Introduction to Thread Face Lift
Thread Face Lift, also known as Feather Lift or String Lift, is a minimally-invasive plastic surgery procedure that offers subtle and natural-looking face lift results. It also goes by the names of Contour Thread Lift, Silhouette Lift, Russian Threads, and Aptos Thread Lift. Thread lifts are claimed to be a convenient, safe and effective form of treatment for sagging cheeks and jowls. It uses microfine, non-allergenic threads to lift and re-position sagging, droopy or jowly skin of the brow, face, jawline and neck. This minimally invasive procedure costs a fraction of aggressive face-lift surgery and offers results that may last between two to five years with little or no significant downtime.
The thread lift was a very popular method of doing a face lift without surgery and was getting a lot of press. However, Thread lifts have now decreased in popularity, but in proper hands they can still be a useful tool. It is perhaps better considered as a lesser, or preliminary procedure. Thread lifts cost less and require less downtime for many people. Some plastic surgeons promote the thread lift as a "lunchtime lift" or "weekend facelift." Usually, it can be performed in about an hour.
Who is a good candidate for the procedure?
The best candidates for this procedure are those without pronounced facial sagging. It tends to include both women and men between 35 to 60 years of age, wanting a more youthful look but whose facial skin is not excessively saggy yet, and therefore do not want a conventional full facelift or brow lift operation. Older people may undergo a thread lift during the more aggressive facelift procedure to provide additional support for the soft tissue area that was elevated in the facelift. The threadlift procedure is a boon to those with a busy lifestyle to those who don't want the 'mask' like appearance which sometimes results after a surgical face lift.
Who is NOT a good candidate?
- Faces that are very thin with very little facial fat.
- People who have very thin, fragile, slack and aging skin.
- People who want a dramatic transformation.
- Overly sagging or jowly faces.
How is it performed?
The Thread Lift procedure involves the insertion of barbed polypropylene or intradermal threads under the skin of the face using a ‘tunneling’ technique. Lifting of lax issues are produced by pulling the threads taut and anchoring one end in the deep tissues above the hairline. Tiny slits are made in the skin and the threads are inserted with needles using a zig-zag type pattern to ensure they adhere properly. The thread lift can be done under local anaesthetic and hospitalisation is not needed.
Is it safe?
When performed by an experienced surgeon the procedure is very safe. Risks and complications with the Contour Thread Lift are said to be uncommon and usually easily rectifiable. The actual sutures are made from a proven material called polypropylene, which has been used in brain, heart and abdominal surgery for many years. Since a Contour Thread Lift is usually performed under local anaesthetic, there are none of the risks associated with general anaesthetic.
However, although the procedure was approved by FDA in 2005, it now loses the approval in 2009, with FDA cancelling its approval after reports describing problematic issues. Nevertheless, the experts say that the similar products are still available, and the procedure is still used by many.
Recovery and getting back to normal
Most patients require an average of only five days to a week before they can resume their normal lifestyle. Opening the mouth too wide or other vigorous facial movements are not recommended before this. For 3 weeks after the procedure, you should avoid rubbing of the face and try to sleep on your back. Try not to put pressure on the face. After 3 weeks you should be able to resume full normality in these areas. Some bruising and swelling is normal for a few days, ice packs can be used to reduce the swelling. The discomfort is minimal although a slight prickly sensation may be noticed for a few days after treatment. Pain can be managed with oral medications such as acetaminophen. However, Ibuprofen is avoided to limit bruising. For the first day, elevating the head reduces swelling. Results may be seen immediately although most will be visible after a few weeks. The natural collagen formation in the skin tissue will eventually surround the threads which strengthen them and make the thread lift permanent within six months.
Benefits of Thread Face Lift
There are a number of benefits to choosing a thread face lift over a regular face lift, like - a quicker surgery, faster recovery, and a lower price tag. The thread lift can give the opportunity to achieve the firmer and more youthful face many men and women are hoping for. It also gives you the opportunity to give your input during the actual procedure as you will only have local anaesthesia and be fully conscious. You can watch your surgeon work and tell him exactly how you’d like the threads to be adjusted. Though not for the faint of heart, this is another reason that a thread face lift is chosen over face lifts, as you can have more control over the end results with a thread lift than with a different type of face lift. Besides, scarring is minimal and hidden in the hairline.
What are the possible side effects?
The duration of the effects depends on many factors, such as the extent of sagging, patient’s age, method used, and areas treated. Your skin will continue aging and this varies between an individual to another. In most cases, it may be visible between two to four years. Additional procedures may be required to slow down the aging process. Risks and complications are rare but still possible and, therefore, you should be aware of them before deciding to undergo Thread lift. The incidence of complications depends mostly upon the skills of the doctor. Possible side effects are infection, swelling, tenderness or numbness, slight asymmetry and other minor changes. Complications or side effects are only short lasting and disappear later if the procedure is performed by a skilled professional. Besides, Thread lift is totally convertible if needed, for up to one month after its performance.