Thread Lift

Thread Lift

Overview

Not so long ago, the only method to address issues caused by facial skin laxity – such as jowls and drooping cheeks – was facelift surgery. After all, while skin resurfacing treatments can help to restore some degree of firmness, once loose skin is present, only a scalpel can truly remove it.

However, while the approach of relying on injectable compounds and skin resurfacing until facelift surgery becomes absolutely necessary works for many patients, not everyone is willing or able to have surgery. If you're in this group, you'll be happy to know that a new type of procedure has been developed to fill in the gap between noninvasive facial rejuvenation and facelift surgery – the thread lift.

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What Is a Thread Lift?

A thread lift, also called a barbed suture lift, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to lift and sculpt the shape of your face or breasts. Thread lifts use temporary, medical-grade suture material to “stitch-up” your skin so that it’s drawn taut.

Thread lifts have been around since the 1990s, but innovations in the material used for thread lifts have led to an increase in popularity in recent years.

The typical candidate for a thread lift is in their late 30s to early 50s. A person who is generally in good health and is just starting to notice the signs of aging may benefit the most from the subtle impact of a thread lift.

Those who can’t have a surgical facelift because of medical conditions that make general anesthesia risky may consider a thread lift as a safer alternative.

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How Does a Thread Lift Work?

The thread lift procedure works in two ways.

The first is fairly straightforward. By threading thin, dissolvable sutures underneath your skin, your doctor is able to pull your skin tight around your forehead, neck, or torso.

Invisible, painless “barbs” grab on to your skin and make sure that the thread grips your underlying tissue and muscles as the thread is pulled tight.

Once a barbed thread is inserted, your body’s healing response is triggered. Even though you’re not injured by the threads under your skin, your body detects a suture material and stimulates collagen production in the affected area. Collagen can fill gaps in sagging skin and restore a more youthful elasticity to your face.

A small 2017 study suggested that the primary effect of a thread lift procedure is skin appearing tighter and more structured. After a year, this effect begins to decrease as the sutures dissolve. However, there was a secondary “rejuvenation” effect that stayed in place and was noticeable 3 years or more after the procedure.

A 2019 review of the literature concerning thread lifts concluded that more research was needed to understand the long-term effects of them, as technology and methods of providing thread lifts continue to evolve.

Thread Lift Procedure

The procedure for thread lift may be slightly different depending on the area you’re targeting as well as your provider’s preferences. The basic technique is usually the same.

. You’ll be asked to recline in the room where your procedure is being performed. Alcohol, as well as topical anesthetic, will be applied to your skin as it’s prepped for surgery.

. A thin needle or cannula will be used to insert the threads underneath your skin. Inserting the threads can take 30 to 45 minutes.

. After the threads are inserted, the method of insertion will be removed. You may feel light pressure or tightening under your skin.

. Within a few minutes of the needles being taken out, your procedure will be complete and you’ll be free to go home.

Different Thread Lift Procedures

NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift threads have both been approved by the FDA for the purpose of lifting facial tissue. However, while these procedures rely on a similar mechanism of action and both produce excellent results, there are some key differences between them that patients need to be aware of. Below, we'll explore how these two procedures compare to one another.

. NovaThreads

NovaThreads are sutures that are made from a biocompatible material called PDO, which has been specially designed for safe re-absorption by the body. NovaThreads remain in place for about four to six months, after which point they slowly dissolve. Patients can, however, expect to keep seeing the results of their NovaThreads lift for a year or more after their treatment. This long-lasting effect arises from the lingering improvement in skin condition that results from collagen infusion.

NovaThreads come in several different varieties: Barbed sutures, which are ideal for gathering skin (and therefore producing more lifting action) and straight or curved smooth sutures. Smooth sutures produce less of a lift, but they are excellent for collagen stimulation. Patients often have smooth sutures placed in strategic locations around their face (such as the corner of the mouth or along the brows) in order to target common problem areas where the signs of aging become particularly apparent. Barbed sutures, on the other hand, are placed near the hairline in order to gently pull back the skin and lift the cheeks and jowls.

Having NovaThreads placed is relatively quick and easy for the patient. First, local anesthesia will be used to numb the areas that are going to be treated, then a small instrument (a thin cannula or needle) will be used to insert the threads below the skin. This entire process usually takes just 30 to 45 minutes, and the patient is free to return to work afterward.

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Silhouette InstaLift

Like NovaThreads, the Silhouette InstaLift relies on the use of biocompatible temporary sutures to lift the face. The Silhouette InstaLift is more focused on lifting the skin than stimulating collagen production (though it will accomplish both objectives, of course), so the threads used during this procedure are designed somewhat differently. Rather than being smooth or barbed, they contain a number of sutures interspersed with tiny "cones" that are adept at grabbing tissue. This allows the threads to gather more skin, producing a more noticeable lift to the cheeks and jowls. Silhouette InstaLift threads are designed to create fairly long-lasting results as well; patients can expect to enjoy the impact of their Silhouette InstaLift for one to three years.

Having a Silhouette InstaLift takes about 45 minutes on average and can be performed under local anesthesia. A specially designed thin needle is used to insert the threads into the skin, minimizing patient discomfort. Patients sometimes experience mild soreness and swelling for a few days after having this procedure, but it can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. As such, if you have a Silhouette InstaLift, you will probably be able to return to your normal activities immediately afterward.

Targeted Areas for A Thread Lift

Many people choose a thread lift for facial areas that “sag” or look less tight over time. These areas include:

. jowls and jawline

. brow line

. under-eye area

. forehead

. cheeks

Thread lifts are also used to lift and tighten breasts, especially after pregnancy and weight loss.

Thread Lift Risks or Side Effects

A thread lift is considered a low-risk procedure, but there are side effects and a risk of complications.

After a thread lift, it’s not uncommon to experience the following:

. bruising

. swelling

. bleeding

. slight pain at the site of the thread injection

There’s a 15 to 20 percent chance of complications, including dimpling. Possible complications are minor and can easily be corrected. Complications to look out for include:

. allergic reaction to ingredients in the threading material

. bleeding as a result of the procedure building up behind your skin

. visible dimpling or pulling where the threads have been inserted

. migration or unintended “movement” of the threads that result in skin that looks lumpy or bulges

. pain under your skin as a result of the thread being too “tight” or awkwardly placed

. infection at the site of the procedure

Of all the risks of a thread lift, infection is the one to watch out for most carefully. Call your doctor right away if you notice:

. green, black, brown, or red discharge at the site of your procedure

. swelling for more than 48 hours

. persistent headaches

. fever

What To Expect After A Thread Lift

Recovery after a successful thread lift is quite minimal. While there may be some visible swelling and bruising, you can go back to work right away if you’d like.

Results should be apparent right after the threads are put into place, but you may notice more in the days and weeks right after they are inserted, as swelling and bruising starts to subside.

Results from a thread lift aren’t meant to be permanent. Successful effects typically last from 1 to 3 years. Like other dissolvable dermal fillers, such as Botox, the threads used in the procedure will eventually be absorbed by the tissue underneath your skin.

After a thread lift, you can resume your normal routine. Your provider may advise you not to rub your face vigorously and to avoid sleeping on your side in the initial weeks following the procedure.

The American Academy of Plastic Surgeons advises that you skip your daily moisturizer for the first few weeks after a thread lift, and sleep with your head propped up to avoid rolling over onto the newly placed sutures.

You’ll also be advised to avoid saunas and high intensity workouts for the first week or so after the thread lift is performed.…

Source:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/thread-lift

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-thread-lifts

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