Ultrasonic non-surgical facelift: HIFU SMAS-LIFTING

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 17.10.2021

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Among the anti-aging techniques, ultrasonic facelift is different in that it is able to influence the deep layers of soft tissues. The effect is non-traumatic and safe, thanks to the properties of a special ultrasonic device. [1]As a result, the shape is corrected and a rejuvenating effect is visually observed, which tends to accumulate. What are the advantages of the new technique?

An ultrasonic laser is understood to mean devices that emit pulsed ultrasonic waves. For aesthetic purposes, they are used for non-surgical rejuvenation of the skin. The principle of operation is as follows.

  • A high-intensity focused ultrasound beam acts locally on the SMAS layer, which lies between the musculature and connective tissue.

Due to this effect, at a depth of 3–4.5 mm, thermocoagulation points appear, merging into lines. The layer already mentioned is shrinking and enticing adjacent tissues. Subsequently, renewal mechanisms are launched, that is, new cells of collagen and elastin, connective tissue, are formed. This is how ultrasonic facelift is performed.

On the market of cosmetology equipment offer several options for ultrasound equipment designed to tighten the skin.

  • Ulthera with US scanner (scanner increases security);
  • Korean with Doublo scanner and Hipro without scanner;
  • Chinese

Experts have noted an increase in requests for ultrasonic tightening in many countries around the world. This is facilitated by the completion of the certification process of this methodology by the US authorities; HIFU was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 for use in facelifting. [2] According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), in 2017 the number of face-lifts among women decreased by 44%. And among men, the number of facelift procedures increased by more than 25%. [3]

Indications for the procedure

Ultrasonic face lift provides an effect on the chin, eyelids, neck, body. It helps level the contour and relief, eliminate flabbiness and acne, eliminate various age-related defects. To avoid visual contrast, the face and neck are treated simultaneously. 

Indications for carrying out an ultrasonic non-surgical facelift:

  • drooping cheeks;
  • flabbiness, fading;
  • double chin;
  • ptosis of the lips and eyelids.

The procedure not only treats, but also serves as a preventative, if applied at the first symptoms of wilting. But usually ultrasound is not prescribed before 40 years and later 50. It is at this age that ultrasound equipment is most effective. True, much depends on the individual characteristics of each person. 

When conducting an ultrasonic facelift, high-frequency ultrasonic waves are used, which are emitted by special equipment. For the treatment of problem areas use special nozzles that produce ultrasonic pulses. A composition enriched with vitamins and minerals is applied to the skin, which promotes the penetration of vibrations to the required depth.

  • During ultrasound lifting the patient feels tingling, soft heat. The specialist processes one by one, then the other half of the face. Usually the difference in favor of the treated side can be seen immediately.

Many people choose ultrasound for a single reason: this procedure is minimally invasive. But this series can be continued: non-painful, does not require anesthesia and strict conditions of rehabilitation. For these reasons, the procedure is available even to people with certain health problems, who are contraindicated in operational methods.

  • After the procedure, most of the treated people noted only transient light erythema and edema.  [4]

They pass independently in certain terms, not exceeding weeks. Sometimes it can increase the sensitivity of the dermis, if you touch it with your hands.

If there are other troubles, such as headache, loss of sensitivity, nausea, severe redness over the entire area of the face, then you should contact the specialist who performed the procedure.


Probably everyone at least once underwent an ultrasound and has a clue how the device works and what the specialist sees at the monitor. When performing an ultrasonic facelift, the beautician sees all the details on the screen, whether the ultrasound works well and what it does.[5]

  • Very much depends on the competence of the cosmetologist; in particular, his knowledge of anatomy and masterly possession of the ultrasound apparatus are crucial.

During the interview, the doctor finds out if there are any contraindications. Especially to prepare the patient does not have to. It is enough to be healthy and wash your face with water. In the process of preparation using a neutral gel and a disinfectant drug. The gel relieves pain and provides a secure fit to the skin.

Skin type, by the way, does not matter for the procedure. Location values on which it is impossible to apply ultrasound matter. To avoid mistakes, carry out preliminary actions: they draw a grid with marks on the face, where the vessels and nerves are located. Impulses are not allowed on them.

Interestingly, in some places the result is immediately visible. For example, in the eye area. Experienced specialists, having processed one eye, offer the patient to see the difference, and only then continue the procedure. Depending on the situation, the processing of ultrasound lasts from 15 minutes to 2 hours. After its completion, a sedative is applied to the skin.

