When it comes to facelift procedures, Singapore is no stranger to it. Each year, many Singaporeans unhappy with their saggy skin or wrinkles undergo a facelift to fix that problem and gain better confidence with themselves. It’s a quite common procedure and doctors and clinics have a lot of experience in dealing with these cases.
However, a lot of people are afraid or uncomfortable about going under the knife due to various reasons such as health or religion, which is why non-surgical facelift procedures are on the rise. One of these procedures uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology, which is a relatively new treatment that uses ultrasound energy to penetrate the underlying skin layers and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
What is High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)?
HIFU is a cosmetic treatment that uses ultrasound energy for skin tightening. The treatment works by encouraging the production of collagen, which is the protein responsible for keeping the structure of the skin. Our skin naturally produces collagen for this purpose, but when we age, the rate of collagen production slows down and the skin starts to sag and becomes wrinkly, especially on the facial region.
HIFU technology was originally used to treat tumours and has seen its first use for cosmetic reasons around 2008 in the USA. Eventually, HIFU as a facelift procedure has gained popularity particularly to those people who are unsure of surgery and would prefer a less invasive procedure. CambridgeMedical is one of the first skincare clinics that started to offer this non-surgical facelift in Singapore. Their service is called HIFU Plus+ and can be used on both Saggy Cheeks, Neck Eye, Corners Brow Areas and Double chin.
What can HIFU facelift treatment do for patients?
The following are just a few of the things that HIFU facelift treatment can offer for patients:
- reduction of the appearance of wrinkles
- tightening saggy skin on the neck (often called a turkey neck)
- lifting the skin on the eyebrows, eyelids and the cheeks
- smoothening the skin
- enhancing the jawline appearance
What are the differences between HIFU facelift treatment compared to traditional facelift surgery?
Since it is a non-invasive procedure, HIFU facelifts only risks are some mild swelling and redness after the treatment. Compare this with traditional facelift surgery, which can have several complications such as infection, bleeding, blood clots and hair loss at the incision area.
HIFU facelifts also have very little to no downtime after the procedure. Most patients can return to their work immediately after the procedure, unlike traditional facelift surgeries where patients have to take a break of about 2 to 4 weeks for recovery. HIFU facelifts are also less expensive in general compared to traditional facelifts.
One disadvantage of HIFU facelift treatments is that the results generally last shorter compared to the long-term results of facelift surgery. Also, a HIFU facelift treatment may require at least 2 to 3 sessions spaced about 3 months in between to ensure the best results.
Is there any pain or discomfort during a HIFU facelift treatment?
There should be very little to no pain at all during the session. In fact, there is no need for any strong anaesthesia as the most discomfort that patients feel are light electric tingles and a slight prickly feeling. Numbing cream is enough for the procedure and it has been described by patients as very safe, quick and comfortable experience. Expect some redness and swelling immediately after, but this is a perfectly normal occurrence and should disappear in a few days.
How is HIFU facelift treatment done?
Before the treatment, the patient must remove makeup and skincare products. The doctor will then clean the target area and apply a numbing cream to reduce discomfort. A special ultrasound gel is then applied over the area to aid in the treatment. The doctor will then place the HIFU machine on the target area, which is then adjusted to its best settings using an ultrasound viewer.
For about 30 minutes to a little over an hour, the machine delivers ultrasound energy to the target area. Some heat and mild prickly sensations will be felt during this, which tells us that the device is working and is properly applying the ultrasound energy into the skin.
After the treatment, the device is then removed by the doctor. Patients can go back to work or resume their normal activities without any downtime. Some mild swelling and redness may occur in the target area, but this should subside in a few days.
How much does HIFU facelift treatment in Singapore cost?
There are several brands of HIFU machines, as well as different clinics with doctors of varying experience, which all contribute to the costs of undergoing a HIFU facelift treatment. Some HIFU treatment plans only need one session whereas others require at least 3 to 5 in total.
In general, one full treatment plan will cost about $2000 up to $5000 in total regardless of the number of sessions, and the exact cost will depend on various factors.
Is HIFU facelift treatment right for you?
The top calling card of HIFU facelift treatments is that they offer patients a non-invasive alternative to facelift surgery, at a minimal cost and time investment. Although other non-invasive facelift procedures also exist, HIFU is one of the more popular ones and thus, a lot of patients can attest to its effectiveness.
Ultimately, whether or not HIFU facelift treatment is the right treatment for your skin problems depends on you and your doctor. Although this guide may help you in deciding, nothing beats the first-hand opinion of an experienced doctor who has done a preliminary examination of your health. He/she should help you understand the pros and cons of the treatment as well as offer you alternatives.