L’HIFU (Ultrasons focalisés de haute intensité) ou Ultherapy est une méthode non-invasive de traitement du relâchement cutané.

HIFU - Microfocused ultrasound

HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) or Ultherapy is a non-invasive method of treatment of skin sagging.
This technology uses ultrasound, energy well known in medicine especially in ultrasound and free of harmfulness, to cause a deep tension in the tissues of the face, neck and décolleté, as well as certain areas of the body such as the inside Arms and thighs or the belly and knees.
It is the first non-surgical technique approved by the FDA (North American Food and Drug Administration) in the indication “Lifting of the eyebrow, face and neck”.

WHAT IS THE MODE OF ACTION OF HIFU?

HIFU delivers focused, ie convergent, ultrasound on a target area at a programmed depth to the superficial muscular aponevrotic system (SMAS).

The high power associated with the focusing results in an intense thermal effect (of the order of 64 °), which creates a point of coagulation as would an electric bistoury but without cutaneous effraction. The multiplication of these deep points of coagulation in the treated region entails two physiological phenomena:

1. Cutaneous retraction with an immediate tensor effect: “lift effect”.

2. An intense production of collagen in a second time (between the 2nd and 6th month) leading to a firmness and lasting elasticity.

WHAT IS THE EXPECTATION OF HIFU?

The precise indication is the minimal to moderate relaxation of the face, neck, eyelids and sub-chin area.

These indications can be extended to the neckline and any area of ​​moderate skin relaxation on the body such as the inner side of the arms or thighs, abdominal skin under umbilical without excess fat or knees.

The immediate result is a tighter and firmer skin sensation. This result is visible but moderate, it will increase over time, between the next 2 to 6 months. At the 6th month, we clearly observe this tension and firmness, the oval face is redesigned, the upper eyelid and eyebrow lifted, the neck smoother and firm …

This result is durable up to 3 years, then the effect will fade gradually.

IN PRACTICE, HOW DOES IT WORK?

BEFORE THE MEETING

The patient has a consultation with the doctor to assess the feasibility of the treatment, explain the procedure and make the estimate.
Photographs are produced that will remain in the medical file, these photographs will allow to the objective of the results of the treatment (before / after).

THE DAY OF THE SITTING

The treatment is not photo-sensitizing and can therefore be carried out in all seasons.
The make up is removed and the skin cleaned. It is not necessary to provide eye protection. A premedication is useful 1 hour before the session:

– Analgesic (Paracetamol 1g or Ibuprofen 600mg)
– Relaxing (Lexomil ½ tablet)

The practitioner will draw the contours of the areas to be treated with a dermographic pencil. Then he applies a neutral thin ultrasound gel. The transducer is then placed on the skin by programming the ultrasound mode on the screen of the device. This makes it possible to measure the thickness of the skin at the place to be treated and therefore to choose the corresponding handpiece (1.5 – 3 or 4.5 mm) for the depth of convergence of the ultrasonic beams (at the face ).

Then the processing mode is programmed on the screen and the useful parameters are set. Three parameters can be modified:

1. Intensity (Power) in joules (from 1 to 2)
2. The surface to be treated (Length), ie the length of the line of coagulation points
3. Spacing between each shot, ie between each coagulation point.
We can vary the parameters during the session depending on the area to be treated, the feeling (pain), the condition of the skin …

Finally, the handpiece is applied in contact with the skin and the treatment is carried out by triggering the firing of the ultrasounds by bursts and by moving the handpiece step by step.

It takes 15 minutes to 1 h 30 to carry out the treatment according to the surface to be treated.

Two passages can be made, especially in the most relaxed areas, by changing the handpiece to treat two different planes, one deeper, the other more superficial, and crossing the lines of fire.

AFTER THE MEETING

Transient redness (30 to 60 min.) Is generally observed in the treated area.
There is no visible trace on the surface of the skin and the patient can resume normal social life. Makeup is possible. One feels especially an impression of internal tension of the skin but without pain.

WHAT ARE THE ADVERSE EFFECTS?

DURING THE SITTING

The overall sensation during treatment is comparable to repeated needle strokes. It is a bit unpleasant but bearable.

At times, one can feel a painful echo phenomenon with regard to hard tissues such as the bones (jaws for example) or teeth. This justifies taking analgesics before the session. At this point, the fluence may be reduced somewhat, or the impacts can be spaced or the length of the shots reduced.

AFTER THE MEETING

There is no persistence of a painful phenomenon in the majority of cases.

The skin may be a little red, congestive. It is mainly the feeling of tension that dominates but it is a positive feeling.

In some cases (10-15%), a slight edema and / or some ecchymoses can be observed which disappear within a few days and have no gravity.

WHAT IS THE HIFU PROTOCOL?

It is simple: a session is usually sufficient and the effect can last more than 2 years.

In case of more relaxed skin (the indication being the weak to moderate release), a 2nd session can be programmed at 4 months.

A control visit must be scheduled at 6 months to make pictures and compare with the starting situation.

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