You’re probably aware of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) as a cosmetic treatment. It’s been popular for over a decade now as a painless, effective and non-invasive treatment for sagging skin, lines and wrinkles.
But did you know HIFU is also responsible for some of the most exciting developments in the treatment of a wide variety of illnesses and conditions? In recent years, HIFU has been trialled in the treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer, with extremely significant results.
It’s also now being used for a wider range of cosmetic treatments, including HIFU body treatment, where ultrasound is used to target fatty areas.
How Does HIFU Work?
A HIFU procedure uses ultrasound (sound frequencies much higher than humans can hear) to target areas beneath the surface of the skin. HIFU technology allows us to focus soundwaves in specific areas, leaving anything outside of the focused area unaffected. Heat is generated, stimulating cellular activity and promoting collagen production, which helps fill out and revitalise the skin around the treated area.
The same technology can be used in a more intensive way during longer treatments to alleviate pain, destroy malignant tissue, or aid the dispersal of chemotherapeutic drugs through affected areas of cancer patients.
Many clinics are also using HIFU to provide more intensive cosmetic treatments, destroying fat cells in different parts of the body.
The History Of HIFU
Ultrasound was first trialled for medical purposes during the 1940s, and became widely used for diagnostic purposes by cardiologists in the early 1950s. Ultrasound scans became widely used for pregnancy examinations in the 1950s, and are still used as a standard procedure in obstetrics to this day.
HIFU, which uses much stronger frequencies in a more focused way to affect bodily tissues, has been used successfully on many occasions since the 1960s, when it was first used to destroy malignant tissues and tumours.
The first medical application of HIFU to be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was the Sonocare CST-100 in 1988. The Sonocare was designed to relieve glaucoma, and has since been replaced by laser eye surgery.
The FDA began approving cosmetic applications of HIFU technology in 2009. Here at Omniya, we use the Perfecte’me system, designed by industry specialist medical engineers to meet UK health and safety standards.
Are There Occurrences Of HIFU Treatment Gone Wrong? Are There Potential Side Effects?
HIFU is an extremely safe and non-invasive procedure. On very rare occasions, some patients have encountered the following side effects;
- Redness/numbness/swelling: Should these symptoms occur, they will subside after several days, leaving only positive results.
- Mild discomfort: Occasionally patients describe a prickling, hot sensation during the treatment.
- Hyper-pigmentation: This extremely rare side-effect can cause the affected area’s pigmentation to become slightly darkened. In order to identify any possibility of this occurring, our clinicians will perform a patch test beforehand just to be sure.
How Can We Help?
We hope that you have found the information contained in this post interesting. There are a lot more posts on the variety of services and conditions we treat and offer at Omniya Clinic, in London.
Have some questions? Why not get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to discuss any questions you have.