A thread lift is a type of procedure wherein temporary sutures are used to produce a subtle but visible “lift” in the skin. Instead of removing the patient’s loose facial skin surgically, the cosmetic surgeon simply suspends it by stitching up portions of it. Thread lift procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to facelift surgery. Thread lifts claim to tighten your skin by inserting medical-grade thread material into your face and then “pulling” your skin up by tightening the thread. This has the effect of pulling the skin back slightly and therefore lifting and tightening the face. In addition to being ideal for lifting the skin, threads combat aging in another way: by provoking the body’s “healing response” and causing the body to direct large surges of collagen to treated areas. This is important because of the vital role collagen plays in the aging process. Collagen helps support “growth factors” that greatly influences the condition of our skin. In addition to being used for wound healing, collagen helps to keep our skin strong, voluminous and supple. 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 it 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). In other words, this process provides ongoing and progressive rejuvenation for the facial tissues. Patients who have a thread lift for the purpose of stimulating collagen will notice a gradual improvement in their skin’s tone and firmness. While their threads are in place, 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.
For many patients, the biggest advantage of having a thread lift rather than a facelift is the greatly reduced recovery time associated with thread lifts. When a patient has facelift surgery, he or she must be heavily sedated; as such, the patient must arrange for someone to drive him or her home from the hospital. Most facelift patients also require around the clock assistance from a caretaker for at least three days after they have surgery. Furthermore, if the patient still has children at home, childcare aid may also be needed. Facelift patients usually need to take one to two weeks off of work, too, in order to heal. Recovery from a thread lift, on the other hand, is comparatively easy. Thread lifts can be performed under local, rather than general anesthesia, meaning that thread lift patients can drive themselves home and look after themselves immediately after having their procedure. While some patients will 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, most can return to work immediately. Strong pain medication is seldom needed after having a thread lift, making it easier for patients to return to their normal routine. This procedure is therefore ideal for people who have children at home or those who have busy, demanding careers.
While thread lift recovery is not particularly intensive, patients will still have 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 so that you don’t roll over directly onto your face while sleeping.
Thread lifts are low risk, thanks to how noninvasive they are. There is virtually no risk of scarring, severe bruising, bleeding or other complications after having a thread lift. In rare cases, patients may experience irritation, infection or their sutures becoming visible under their skin. If this occurs, however, the sutures can simply be removed and the patient’s face will return to its prior state. Finally, because thread lifts are much easier to perform than facelift surgery, they are much more affordable.
Advantageous though thread lifts are, it’s important for patients to maintain realistic expectations for this procedure. While thread lifts certainly produce visible changes, they will generally only lift the face by a few millimeters; as such, they create a more subtle and natural looking end result than facelift surgery. Thread lifts are therefore best suited to patients who are dealing with mild to moderate, rather than severe, signs of skin laxity.
The ideal thread lift candidate is usually in his or her late thirties to early fifties, whereas most patients over the age of about 55 will benefit more profoundly from facelift surgery. Thread lifts can, however, provide a facelift alternative for older patients who are unable to have surgery for medical reasons. Because thread lifts can be performed under local anesthesia, many people who have age-related conditions that make them ineligible for surgery (like high blood pressure, type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease) can safely have this treatment. If you have any outstanding health conditions, make sure to talk to your doctor about whether or not a thread lift might be right for you.
It’s important to understand that while no lifting technique can produce permanent results, facelift surgery will usually produce longer lasting results than a thread lift. The results of facelift surgery can last up to a decade, whereas a thread lift will generally last from one to three years. However, because the thread lift procedure is so low-risk, patients who like the results of their thread lift can usually opt to have a fresh set of temporary sutures placed once their old sutures are absorbed by the body. If you have drooping and sagging skin then a thread lift is going to provide a better result than dermal filler as it will help to lift and tighten. However, if you’re simply struggling with volume loss around your cheeks then dermal filler injections are your best bet.
This procedure can be performed in about 45 minutes, and, if you want to, you can go right back to work afterward. Finding a trained, licensed provider is the key to a safe, effective 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 1990sTrusted Source, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.