Could non-surgical facelifts replace plastic surgery?
Dr Julie Brooks, PhD, explores the benefits of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) facelifts as an alternative to going under the surgeon's knife.
The pursuit for eternal youth has never been more prevalent. With the life expecting of woman in the UK estimated at 80 years, looking youthful for as long as possible is high on middle-aged women’s agendas. Sadly, being blessed with good skin genes just isn’t enough with such life longevity. Of course, healthy eating, keeping hydrated, exercising daily, and using SPF can help slow down the aging process, but it seems many women want a little extra help.
When we reach the age of 30-40, the skin on the face and neck begins to lose its elasticity and sag. For many years the only way to treat facial skin laxity was by having a surgical facelift. The associated cost, downtime needed for recovery and the anxiety of going under the knife is enough to scare anyone off from having a surgical facelift these days. Especially when there is a possibility of ending up looking like Jackie Stallone.
HIFU non-surgical facelifts
Luckily over the past decade, many new technologies have been pioneered in the aesthetics industry which can treat skin laxity. One treatment which is becoming extremely popular with women in their 40-50's is high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). The rise of HIFU as an alternative to a traditional facelift is due to the procedure being significantly less invasive and thus has fewer associated risks.
Aesthetic professionals have also remarked that HIFU results can be similar to that of a traditional facelift, and the treatment is a fraction of the cost.
HIFU was formally developed in the medical industry to treat localised prostate cancer. Now, the same technology is used as a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment option for skin tightening. It uses ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen production, resulting in a firmer, smoother, and more youthful-looking appearance. As with a surgical facelift, HIFU treats the superficial musculoaponeurotic systems (SMAS). The targeted ultrasound heats the deeper tissue resulting in' micro-injuries, which triggers collagen production as the skin heals. Since the ultrasound energy targets the deeper dermis layers, it bypasses the epidermis causing no visible damage to the skin's surface.
Benefits of HIFU
One of the main benefits of a HIFU non-surgical facelift is that it is a minimally invasive procedure as it does not require incisions or injections. This also means that no downtime or recovery period is required after treatment, and patients can return to their normal activities immediately.
HIFU also offers long-lasting results, with many patients experiencing significant skin tightness and texture improvements for up to two years after treatment. HIFU can be used to treat a variety of facial concerns, including sagging skin (turkey neck, jowls, and eyebrow droops), and wrinkles and fine lines on the face, neck, and chest. Another benefit of HIFU is that the procedure has minimal side effects. Some patients may experience mild redness or swelling immediately after treatment, but these side effects typically resolve within a few hours.
Results are gradual and look more natural
One point to highlight is that the results from HIFU are not instantaneous. In some cases, people will see a ~20% improvement in their skin tone and texture straight after the treatment. Lifting and tightening of the skin continually develops over a 3-month period with enhanced skin radiance. It is recommended that a course of 2-3 treatments is optimal to see the best results. The slow progression of the results also makes it less obvious that a skin tightening procedure has been carried out and the results look more natural.
HIFU is a safe and effective treatment option for those looking to achieve results like a traditional surgical facelift and improve the appearance of their skin without the need for downtime. It can be an especially appealing option for those who are not candidates for surgical procedures due to age or other medical conditions.
If you would like more information on HIFU non-surgical facelifts please email the clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org
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