Ultherapy vs HIFU Machines – Which Works Better?

Employing ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin on the face remains one of the most effective non-invasive treatment to give you a V-shaped face. The technology called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, commonly known as HIFU, is a technological breakthrough, offering people a non-invasive option to a surgical face lift.

HIFU is in its early stages of medical applications that are used worldwide to treat a range of disorders. For example, in October 2004, HIFU technology was first approved for the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids by FDA. Much later in 2015, FDA approved two HIFU devices for the ablation of prostate tissue. Although HIFU has been used in various therapeutic medical applications such as cancer treatment, cysts and tumors removal, and a wide range of other medical conditions, many people probably refer to it as a treatment to tighten and tone the skin for cosmetic purposes.

Many people have asked – What is the difference between HIFU and Ultherapy? Why is HIFU a fraction of the price of Ultherapy? Does it work as well as Ultherapy? 

Here we bring you some facts about the HIFU and Ultherapy so that you will hopefully make a more informed decision when you choose between Ultherapy and HIFU treatment.

What Is The Difference Between HIFU and Ultherapy?

HIFU is usually referred to a medical technology that uses an acoustic lens to concentrate multiple beams of ultrasound on the targeted areas. The beams pass through tissues and the energy transmitted have useful thermal and mechanical effects on the deeper layers of the skin. HIFU is typically performed with real-time imaging via ultrasound so that the doctor is able to identify the areas that require treatment.

Ultherapy is a brand of a HIFU machine that is used worldwide to counteract the effects of gravity on the skin – non-surgically. Ultherapy is the only FDA-approved HIFU machine that lifts and tightens the neck, chin and brow, and improves lines and wrinkles on the chest. Ultherapy promises the following capabilites:

  • DEPTH Treats tissue at 3 layers – 1.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.5mm.
  • TEMPERATURE Consistently hears tissue to 60-70°C, optimal for stimulating neocollagenesis.
  • PRECISION Precisely spaced and consistently placed coagulation points promote healing and protect healthy skin.
  • IMAGING Patented DeepSEE visualisation technology lets you see and treat in real time.
  • RESULTS Effectively lift from the inside out.

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After gathering feedback from patients and reading studies (or lack thereof) of other HIFU machines, we made these observations:

  • DEPTH Unable to consistently heat at 3 layers – i.e. 1.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.5mm. Too shallow may cause burns and too deep can reach the bone and it can be extremely painful and no neocollagenesis occurs.
  • TEMPERATURE Unable to substantiate with studies that it can heat tissue consistently to 60-70°C although manufacturers claimed that their machines can.
  • PRECISION No evidence to support the claim that it can precisely target and effectively treat the tissue under the skin.
  • IMAGING No real time imaging provided. Decreased safety and potentially inconsistent results, leading to reduced efficacy.
  • RESULTS Unconfirmed. No supporting publication on desired outcome.

So Which Is Better?

The efficacy and safety of Ultherapy has been demonstrated in several clinic studies. Ultherapy is FDA-cleared for 4 indications i.e. lifting of the brow, submental (jawline), DEEPSEE™ Visualisation and décolleté.

Another important differentiating factor is that Ultherapy is supported by over 110 studies and research papers (60 peer-renewed papers and 50 clinical studies). To date, there has been more than 800,000 treatments with Ultherapy globally.

Although the cost of treatment using Ultherapy can be two or three times more costly than a HIFU machine, you are guaranteed that the treatment is carried out using controlled parameters, delivering only the best, effective results you deserve.

The next time you want to consider a skin lifting treatment using a HIFU machine, make sure you choose a clinic that uses Ultherapy. Request to see the certificate of authenticity that the vendor provides to every clinic.

4 Responses

    1. DB

      @SuSU; In Southern California (Los Angeles County), Dr. Ava Shamban and Dr. Jason Emer are two doctors that employ Ultherapy.

      Hope this helps.

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