Ultherapy/HIFU Treatments: What You Should Look Out For

Ultherapy/HIFU Treatments

Thinking about an Ultherapy or HIFU treatment? Both are essentially high-intensity focused ultrasound treatments that help to lift, firm and tighten skin, but have some differences. If you’ve been wondering what the differences between Ultherapy and HIFU are, we’ve got you covered. Click here!

If not, we created a list of things to look out for if you’re trying to decide between an Ultherapy or HIFU treatment:

Treatment Providers:

Who will be conducting your treatment? Is it a medically licensed doctor or is it a therapist?

The person who conducts your treatment can have a significant impact on the results that you have, as such ultrasound treatments require extensive anatomical knowledge of your facial structure.

Ultherapy can only be performed by medical doctors, as only they have full knowledge of your facial anatomy so that they know where to direct the ultrasound pulses.

A lot of Ultherapy horror stories that you read about on the Internet are from the United States, where most of the cases are performed by nurses. It is unlikely that nurses underwent the same level of medical training as doctors, and hence are unlikely to have the same deep level of facial anatomical knowledge.


Do clinics follow the complete protocol for Ultherapy as recommended by Ultherapy guidelines? Or do they supplement it with HIFU treatments?

As per the recommended protocol by the creators of Ultherapy, a Full Face Ultherapy treatment (which includes the upper neck) should have about 700+ lines or ultrasound shots delivered into the skin for maximum lifting effect.

As recommended by the creators of Ultherapy, the full protocol needs to be adhered to as this ensures the efficacy of the treatment. The effectiveness of an Ultherapy treatment depends on the total number of thermal coagulation points (i.e. ultrasound shots/lines) delivered into your skin.

Hence, if the full 700+ Ultherapy lines are not delivered into your skin during a single treatment, it defeats the purpose of getting a treatment in the first place.


Does your skin lifting treatment include real-time ultrasound imaging, to allow for doctors to see and aim the ultrasound into the right areas?

Real-time ultrasound imaging – something similar to a pregnancy ultrasound scan – is crucial for skin lifting treatments as the ultrasound shots/lines have to be delivered into precise depths of your skin, be it into the dermis or into the SMAS (the layer of thick tissue that lies between facial skin and deep muscles).

Such real-time ultrasound imaging helps doctors greatly in letting them know precisely where they are targeting, preventing them from hitting bones, which can be uncomfortable for patients.

Ultrasound imaging also helps doctors administer the treatment more safely, especially around the eye area. The skin around the eye tends to be thinner, and there have been cases of vision loss due to the HIFU applicator being placed too close to the eye without any ultrasound imaging aid.

Ultherapy is the only ultrasound skin lifting treatment to have real-time ultrasound imaging.

Scientific Evaluation:

Does the treatment I want have a lot of medical evidence and research to back its efficacy?

Clinical studies and peer-reviewed medical papers about an aesthetic treatment can give you a good idea of the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. The more clinical studies and medical papers a treatment has with positive research results, the more likely it is to be a safe and effective treatment.

Ultherapy has undergone rigorous testing, with 50 clinical studies and 40 peer-published papers, and is FDA-approved for lifting skin on the neck, face, and décolleté. On the other hand, there are many other HIFU systems, mostly from Korea or China.

It’s important to do your research on these as not all have medical research backing them – in some severe cases, patients suffer skin burns due to the HIFU machine’s poor temperature control. So it’s important to do your research on the type of treatment you prefer and whether it’s safe or not!

For more information on Ultherapy, head here for a comprehensive FAQ list. If you’d like to learn more about our Ultherapy services, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at enquire@lsaestheticclinic.com, or visit us at Wisma Atria, Orchard Road. 

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