Why do we do it
Facial sagging is a big tell tale sign of aging. Gravity pulls at our facial tissues everyday and this is made worse as our skin loosens with age. As such, facial sagging shows up as hollows, excessive fat and wrinkles at different areas, causing imbalance to our ideal facial contours.
Minimally invasive face lifting techniques have been heavily researched in the past decade and have recently gained widespread public acceptance because of mature technique and suitable thread materials.
What is it?
Thread lifting is a minimally invasive procedure that helps restore our facial contours by lifting sagging tissues and repositioning facial volumes. Usually done through a needle-hole incision, different suture materials can be deployed using well positioned blunt or sharp needles. These suture materials have been used for surgery for many decades and are proven to be safely used in the human body.
The procedure is a fuss free day procedure that takes about 30 minutes and allows you to return to normal activities immediately. After careful planning, local anaesthesia is injected in the sites where the threads are needed. This is followed by the insertion of multiple number of threads and a facial massage to ensure facial symmetry. Different types of threads are frequently needed for different areas: some threads provide a lift, others are needed for repositioning facial fat and some others work by purely stimulating collagen to thicken loose skin. The number of threads needed depend on severity and other individual considerations.
Apart from an immediate lift to sagging tissues, thread lifts also provide a stimulus for collagen regeneration over the treated areas. This ensures long lasting and natural results that continue to improve even months after the procedure. Additionally, the procedure helps with overall skin rejuvenation and improvement of skin texture problems such as wrinkles and even scarring!
Risks and Aftercare
Thread lifts are generally a very safe procedure and side effects are mild and temporary. It is likely that one may feel a mild soreness during the recovery period of 3 to 5 days. Mild bruising may also occur which is usually easily covered up by cosmetics. Following the treatment, it is recommended to avoid heavy physical activity and aggressive facial movement for the next 1 to 2 weeks.
A significant risk is that one may not notice any improvement – this normally means that the patient is not suitable for immediate lifting and will instead experience gradual skin rejuvenation instead over the next few months. Very rarely, infection or thread extrusion may occur and these may require another visit to the doctor’s office.
How long do results last?
The results from a session of threadlift are immediately visible and can last until the threads are absorbed by the body. For PDO threads, full absorption usually happens in 6 months, but the effects of the lift are further maintained for another 6 to 12 months depending on individual factors like genetics and lifestyle. Since collagen degradation happens with age, a maintenance procedure is normally recommended annually.
How does it compare to other lifting devices?
As with other minimally invasive aesthetic lifting devices, patients need to be carefully selected. Even those most people will benefit from the procedure, some may see less improvement with a threadlift procedure and see more results from an Ultraformer or RF treatment instead. A detailed consultation with the doctor communicating ideas and expectations is necessary for best possible outcome.