According to Bharat Bhise, invasive facelifts have been replaced by non-surgical treatments like Ultherapy. It is a technology that is mainly used for skin tightening. However, in recent years, HIFU is often marketed as an alternative to Ultherapy. Let’s check out the similarities and differences between these two treatments.

The Differences

1. Both treatments use ultrasound and are non-invasive – As your skin ages, it begins to lose collagen and elastin. This makes the skin sag and creates wrinkles and drooping of the brow area. Previously, people used to opt for facelift surgeries to fix this cosmetic issue.

It involved the use of surgical tools to alter the tissue below the skin and remove excess skin to create a more youthful look. Ultherapy and HIFU(High-intensity focused ultrasound) are non-invasive alternatives to facelift surgery, and both use a very specific type of ultrasound to stimulate collagen in the skin.

2. Collagen stimulation with heat – With both HIFU and Ultherapy, a machine is used to fire very focused spots of ultrasound energy to create tiny thermal coagulation points (TCPs). These TCPs heat up the skin to the therapeutic temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Celsius and cause the collagen to denature and contract. At the same time, it stimulates the creation of new collagen. Through this process of new collagen formation and contraction, the skin tightens over a period of 3 to 6 months after the treatment.   

3. FDA approval – Ultherapy is the only US FDA-approved skin tightening and lifting treatment while HIFU isn’t. However, HIFU is approved by the US FDA equivalent regulatory bodies in Korea, Australia, the EU, Singapore, Taiwan, and a few other countries. While US FDA approval is a stamp of trust, it doesn’t mean that HIFU not having it makes it unsafe. Sometimes, getting US FDA approval is an expensive process that may not be worth it if the market for HIFU isn’t large enough in the US.

4. Imaging – Apart from having US FDA approval, Ultherapy also allows for imaging. That means the machine allows for visualization of the layers of the skin and ensures precision and high accuracy. HIFU doesn’t have imaging and that means it’s more dependent on the therapist’s experience and prediction.

5. Cost – Since Ultherapy allows for visualization and more accuracy, it’s a more tedious and time-consuming process. Doctors have to look at the screen every time before delivering a shot. This takes a lot more concentration and extends the duration of the treatment by a large margin compared to HIFU. That’s why Ultherapy treatments usually take around an hour or more while HIFU treatments average out at around 30 minutes. This also makes Ultherapy treatments more expensive.     


Bharat Bhise suggests that you opt for Ultherapy if you’re trying to get a youthful look. While HIFU is approved by the FDA for cancer and other medical treatment, it isn’t approved for skin tightening. On the other hand, Ultherapy is FDA approved and is more reliable, despite the higher cost.

By Inferno