There is an increasing demand for non-surgical facial rejuvenation and microfocused ultrasound (MFU) has emerged as one of the effective and safe technologies for tightening of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. This is a popularly requested procedure for rejuvenation. MFU skin tightening is an ambulatory procedure performed under local anesethesia nerve block with intravenous sedation for optimal effect.
MFU uses microfocused sound waves that generate vibration and heat at specific points in tissue. This creates discrete areas of controlled thermal injury zones at predetermined depths, leaving the surrounding tissue undamaged. At these areas of thermal injury, there is contraction of collagen fibers followed by eventual resorption, and stimulation of new collagen production. MFU is able to target deeper tissue without causing heat injury to more superficial tissue. Histologic studies show that at two months after treatment, there is a 24% increase in collagen in the reticular dermis, an increase in dermal thickness, and reorganization of elastin fibers.
Individuals with mild degree of skin and muscle laxity and good skin quality are ideal candidates for MFU brow lift. These are usually individuals in their thirties or early forties.
The following conditions may be treated with high degree of satisfaction:
The most extensively studied MFU device is the Ulthera (Ultherapy) system, which was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2009 for non-surgical skin tightening. Delivering effective and medically-evidenced rejuvenation is one of our central tenets at Picasso Plastic Surgery. The Ulthera platform permits delivery of MFU at various pre-set depths, 1.5 mm to target superficial dermis, 3.0 mm to target the deep dermis and subcutaneous layer, and 4.5 mm to target the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS), or the muscle layer of the face. Tightening the soft tissue at the different depths is an effective method of achieving long-lasting improvement that is not obtained by many other platforms.
Effective MFU treatment requires repeated delivery of high doses of energy, which may sometimes render the treatment slightly painful. Utilizing our detailed knowledge of anatomy, Ultherapy treatments are performed under regional nerve blocks with local anesthesia for maximal comfort, with an additional option for intravenous sedation if individuals request. This allows individuals to tolerate higher doses of treatment to obtain a visible clinical effect in a safe and comfortable manner. Individuals who do not receive optimal analgesia often receive suboptimal treatment doses, and suboptimal results.
The effects of MFU may be observed immediately following the procedure. The treated areas undergo recovery, remodeling, continued collagen production, and tightening even after conclusion of the procedure. There is continued improvement up to about 3 months post-procedure. In most cases, the effects are sustained for 6 to 9 months, and repeat treatment is required to maintain the result.
There are no wounds, and no special post-procedural care is required. Individuals may resume their usual activities following the procedure.
Many devices are marketed as non-surgical alternative to facelifts. Facial aging is a complex, multifactorial process involving loosening of the facial skin and muscle, loss of fat from the superficial and deep facial fat compartments and changes in the bony skeleton. MFU tightening tightens the skin and muscle to a modest degree but does not reverse the other processes involved in aging. Other treatment modalities, including surgery, are required to comprehensively and harmoniously reverse all the factors contributing to facial aging.