Who should consider a thread lift treatment?
A thread lift treatment, also sometimes referred to as a lunchtime facelift, is a procedure that can be considered for individuals who have sagging skin in the eyebrow, cheeks, jawline, or neck area. It is best for young to middle aged patients between the ages of 35 and 45 who have mild to moderate skin sagging and weak facial contours. It is best for individuals who still have decent collagen deposits, as part of the lift’s effectiveness is in its ability to stimulate collagen production. Thread lifts are able to soften wrinkles and mild nasolabial folds, the 2 lines that run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth.
While this anti-aging procedure can certainly produce results, it is important to manage expectations. On average, the maximum lift that can be achieved is about 1 to 1.5cm and will not be effective for individuals with excessive sagging. The best way to know whether or not you are a good candidate for a thread lift treatment is to consult with a doctor, who will do a full assessment of your bone structure, skin type, and the condition of the skin in order to ascertain whether this is the right facial rejuvenating treatment for you.
Thread lift basics
Thread lift treatments are very unique and make use of medical technology for a minimally invasive and safe procedure. Here are just some of the benefits and basics that you should know about thread lift procedures:
No incisions or stitches are necessary:
Using either coned or barbed sutures to lift sagging skin, thread lifts require a surgeon to use a thin needle to implant the sutures under the facial tissues in the areas that require lifting. On 1 end, the barbs on the tread grab and lift the skin, while the teeth on the other end of the thread anchor the lifted skin to the underlying facial tissue. Because there are no incisions or stitches, no scars are produced. If cones are used rather than barbs, then the threads dissolve within the skin.
Types of thread lifts:
There are a few different types of thread lifts available. The Contour Threadlift was approved by the FDA in 2004 for elevation and fixation of the midface, brow, and neck, and use unidirectional thread that is fixed in the area of access. It uses barbs along the thread that allow the doctor to grasp and lift the sagging facial skin. The FeatherLift, or Aptos Thread lift, was approved by the FDA in 2005 and uses bidirectional threads with barbs along the entire length. Once inserted under the skin, it gathers tissue to lift and fill out sagging skin. Silhouette, of InstaLift, is the newest product on the market. It uses cones made of poly-L-lactic acid that are bioresorbable and help to stimulate collagen production as it is dissolved.
The absorbable threads will dissolve within approximately 6 to 9 months following the procedure. However, due to the ability to stimulate collagen, results will continue even after the materials are absorbed, with patients seeing lifting results for up to 12 to 18 months. Treatment may be repeated after 18 months have passed since the initial treatment.
The procedure is performed under local anesthetic and should only ever be performed by a licensed medical professional. The doctor will use a fine needle, around 25G, with the thread mounted on it. The needle is inserted under the skin and the doctor will push the threads upward until they are embedded. During the insertion, the doctor will pull the sagging skin and tissue to anchor them with the small cones on the thread, putting them in a tauter, more youthful position.
How to reduce the risk of complications during thread lift recovery
In order to ensure the efficacy of treatment and a safe recovery, it is vital to follow the aftercare steps provided by the practitioner. These include:
- Sleeping on your back for at least a week following the procedure;
- Do not get any facial massages or undergo dental treatments for one month following treatment;
- Do not wear makeup for 48 hours following the procedure;
- If any dimpling or unusual indentation occurs at the entry or exit point, return to the doctor.
What are the risks and complications
While thread lifts are safe and approved by the FDA, there are still some risks and possible complications associated with the thread lift procedure, including not seeing sufficient effects.
Some other risks and complications include:
- Rippling and dimpling
- Thread loss
- Thread breakage
Other more rare side effects include:
- Hematoma formation
- Nerve damage
- Sensory impairment
- Chronic pain
- Hypersensitivity or allergy
Why you should choose the right thread lift surgeon
Choosing the right thread lift surgeon is the key to getting effective results, as much of the procedure relies on placement of the threads. To do this properly, the surgeon will need to have extensive knowledge of the underlying tissues and facial structure to ensure optimal lifting. It is also important not to lift too much, as this is what leads to the possible complication of rippling and dimpling. The following are things you should find out before settling on which surgeon will perform your thread lift:
- Is the surgeon board-certified? Review their credentials, education, and any client reviews you can find.
- What equipment is being used? Also inquire as to where the procedure will take place and what the treatment entails.
- What technique is being used? The right surgeon will be willing to discuss these specifics with you.
- What are the pre-operation and post-operation instructions? Ask the surgeon if you can review the product leaflet.
Thread Lift Price
The cost of a thread lift surgery will vary depending on the extent of the lifting required, the expertise of the doctor, and the area you are getting the procedure. However, they can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500, which the average coming in at around $2,443. This is a relatively low cost compared to the cost of a traditional face lift, which could cost around $10,000.