Ultrasound Therapy for Cosmetic purposes

ULTRASOUND THERAPY


There are numerous exciting new applications of ultrasound therapy in cosmetic surgery. Ultrasound has been used for cosmetic purposes since around the early 1980's. Widespread therapeutic usage, safety, precise control and excellent, predictable results have made ultrasound an important addition to cosmetic surgery practices. New and current uses of ultrasound include facial and body skin rejuvenating treatments, reduction of stretch marks, treatment of contracture and scar tissue such as around breast implants, and the pre- and post-operative treatment of plastic surgery patients to accelerate healing and recovery after procedures such as face lifts, tummy tuck, and liposuction. Ultrasound applied over certain creams contributes to greater effectiveness through deeper and more thorough penetration of the products.

The mechanisms of action of ultrasound should be considered in terms of four categories. First is the thermal effect, which relates to the heat generated into the deeper tissues and especially the collagen, and the benefits derived from this. Second is the mechanical effect, which relates to the high-speed vibrations that act on the tissue just like a micro massage. Third is the cavitation effect. This refers to the production of countless microscopic droplets of oxygen from the vibrational process. Fourth are the biological effects, which include blood vessel dilatation, improved blood flow and circulation, sonopheresis, improved lymph flow, muscle relaxation, reduced inflammation, and pain relief.

Skin treatments are more effective since deep cleansing, exfoliation and moisturizing is improved. This is achieved by high frequency ultrasonic vibrations that penetrate deep into pores and hair follicles to break up old, dead cells, secretions and oily blockages. Also, skin metabolism is increased which causes lymph flow to increased which causes waste products to be removed more rapidly and effectively. The more waste products removed the better penetration and absorption of your skin care products. Deep tissue micro massage improves skin tone, softness and texture. All combined these create younger looking skin. Treatment sessions take about 30-45 minutes and patients report feeling immediate tightening and softer, smoother skin. The skin looks more supple and friends will comment about your "healthy glow".

Stretch marks, fine lines, and sun-damaged skin are improved through dermapheresis or sonopheresis. These are the terms that have been applied to the use of ultrasound in stimulating deeper penetration of products into the skin. To achieve this even better, we bring together the positive effects of microdermabrasion, ultrasound technology, and potent creams. Microdermabrasion removes the thickened and sun-damaged outer layer of skin then ultrasound application can deliver special creams deeper into the lower layers of the skin. In this way the ultimate effects of the creams are much more potent. Multiple treatments are usually required and it is safe for all skin colors and types. The number and frequency of your treatments depend on your skin type and response to therapy. Improvements are seen usually by the fourth treatment.

Scar tissue and contracture is improved tremendously with ultrasound. Most believe this is due in large part to the thermal effects of ultrasound with the loosening, stretching, and re-orientation of collagen tissue. This has demonstrated great effects in speeding the healing and discoloration of firm or bruised areas occasionally seen after face lift, tummy tucks, or liposuction. Patients with breast implants and some hardening have appreciated softening of the implants and breasts. Treatments sessions last 15-30 minutes and involve application of the ultrasound over the firm areas followed by home stretching and massaging exercises and special cream applications. Six to twelve treatments provide the best results with improvements seen usually after four sessions. Home exercises and massage preserve the results.

SUMMARY  
In summary, ultrasound has been used to shatter kidney stones, examine the fetus during pregnancy, research dolphin's language, train dogs, and clean contact lens. Unconsciously, ultrasonic products have become common commodities in our everyday life. Ultrasonic sound waves are the basis of this technology and are generated at a frequency that is above the level heard by the human ear. The rate of ultrasound means the numbers of vibrations that occur in a second. Hertz is the unit of measurement. Medical and cosmetic ultrasound units are manufactured to typically deliver ultrasonic waves at frequencies of 1 and 3 MHz with duty cycles ranging from 20 to 100 percent. Duty cycles less than 100% are called pulsed ultrasound while a 100% duty cycle is called continuous. For our purposes, most machines are utilized at 1 to 3 MHz with continuous and pulsed modes. Ultrasonic sound waves cannot be transmit through the air and need some sort of liquid medium though which to pass. For this reason a gel is applied between the treatment head of the machine and your skin.  
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