None of us want to look as old as we actually are. Some of us even look older than our chronological age due to genetics, health conditions, smoking, excessive drinking or repeated unprotected sun damage. Whatever your reason for wanting to look younger, thread lifting can help you look and feel younger and better about yourself.
What is Thread Lift?
A thread lift procedure is a shorter procedure type that focuses on targeting the signs of aging on the lower face and involves subcutaneous placement of PDO threads which are pulled to achieve the desired skin lift effect. Although it can address eyebrow sagging and cheek sagging, thread lift often focuses its attention on midface, jowl, and neck-lifting.
In addition to being ideal for lifting and tightening 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.
The goal of a thread lift is to reposition skin tissues, thus restoring youthful proportions and appearances to the face, neck, and body. This lifting and tightening are done by a plastic surgeon who inserts a needle into the skin, threading it bi-directionally through the soft tissues of the face, neck or body to grasp, lift and suspend the facial area. Surgeons use a “cross-hatch” or “basket weave” pattern to achieve the desired lifting effect in the targeted areas. The minimally invasive procedure provides immediate results, but its greater purpose is to encourage new collagen production to stimulate long term results and restore a youthful appearance in the treated areas.
What kind of effects can a thread lift achieved?
Thread lifting results are immediate. You do not have to wait weeks and months to see your results. Although individual results may vary, common results achieved with PDO thread lift include:
- Heart shaped, higher cheekbone contour
- Exotic, cat eye contour
- Snatched, defined jaw line
- Softer smile lines
- Softer eyebrows
- Smoother neck lines
- Tighten loose skin
- Restoring the “V-shape” face
- Smooth out neck lines
- Reserve sagging jowls
Who is a good candidate for thread lift?
Want to know whether thread lift is a good option for you or not? Take a look at some of the best indicators that would make you an ideal candidate for a PDO thread lift.
Generally, the best candidates for a thread lift are people who are interested in the anti-aging results of a face-lift but can’t get or don’t want the surgical procedure. If you want to skip the downtime and discomfort of a facial surgery or you’ve been told you can’t go under general anesthesia because of a health reason like high blood pressure, consider this alternative.
The ideal thread lift candidate is also someone who wants natural-looking results. You can’t achieve the pulled-back look of a face-lift with a thread lift. Instead, you get reduced skin laxity in a way that’s noticeable but not overly dramatic.
Finally, thread lifts are most effective for mild to moderate skin laxity. If you’re starting to see some droopiness of the brow, cheeks, jowls and/or neck and would like to see a lift effect, but do not want the risk, scars, or recovery of a real browlift, facelift, or necklift operation, don’t wait to get this quick, convenient treatment to keep your skin looking tight and youthful.
What areas can be treated with the thread lift?
Most popular treatment areas are the brows, cheeks (midface), jowls, and the upper neck. However, Thread Lift can be performed virtually anywhere on the body, such as to lift loose skin on the upper arms, stomach, thighs and around the knees.
- Early loosening of the facial structures
- Sagging eyebrows
- Premature loosening of the neck skin
Thread Lifts Before and After
Take a look at before and after gallery below to see the amazing results that can be achieved from the thread lifting procedure.
Threading Cosmetic Procedure
Before a thread lift begins, patients will receive local anesthesia in the area where the thread-lifting will be performed—the midface, jowl or neck. A plastic surgeon then inserts a pre-threaded needle into the subdermal level of the facial tissues, which simply means that the needle will go underneath the visible layer of skin. The needle is inserted in a curved direction into the area to be lifted. Directly above this first needle, a second needle will be inserted approximately 1-1.5cm above the existing needle.
The purpose of each needle is to insert bi-directional threads into the targeted areas. These threads are made of polypropylene and are often referred to as PDO threads. The procedure itself is often called a PDO thread lift. The most widely-known PDO threads are Novathreads, but your plastic surgeon may prefer to use another type. PDO threads are equipped with small barbs along the surface that act as cogs (small gears or mechanisms) to grasp, lift and suspend the facial area undergoing treatment. As the needle is slowly withdrawn, it creates a suture lift causing the tissue to “gather” over the thread until the desired effect is achieved and the long ends of the thread can be cut off.
New collagen and fibrous tissue forms around the PDO sutures and continues to hold up and tighten the skin tissue. This growth happens to help naturally heal the treated areas, but because there are threads in place, new growth will take place around the threads in the repositioned areas. This achieves the longer term results a thread lift offers.
There is no need to worry that threads are left underneath the skin. They facilitate the new growth and dissolve completely on their own, without leaving residual material, in about 6 months through a natural process called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is painless and simply refers to a chemical breakdown caused by a reaction with water. After the threads have dissolved, the new collagen and fibrous tissues will have already formed in the treated areas and will continue to show a lifted effect, restoring youthfulness to the area.
Before Treatment Care for a Thread Lift
Although it is always best to meet with your plastic surgeon to determine the best plan of action for your specific skin type, professionals agree that thread lift candidates should avoid all alcohol and discontinue smoking for at least a week before the procedure as these things will dehydrate the skin and interfere with the anesthetic. All aspirin-based products should be avoided as well as cause unnecessary bleeding leading to unwanted complications and side effects. Blood-thinning products include Ibuprofen, Neurofen, and Naproxen/Naprogesic.
After Treatment Care for a Thread Lift
Some thread lift patients might feel nausea associated with the after-effects of the anesthesia or the procedure itself and can sip small amounts of clear liquids until it passes. It is also helpful, especially if your skin tends to swell or bruise, to ice the area for 30 minutes 4-5 times a day for the first 5 days.
Otherwise, limit facial motion for 24 hours, avoid facial creams or makeup for 48 hours, do not drink with a straw, keep the head elevated (including bending lower than heart-level) at a 45-degree angle for 5-7 days, eat soft foods or drink liquids for 7-10 days, avoid chewing gum for 2 weeks, avoid heavy exertion for 2-3 weeks and avoid pulling down on face or massaging it for 3 weeks.
Advantages and disadvantages of thread lift?
Determining whether thread lifting procedure is the right one for you will depend on understanding both the benefits and the shortcomings.
Benefits of Thread lifting vs. other options include:
- Rejuvenates the skin, making it look more firm and rested.
- A more defined facial contour
- The procedure is quick and much less invasive than an actual facelift.
- Helps in achieving a more youthful look without needing scarring or even general anaesthesia.
- The recovery time after the completion of the procedure will be minimal – there could be some initial redness and swelling but these will go away in a couple of days.
- This is a really versatile procedure that can be applied to various facial areas in need of rejuvenation, as well as the neck
Some of the disadvantages of importance include:
- This procedure will give you results that are temporary in nature (if you use absorbable threads, you will need to have the thread lift repeated every two years).
- If you have very deep wrinkles or a lot of untreated sagging, you will not get a satisfactory result from a thread lift – it’s only good for the first signs of aging that you experience.
- You will still have to go through a recovery period, regardless of the fact there will be fewer unpleasant post-procedure effects.
- Regardless of the use of local anaesthetics, some people will still experience pain during or after the procedure
- Despite safety procedures, there’s a small risk of complications like bruising, breakage of threads, fever and inflammation