasive cosmetic treatment!

HIFU uses focused ultrasound energy to target the layers of skin just below the surface. The ultrasound energy causes the tissue to heat up rapidly. Once the cells in the targeted area reach a certain temperature, they experience cellular damage. While this may seem counterintuitive, the damage actually stimulates the cells to produce more collagen — a protein that provides structure to the skin. 

The increase in collagen results in tighter, firmer skin fewer wrinkles. Since the high-frequency ultrasound beams are focused on a specific tissue site below the skin’s surface, there’s no damage to the upper layers of the skin and adjacent issue. HIFU may not be appropriate for everyone. In general, the procedure works best on people older than 30 with mild-to-moderate skin laxity. 

What areas can HIFU treat?

  • Skin Lifting & Tightening 

  • Skin Rejuvenation

  • Eyebrow lifting 

  • Wrinkles removal 

  • Jawline lifting 

  • Double chin reduction

  • Flabby arms 

  • Bra fat 

  • Flanks 

  • Tummy 

  • Inner thighs

HIFU ADVANTAGES

HIFU has a lot of advantages over conventional treatments. Here, we list some of the most prominent advantages: 

 

  • Significant reduction in visible signs of fine lines and deep wrinkles 

  • Lifts and tightens the skin 

  • Consistency in skin tone 

  • Skin elasticity is vastly noticeable 

  • Reduction in under-eye dark circles 

  • Works effectively in removing post-pregnancy stretch marks 

  • Large pores are eliminated with ease 

  • Improves facial shape and jawline 

  • Effective cure for acne, pimples and blemishes 

  • No anesthesia required 

  • Swift visible results 

  • Relatively painless procedure 

  • Can be used on all types of skin complexions

HIFU uses ultrasound energy to heat cells far beneath the surface of the skin, stimulating the production of more collagen. This increase in collagen, which is the protein responsible for skin elasticity and firmness, results in tighter-looking skin with fewer wrinkles and improved smoothness. 

HIFU might be the newest skin- tightening technology on the block but there are many tried and tested choices available to those seeking youthful, bounce-back skin. Treatments such as Thermage and Fractional RF (radio frequency) are two such options that are popular for their convenience, versatility and long-lasting results.

HIFU-Facial Manual.jpg

Frequently Asked Questions

WHO IS SUITABLE FOR HIFU? 
Anyone with drooping skin or considering a face lift or liposuction but isn't ready for surgery is a good candidate. All Skin types and tones can be treated. There are several conditions that would be contraindicated to HIFu, these are listed below.

  • Open wounds or lesions on the treatment area

  • Severe or cystic acne on the face and/or neck 

  • Pacemakers and electronic device implants in treated area 

  • Heart Conditions 

  • An active systemic or local skin disease that may alter wound healing 

  • Herpes 

  • Autoimmune disease 

  • Diabetes 

  • Epilepsy 

  • Bell’s palsy 

CAN HIFU REPLACE A FACELIFT? 
HiFU treats the deep foundation layer addressed in cosmetic surgery but will not duplicate the results of a surgical facelift. HIFU is a great alternative, however, especially for those not ready for surgery or for those looking to extend the effects of cosmetic surgery. 

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? 

The skin might appear flushed at first, but the redness should disappear within a few hours. Some people experience slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to the touch, but these are temporary in nature. 

Other, less common post-procedural effects may include temporary bruising or numbness on small areas of skin. As with any medical procedure, there is the possibility for other rare effects, which your practitioner will review with you. 

DOES HIFU FACE LIFTING HURT? 

It does not cause major discomfort. You may feel some discomfort, warm or heat sensations or even a slight pain that lasts for a few seconds and only during the pulsation cycle when the ultrasound energy is being applied. This discomfort or sometimes even pain is very brief and a good sign that collagen-building process has begun. The level of discomfort depends on the settings used, the area being treated, and the individual sensitivity. Around the eyes and over any bony prominence tend to be more intense. The neck region seems to be the area that tolerates the HIFU treatment the best. 

We can use a lower energy level and increased number of shots to achieve the desired results with much lower discomfort/pain level. The second factor related to pain/discomfort during HIFU procedure is the type of skin being treated. People with thicker skin or more dense areas will tolerate HIFU treatment very well. 

As with any heat-based cosmetic procedure, there are variable degrees of discomfort associated with HIFU skin tightening. Preoperative planning should include a discussion of the patient’s historical pain tolerance and response to anxiolytic and narcotic pain medications. 

HOW DOES HIFU DIFFER FROM ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT METHODS 

HIFU is a relatively new effective option for skin rejuvenation. Unlike the radiofrequency procedure, which is treating the bulk volume of the skin tissue, HIFU is treating only very small, focalized points deep in the skin. Idea of inducing small skin lesions was previously implemented by fractal laser and needling, but only with the HIFU technology, there is no fear of damaging epidermal skin layer. 

 

HAS HIFU BEEN WELL-STUDIED? 

Although HIFU therapy was FDA cleared for prostate ablation in October 2015, the technology has been around for three decades and has been used to treat prostate cancer since 1995. Several studies have been published on HIFU effectiveness showing men that with low- to moderate-risk disease achieve excellent disease-free rates and excellent negative biopsy rates. The most recent HIFU study shows overall survival five years following the procedure is 97 percent, which is no different than traditional treatments; in addition to excellent long-term survival, it is metastasis-free survival at 97 percent. 

