What is a thread lift?
‘The Face is an index of age’ and for women as well as some men, the effects of ageing can be concerning because it not only results in a perception of the loss of beauty and charm, but also can adversely impact on someone’s personality and psychological well-being.
Sagging of skin is the most common effect of ageing and people who wish to look younger than their age have various treatment options. Thread lift is one such aesthetic treatment that helps you look younger, fresher and more appealing. A thread lift is a minimally invasive and safe procedure that confers permanent results for sagging skin. The Aesthetician uses clear polypropylene threads with tiny barbs on it to pull the sagging facial skin on the cheeks, eye-brows and neck, giving a smooth, fresh, rejuvenated and younger look.
What are the advantages of a thread lift?
Thread lift procedure is advantageous over surgical face lift in various factors:
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Minimal bruising and scarring and minimal recovery time
- Affordable procedure
- Short-duration procedure
- Minimal risk because of use of local anaesthetic
- Permanent results
- appropriate for mild sagging tissue
- Totally reversible procedure
It is ideal for both men and women in the age group of 35 and 60 years. It can also be combined with other procedures such as wrinkle treatment, dermal fillers, thermage and liposuction of the neck for much better results. The results are permanent but new threads need to be added as one ages and skin sags further.
Who is an ideal candidate for a thread lift?
Thread lift is recommended in individuals with mild sagging. Individuals with excessive sagging are not ideal candidates instead they require surgical facelift and brow lift procedures. Also, those with thin skin and little facial fat are not considered for this procedure.
What happens at my preoperative consult?
A cosmetic surgeon assesses all the factors in first visit and suggests appropriate treatment for sagging skin. During the consultation the surgeon also shows the results than can be expected. Surgeon also demonstrate how the sagging skin becomes firm and smooth by pulling skin gently, upwards with his/her hand near the hairline as the threads would do after the procedure.
How is a thread lift performed?
The procedure is done under local anaesthetic and in some cases mild sedation is required to relieve anxiety. The threads used for the procedure are safe as they are made of polypropylene which is also the material of choice for suture threads. These threads are not smooth but have tiny barbs evenly all along the length of the thread which help it to hold and lift the sub-dermal tissue when the threads are pulled. The surgeon inserts barbed threads through incision near the hair line below the skin along the lines marked on the face prior to the procedure. The threads are cut and knotted at the other end. Threads are pulled from one side to lift the skin and are fixed to the deeper and firmer tissue of the face. Threads are left in place permanently to maintain the lift. Collagen fibres naturally form along these threads and maintain the effect. Often, two threads are inserted on each side of the face for the facelift. The number of threads used depends on the severity of sagging. The procedure lasts for 30 to 60 minutes and is done as out-patient procedure so patients can go home soon after the procedure. However duration of treatment varies with number of threads used to get the desired improvement. Significant improvement is seen with single session of treatment.
What can I expect postoperatively?
Mild bruising and swelling is normal after the procedure that subsides in few days. It is a safe procedure and the risks can be minimised when procedure is done by an experienced surgeon. The procedure is totally reversible and threads can be removed if desired results are not achieved.