Updated: Feb 7
This new procedure has become very popular. Should you get on board?
A thread lift is a type of procedure where temporary sutures are used to produce a subtle but visible "lift" in the skin. These threads have the effect of pulling the skin back slightly, thereby lifting and tightening the face. In addition to lifting the skin, the threads stimulate the production of collagen in the areas treated. This is important because of the vital role collagen plays in the aging process.
The threads stimulate the production of collagen in the areas treated.
Collagen helps support "growth factors" that influence the condition of our skin. As we get older, our bodies gradually produce less and less collagen, which leads to an 80% reduction in skin thickness by about age 70. This loss of volume and strength is a large factor in the creation of excess skin and wrinkles. As the skin grows weaker, it's no longer able to support the tissues beneath it adequately, meaning that gravity pulls the skin downwards and stretches it. Infusing the skin of the face with fresh collagen when the signs of skin laxity are still mild can help to both reduce looseness (by thickening and hydrating the skin) and prevent it from getting worse (by strengthening the skin).
When the threads are placed, the body's healing response will be constantly activated because the body will want to "heal" the sutured areas and expel the sutures. The body is biologically programmed to react this way when it senses any foreign object present within the dermis. Fortunately, because the threads placed under the skin during a thread lift are so small, the patient will not feel any of this happening. Most people cannot feel their sutures at all once the skin has healed around them.
Thread lifts are generally performed under local anesthesia and tolerated very well with little downtime.
Thread lifts are generally performed under local anesthesia and tolerated very well with little downtime. Some may experience a little bit of soreness, redness and swelling after having a thread lift and therefore wish to take the rest of the day off.
While thread lift recovery is not particularly intensive, patients will need to take a few minor precautions while healing. It's important to make sure that you don't rub your face vigorously while cleansing it or applying moisturizer for at least a week after having threads placed. You should also try to prop your head up slightly while sleeping so that you don't roll over directly onto your face in the middle of the night.
Thread lifts are much easier to perform than a facelift surgery and they are much more affordable.
Finally, because thread lifts are much easier to perform than a facelift surgery, they are much more affordable. While thread lifts certainly produce visible changes, they will generally only lift the face by a few millimeters, and therefore create a more subtle and natural-looking end result than facelift surgery. Thread lifts are best suited for patients who are dealing with mild to moderate signs of skin laxity. The ideal thread lift candidate is usually in his or her late thirties to early fifties.
Understanding different thread lift procedures: PDO ThreadLift and Silhouette InstaLift
PDO and Silhouette InstaLift threads are currently the only two threads approved by the FDA for the purpose of lifting facial tissue. However, while both of these procedures rely on a similar mechanism of action, there are some key differences between them.
PDO Threads (ie MINT Threads, Nova Threads, Euro Threads)
PDO Threads are sutures that are made from a biocompatible material called PDO. PDO Threads remain in place for about four to six months, after which point they slowly dissolve. Patients can expect to keep seeing the results of their PDO Threads lift for a year or more after their treatment. This effect comes from the improvement in skin condition that results from collagen stimulation.
PDO Threads come in several different styles: barbed sutures, which are ideal for gathering skin therefore producing more of a lift, and smooth sutures, which produce less of a lift, but are excellent for collagen stimulation.
The application of PDO Threads is relatively quick and easy for the patient. Local anesthesia is used to numb the areas that are going to be treated, then a small instrument (a thin cannula) are used to insert the threads below the skin. This entire process usually takes just 30 to 45 minutes.
The Silhouette InstaLift is focused on lifting the skin and stimulating collagen production. Rather than being smooth or barbed, InstaLift contains a number of sutures interspersed with tiny "cones" that grab at the 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, lasting anywhere from 1-2 years.
The Silhouette InstaLift procedure 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. This procedure is very well tolerated with little downtime.
Threading is a great alternative for the patient who is not quite ready or not willing to undergo a surgical facelift. As always with this type of procedure, there is a small risk of side effects like swelling, bleeding, or infection. You should definitely discuss these with your medical practitioner before deciding if a threading application is right for you. If you'd like more information on thread lifts, feel free to get in touch.