The maximum effect occurs in six months. All this time, collagen is actively synthesized, launched by ultrasound, the skin acquires a good tone and visibly tightened. Due to the gradual process of rejuvenation looks natural, what pleases patients, and it is not surprising acquaintances and colleagues.

Technique of the ultrasonic facelift

For the procedure, use the device with special settings that produce the effect in depth without damaging the skin surface. To date, use several devices with a similar principle of action. Risks of injury or infection of the dermis in all cases are completely excluded.

  • The action takes place in such a way that ultrasonic waves penetrate deep tissues and cause their contraction. The result is an instant pull-up of the treated area.

Ultrasonic face lift stimulates the synthesis of elastic and collagen fibers, which are the framework for the facial contour. It is important that the process does not stop after exposure to ultrasound, and lasts for several months. Due to this, the effect of rejuvenation gradually increases and looks quite natural.

The technique of conducting consists of several stages. First, draw a grid on the face and divide into zones. This is necessary to identify problem areas that should be affected by the ultrasound machine. Then an anesthetic gel is applied to the surface, so that the nozzle slides better and the tissues are clearly visible. The depth of penetration of the beam - 5 mm. 

  • The doctor works at the computer, thanks to which he has the ability to super-accurately influence patient locations without affecting healthy ones.

Success depends on the qualification of the specialist. The procedure takes less than an hour and does not cause discomfort to patients. They feel warm, delicate tingling, tightening of the skin. The effect of one course lasts several years (up to 8). The age of potential patients does not exceed 50 years. [6]

Smas lifting

Deciphering the English abbreviation SMAS is a superficial musculoaponeurotic system. This difficult concept for the layman can be explained in simple terms.

  • All layers of the dermis together with the facial muscles seem to be stitched in some places and form a single system with each other. When muscle contraction pulls the skin, changing the expression of the face.

Such a structure has both a plus and a minus. Plus that provides a full mimic variety; minus - the work of muscles stretches the skin, and since the SMAS is not attached to the skull, the whole system is exposed to gravity. The inevitable result is sagging and the need for Smas lifting, which is considered a painless alternative to plastic surgery. [7], [8]Ultrasound penetrates much deeper than other methods (5mm vs. 1.5mm). This procedure rejuvenates, but does not change the appearance.

  • Smas lifting is effective in the presence of age-related changes of medium intensity, in people of standard build.

With increased fullness or thinness, the procedure does not bring the desired results. How long the result will last depends on both age and genetic features. In order to prolong the beauty, after lifting, cosmetologists suggest making  rejuvenating injectionsmesotherapymassages, using quality cosmetics in everyday care.


The main advantage of the ultrasonic facelift is that the rejuvenating procedure from the field of plastic surgery was transferred to the sphere of therapeutic cosmetology. And now it is used even by those who feared surgery, threads, injections and the risks associated with such techniques. HIFU SMAS-LIFTING face lift is a safe alternative for this category of patients. 

  • This is a unique technology acting not on the skin, but on the muscle-aponeurotic layer below.

Specialist conducts apparatus on pre-marked lines. The device, equipped with two sensors, provides the ability to influence ultrasound on two levels of soft tissue. At the same time on each of them there are parallel located dotted lines formed from points of thermoregulation. The resulting mesh and serves as an effective lifting frame for the face.

HIFU SMAS lift performs all tasks visually rejuvenating the face: removes sagging on the chin and neck, aligns the contour, improves tone, reduces the rate of fading. It is used in other problem areas: on the inside of the thighs, abdomen, above the knees, and so on. High-intensity focused ultrasound is effectively used for body correction, skin tightening, removal of adipose tissue reserves by ablation.[9]

Facial procedures are held once, then enjoy the increasing effect. The body applies a course of procedures. Rehabilitation is almost not required, and a noticeable result lasts one to one and a half years.

Doublo ultrasonic facelift

The device Doublo, designed for ultrasonic face lift, thermally affects the collagen fibers, causing their reduction. That, in turn, contributes to the formation of certain lines of tension of all skin-muscular layers. Due to this action of ultrasound, fast visible lifting changes are observed.[10]

Doublo's ultrasonic face lift is:

  • procedure without long preparation and strict rehabilitation;
  • a toned face without bryley and ptosis;
  • flattened surface;
  • improved skin quality;
  • lasting effect for 5–8 years.

