If you’ve been following Eunogo for some time, you will have read about how popular Shurink treatment is in Korea. In case you didn't know, Shurink (Korean for “shrink”) is a HIFU treatment that helps lift and tighten your face. Many clients choose to do this alongside other V-line treatments to help create a clean and lifted jawline. However, since we cannot travel to Korea at the moment, Eunogo has identified Mizu Aesthetic in Singapore as a clinic where you can find not only the same Korean HIFU machine, but whose doctor has been trained in Korea to use it. We spoke to Dr. YZ Tan about the Ultraformer machine and his experience training in Korea.
In Singapore, Shurink HIFU is called Ultraformer. The first thing we should know, what is HIFU? And how does it work?
HIFU stands for High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, and the clue is all in the name: it is a focused, non-invasive ultrasound device that lifts and tightens the skin for a more youthful appearnce. With precision per shot pulse, HIFU-powered transducers are designed to either remodel collagen to remove facial wrinkles and sagging skin or tighten the tissue for a lifted effect. In Korea, the machine is called Shurink and in Singapore it is the Ultraformer, but it is made by the same company.
Can you tell us the science of how HIFU works?
As you may know, our skin has several layers. What we see outside is called the epidermis and that is superficial. But the lower layers are what is really going to matter in terms of tightening and lifting. HIFU is able to reach the superficial and also the deeper skin layers, as well as the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) with a triple layer lifting effect. The SMAS is the middle and lower layer of the face fascia, so this is really what you want to target.'
The Ultraformer can target depths of 1.5mm, 3mm, and 4.5mm for optimal results. Another additional benefit is, because the amount of energy used is so high, it is able to melt the fat around the jowls and double chin area, so patients tend to see really nice results.
Can a patient choose the depth of the HIFU?
The 1.5mm depth will mainly address pigmentation issues in the skin. The 3mm is meant more for skin tightening and the 4.5 is where the lifting occurs. The art of HIFU occurs when the doctor is skilled in knowing and recommending to the patient what depths to use. The benefits to the client is definitely the ability to use all the different options to create a customized solution.
Is it possible to use HIFU on the body and not just the face?
Absolutely. The Ultraformer machine now has handpieces that have depths above 4.5 mm in order to do other body parts. For example, the handpieces can range from 6mm to even 13mm. We can target different body parts such as loose arm skin for clients that have had some weight loss success but may not be happy with the state of their drooping skin. Inner thigh area can also be targeted, as well as stubborn bra fats that are difficult to target with workouts. We have had some clients use the HIFU for tightening and lifting of breasts as well.
But don’t think for a second that we also aren’t able to lift and tighten more delicate areas like the eyes and neck. There’s a handpiece for that too.
We have heard HIFU can be painful. Is that true?
Well, the honest answer is that it can be uncomfortable, but at Mizu we do all we can to make sure your experience is as pleasant as possible. Please do keep in mind that the Ultraformer HIFU will use heat to stimulate collagen fibers in your SMAS and that also helps melt stubborn fat. This temperature generated under the skin will go as high as 70 degrees so no reasonable professional will say that won’t create some discomfort, especially around the bony areas of your face. The higher the energy, the more discomfort. Numbing cream can be applied and local anesthetic can only be injected by a doctor to minimize the pain. But as the saying goes, “No Pain, No Gain!”
How many “shots” does the average face need?
If you are getting a full face procedure, you will receive aout 800-900 “shots” of energy from the handle. Obviously if we are treating a larger area it will be more and a smaller area, less.
How often should we be getting a HIFU procedure?
The results of a properly done Ultraformer HIFU should last you 12-18 months.
But we have seen some spas selling HIFU packages for multiple sessions. Is that a sign that what they’re doing isn’t entirely up to standards?
You’re on to something there. As I said before, properly done HIFU with the Ultraformer should last 12-18 months. You shouldn’t have to buy packages to get this done every few months. The Ultraformer machine will generate high heat in order to be able to melt fat and stimulate collagen building in the SMAS region of your skin. There are copycat machines out there that might look like a HIFU but can only generate temperatures of around 40 degrees. These machines are not medical-grade and definitely not approved by the Health Science Authority of Singapore (HSA). So, a) they’re not effective, and b) you have much less discomfort when you get the “treatment” done because they’re not really treating anything. It’s a waste of time and money.
Dr. Tan, how long will the actual procedure last and what sort of downtime should we expect with Ultraformer HIFU?
The procedure lasts on average about 60 minutes. Usually there may be some mild swelling or puffiness that can occur along the lower part of your face, especially along the jawline. It may feel a bit sore as well, and all this can last up to 3 days. This is entirely normal, as your skin reacts to the high energy levels that have been concentrated directly at it for the last hour.
Tell us about your training for the Ultraformer machine. Did you go to Korea?
Yes! I was the very first doctor from Singapore to go to Korea and be trained on the Shurink/Ultraformer machine. Classys, the manufacturer of the Ultraformer machine invited me for one-on-one training sessions with world-famous Dr. Cho Chang-Hwan of La Clinique de DongAn Center. At the same time I was also able to complete hands-on training through practice at the International Microaesthetic Surgery Anatomy Masterclass (IMSA), in Seoul. With all that training, I was able to hone my skills and develop my own effective technique for the Ultraformer, which gives our clients impressive results.
What was your favorite part of training in Korea?
For me, it was picking up new skills and understanding the trends in Korea as opposed to Singapore, as well as how the clinics function. It's a learning opportunity every time!
For enquiries and quotation of Ultraformer HIFU (Shurink) from Mizu, you can get a quote here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org