Pre/ Post Procedure

PRE-PROCEDURE 

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) uses safe, time-tested ultrasound energy to lift and tighten the skin naturally— without surgery, needles or downtime. 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR HIFU TREATMENT 

Stop any medications that thin your blood, as bruising is possible. If you are unsure about whether your medications are blood thinners, please review this with your GP prior to your treatment. Over the counter medications like aspirin, daily large dose anti-inflammatories and fish oil supplements may also exacerbate bruising and should be discontinued. 

We highly recommend starting arnica, an oral homeopathic supplement which has been shown to reduce bruising and swelling. You should start 3-5 days prior to the procedure and continue for up to a week if you do experience bruising. Arnica is available at most health food stores. The recommended dose is three sublingual capsules three times daily. 

TREATMENT DAY

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your appointment. 

  • Prior to your treatment photography, will be taken for comparison on your follow up. 

  • Thirty minutes prior to your treatment we recommend that you take 8mg of ibuprofen for pain relief during the session. A single dose like this will not exacerbate your bruising. 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TREATMENT? 
During your treatment a variety of ultrasound transducers (the hand piece which delivers the ultrasound energy) may be used. Each transducer treats different tissue depths, from deep to shallow. The deep transducer is usually applied first, and you will feel more sensation than the shallower transducers. The sensation can be likened to a prickling mild electric pulse – that dissipate immediately. Most clients find the sensation unpleasant but tolerable. There are many adjustments which can be made through the treatment if you find yourself sensitive. Please let your provider know how you are feeling so we can make those adjustments as necessary. 

Some clients experience a toothache type discomfort for several minutes after an area has been treated. The ibuprofen which you take prior to the session will help considerably. 

Immediately after the procedure the treated area may look slightly pink like you have had a facial. Rarely, some spots of bruising may be already visible, but typically bruising is not evident until 2-5 days after the session. 

To minimize risk of bruising we will give you ice packs and recommend icing and holding pressure on your cheeks and jawline for about 1 minute after the session. 

If your forehead was treated you may have a mild headache, stinging, or hair pulling sensation in your scalp following the treatment. When this occurs it usually last less than 24 hours but on rare occasions can continue to be sporadically bothersome for up to a week. 

You may immediately apply makeup following the treatment and there are no post-procedure limitations on activity. 

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER HIFU? 

You can expect none or some of the following symptoms immediately after the procedure. These symptoms may persist for up to four weeks. Most clients have very mild symptoms but, as with any intensive procedure, each client experiences it uniquely. Symptoms always subside over time. There have been no reports of long-lasting complications.

  • The treated area may be slightly pink for up to a few hours.

  • Bruising, swelling and tenderness can occur in the treated area. Bruising may not be evident for several days following the treatment and often is greenish in colour by the time it becomes visible. 

  • Most common areas for bruising are along the jawline and cheekbone. Even without bruising, tenderness to the touch is expected. This is usually most evident along the jawline and cheekbone and most often noted when touching your face, washing or applying makeup. 

  • This will not interfere with eating, talking or moving your facial muscles. Irritation of peripheral sensory or motor nerves is uncommon but can happen. This can result in 

  • temporary patches of decreased sensation or some weakness of facial muscles (usually the muscle which pulls the corner of the mouth downward). When this occurs, it is always temporary and usually resolves within three weeks. 

  • With the exception of possible bruising there is no downtime after your treatment. You will be able to return to your normal daily routine and exercise program immediately after the procedure. 

WHEN DO I EXPECT TO SEE RESULTS? 

There are two phases of correction after HIFU. The first is collagen contracture, which literally is occurring as we perform the procedure. As a result, many patients will appreciate a subtle, but distinct, improvement in their appearance within a few days following the treatment.

 Ultimately the more impressive correction is from collagen stimulation. Your body responds to the pinpoint thermal 
injuries placed in the deep tissue by creating new collagen fibers. Collagen fiber formation can take several months, so the final results from HIFU may take up to 6 months.

AFTERCARE
 
HOW DO I MAXIMISE MY TREATMENT RESULTS? 

Avoid the routine use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and Celebrex for one month. The inflammatory response in your tissue from HIFU works in a positive way to stimulate collagen fiber formation and remodeling.
 
If you are not already on a prescribed skin care program, you may want to discuss this with your therapist at the time of your treatment. Topical prescription skin products can help to stimulate collagen fiber formation through direct action with growth factors and through exfoliation to 
resurface skin. Professional skin care combined with treatments like HIFU can maximize the results you obtain and help to maintain the results. 

Schedule a follow-up medical assessment to review your clinical results and discuss the option of additional treatments to achieve desired outcome for this treatment site and other treatment sites. 

Small and affordable follow up HIFU sessions in targeted areas which need the most work can be very powerful to obtain the best result depending upon the degree of laxity prior to treatment. 

HOW DO I MAINTAIN THE RESULT OF MY HIFU TREATMENT?
Topically applied professional skin care products are the number one way to enhance the result, as well as the duration, of a HIFU treatment. If you haven’t already discussed this with your therapist, we are happy to develop a customized plan for your skin type at the time of your HIFU treatment. 

The new collagen fibers which are formed as a result of the HIFU have a lifespan of 5+ years, however an optimal interval for retreatment will be sooner than that. Depending upon the severity of tissue laxity and your age, follow up treatment intervals will vary but there are two ways to approach maintenance - more frequent small touch ups and less frequent full treatments. 

More frequent small touch up treatments are the best approach for achieving continued, ongoing collagen stimulus as well as cost affordability. Follow up HIFU sessions are charged by the energy usage and therefore can be adapted to fit into most clients’ budgets. Frequency of touch ups will again vary but may be every 4-12 months depending upon the individual’s particular needs. Less frequent full treatments are an alternative.
Recommendations for this approach would be every 1.5 to 2 years depending upon need. 

bottom of page