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Could the Thread Lift replace the Surgical Face-Lift?

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For years, people have had to resort to going under the knife in the hopes of looking younger.

Nowadays however, a range of new techniques that do not require surgical intervention have become available.

One such method is the Thread Lift.

What is the Thread Lift?

The Thread Lift is a medical procedure that offers similar results to a surgical face-lift, but without the need for a general anaesthetic.  A thread lift uses a particular kind of thread, interspersed with bi-directional cones, to lift and rejuvenate the texture of the skin.

This type of procedure was developed in the US and made its way across to the UK last year.

How does the Thread Lift work?

The thread lift works by inserting the threads and cones, which point upwards and downwards, into the sides of the face.

The polydioxanone (PDO) threads contain a polylactic acid, which is a biologically-compatible substance already widely used in suture threads and orthopaedic pins. PDO has been shown not only to relax the muscles and tendons but also to stimulate collagen growth. It also stimulates the making of elastin and hyaluronic acid in the skin. These compounds are essential for youthful looking skin.

What happens during a Thread Lift?

As you do not undergo a general anaesthetic you can have this procedure as an outpatient. You will have, depending on how many sites in which the threads are placed, around ten local anaesthetic injections into each side of your face.

This is undoubtedly the worst part of the technique.

Your consultant or surgeon will then insert the needle with the threads and cones attached into the centre of your cheek to begin with. The threads will pass through the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) through the dermis, past the subcutaneous tissue, the collagen and will end at the fibroblasts.

Once they have reached this level the needle is pulled upwards to an exit point around your hairline and the thread pulled taut. This is so that the downward facing cones on the thread are now embedded into the subcutaneous fat and the upward cones are pulling the facial tissues upwards.

More threads are inserted as required along the cheeks and the jowls until the desired effect has been achieved.

Unlike a surgical face-lift, where you would have to wait for the swelling and bruising to go down for several weeks before you can see the best results, a thread lift shows the lifted appearance immediately. The skin texture is much improved as the sagging jowls have been lifted up and the jawline looks firmer. Fine lines and wrinkles are also smoothed away.

How long does a Thread Lift last?

The threads in a thread lift are designed to biodegrade within to eight months. The average effects of having this procedure however, can last up to two years. It all depends on how fast your body ages, your lifestyle choices, for instance those who smoke will find that the results do not last as long.

Unlike the normal surgical face-lift however, which gets harder to repeat the more times you have it done, due to the previous scar tissue, this procedure can be carried out as many times as the client likes. In fact, repeated procedures are said to make the overall result more stable with results lasting even longer.

Which areas can be treated with a Thread Lift?

The Thread Lift is actually very versatile and as such, can be used all around the face and neck.

Specific areas like sagging jowls, slack jawlines, drooping cheeks, vertical and horizontal wrinkles on the forehead, sagging brows and folds and wrinkles on the chin would all benefit from a thread lift.

How much does it cost?

Price depends on the area(s) being treated, but typically starts from £300/$500.

How safe is a Thread Lift

Thread Lifts are much safer than surgical face-lifts as there is no general anaesthetic, however with any procedure there are small risks.

Bleeding from the insertion wounds and infection are things that can happen but uncommon.

Also considered minor complications are thread rupture and extrusion but these can easily be corrected.

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