Thread Lifts, also known as “weekend face lifts” or “lunchtime lifts” are becoming quite popular for those who prefer to avoid invasive cosmetic surgery. It involves minimal time in surgery and only three days recovery time, a very short period in the world of surgical rejuvenation of the face and neck. Given the procedure and reduced financial obligations involved, thread lifts are quickly becoming a replacement for the traditional, surgically invasive face lift.
By using barbed sutures (threads), a surgeon is able to tighten sagging skin tissue around the eyebrows, lids, nose, mouth, and neck. Requiring no surgical tissue removal (i.e. cutting away excess skin tissue), this means that no incisions or stitches are required and this equates to no scarring – a common concern among anyone considering invasive cosmetic surgery, such as a traditional face lift.
Essentially, the surgeon will use the barbed sutures to lift the sagging skin. Using a tiny needle, the sutures are placed beneath the skin tissue. The barbed end of the suture moves the skin tissue to the desired location, while teeth on the opposite end of the thread act as anchors and secure the excess skin to underlying facial tissues.
There are two types of threads being used in the United States – Contour thread and Aptos thread. Depending upon the clinic, surgeon, the extent of work to be done, and individual preference, your surgeon will select the right thread for your procedure. The barbs used in these sutures have been shown to stimulate collagen products within the subcutaneous layer of skin. Wrinkles are caused when the production of collagen is slowed or stops in our bodies.
Thread lifts are in most cases, outpatient procedures. This means that you go in, have surgery, and leave the same day. You may be retained in order to ensure that no reactions to anesthetic or other medications occurs, or if you seem especially groggy. In most cases, patients are able to leave just a short time after surgery and find they are not bothered at all by the anti-anxiety medications or anesthetics that are used.
The success of these procedures is based on many factors, so it is very important to pay close attention during surgical consultation, be honest with your surgeon about your medical history and ask lots of questions. An experienced and confident surgeon will be ready to answer your questions and will be happy to offer alternative methods before resorting to cosmetic surgery.