According to experienced experts, the technique is particularly effective for those who have a little excess skin, and who have not yet shown plastic, and other hardware methods do not give the desired result. Repeat the procedure recommended and those who did the first operation 5 or more years ago.

  • Ultrasound waves are guided exactly along the lines of previously made markings. A special indicator determines how deep the SMAS is.

The face seems to be “stitched” with a beam of ultrasound, but the patient does not feel any pain or other discomfort. The entire musculo-cutaneous complex of the face is lifted under the influence of an ultrasound beam, so the skin is leveled and visually rejuvenated.

Doublo technology is known for the fact that it is practically not associated with risks or complications in the form of burns and prolonged edema. Therefore, a week after the operation, you can go out to people and receive guests yourself.

Ultrasonic facelift Altera (Ulthera)

If many cosmetic manipulations simply level the skin and slightly increase its elasticity, then the ultrasonic face lift “digs deeper”. The most modern ultrasonic lifting devices are equipped with computer programs that can accurately determine the thickness of each layer of skin and subcutaneous structural elements. The doctor chooses the optimal mode to get the maximum result. Preparation is simple and is carried out immediately before the procedure. 

  • The device for ultrasonic facelift Altera was created in the United States and immediately recognized by experts as a breakthrough in the field of hardware technology.

They note that today the system has no analogues. The action is based on the fact that ultrasonic waves are focused on the deep layer, as a result of which it heats up. Muscles are dotted and tighten the entire facial frame.

The device tightens absolutely all problem areas of the face and neck, without the risk of skin damage and unwanted effects. It works even with the perioral zone, which is the most difficult for lifting. At the same time stimulates the production of collagen cells. 

The advantage is that the technology is compatible with other procedures, and the rehabilitation period is very short and lax. The improvement is noticeable from the first time, and only sometimes a second correction is needed (after three months).

Contraindications to the procedure

You can not think that ultrasonic facelift is useful to everyone. There are contraindications to conduct, associated with the condition of the skin or diseases, such as:

  • damage to the integrity of the surface;
  • dermatological and cardiac pathologies;
  • oncology;
  • hypersensitivity;
  • herpes;
  • diabetes;
  • the presence of metal implants in the facial and cervical areas;
  • wearing a pacemaker;
  • young age;
  • pregnancy.

Probable contraindications set during an interview with a doctor. The patient should be frank and not forget to inform him about all previous cosmetic procedures to which he has undergone.[11]

Consequences after the procedure

The positive effects after the procedure are noticeable over time, as the regenerated tissues regenerate. Usually this period is from 20 days to 1.5 months, and the cumulative effect increases to six months. Improvements that patients conceived that lasted up to one year included less sagging of the skin (79%), a reduction in wrinkles (58%), and a smoother skin texture (47%).[12]

A slight redness after the ultrasonic facelift passes by itself, in the coming hours. Edema - a few days later. 

Complications after the procedure

During an ultrasonic face lift, there are real risks of affecting the nerve endings that extend to the central nervous system. Complications after the procedure are manifested in the form of extensive hematomas, changes in the contour and familiar features of the face.[13]

  • Anxiety should cause such phenomena as nausea, feeling unwell, loss of skin sensitivity in the treatment area, persistent hyperemia, scar formation.

In the presence of such troubles, it is necessary to make a visit to the clinic, where an ultrasonic manipulation was done, and tell the problem to specialists.

You also can not be tolerated if during the procedure there is a growing pain. This can be dangerous due to an internal burn that causes pain.[14]

A complication is the absence of a pronounced result and suggest statistics that this happens in 10% of cases.

Care after the procedure

Special care and rehabilitation after the procedure is not required. It is enough to comply with some restrictions regarding temperature. So, after an ultrasonic facelift for 3–5 days you cannot use hot water to wash, go to the sauna, heat the skin. Under the ban peeling, overwork, sunbathing.


Most women speak positively of the procedure, as justified their hopes. According to doctors, sometimes the effect is noticeable immediately, and in some cases - after a few weeks or even months. This is normal and is associated with the individual characteristics of the patient.

Today, salons and clinics offer a variety of ways to rejuvenate, without exaggeration for all tastes and wallets. Ultrasonic facelift is suitable for those who are not morally ready to deal with plastic surgeons, but are sufficiently prosperous to visit institutions of this kind. The procedure also attracts by the fact that it does not require either lengthy preparation or rehabilitation with a number of conditions. The result is visible immediately and continues to increase with time.

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