Facing aging – thread lifts
By Hollen Wheeler
In the chase to look younger, some are opting out of traditional plastic surgery procedures and pursuing less invasive ones. A revived and trending approach is the facial thread lift, a treatment that gives a subtle facelift via a fairly simple and quick process with pleasing but temporary results. With this procedure, loose skin is pulled back and tied off, as opposed to being removed by a surgical knife.
As the skin ages, it naturally grows weaker from the body’s reduced production of collagen. Over time, gravity can pull the skin downward causing wrinkles, sagging cheeks and jowls. Plastic surgery was once thought to be the only way to alter these problem areas, and it involved anesthesia, a scalpel and weeks of recovery. Facial thread lift treatments take approximately one hour and patients can return to their daily lives after the appointment.
Once a medical professional determines the targeted areas to be treated, he or she applies a local anesthetic, inserts anchors under the skin and injects temporary sutures (or threads). The threads have microscopic “hooks” that attach to the underlying tissue, and the threads are pulled back and tied off. A typical patient has three threads per cheek and sometimes two on each side of the neck. There is little to no bruising or bleeding, and the effect is a subtle but noticeable tightening of the targeted areas. The threads will ultimately dissolve in about two weeks, and most patients say that the recovery process is minimal with some swelling and soreness.
As the skin heals around the sutures, the body directs large amounts of collagen to the treated areas, another positive result from the facial thread lift. “New” collagen is nature’s way of healing tissue and will also help the condition of aging skin by reducing looseness and improving firmness.
The ideal candidate ranges in age from 30 years old to mid-50s, when typical skin laxity is mild to moderate,. The cost varies anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.
Plastic surgery results can last for 10 years or more, while thread lift results last from six months to a year. Once the body has absorbed the sutures, a patient can schedule another thread lift procedure and will likely require less threads than the first treatment. Other nonsurgical treatments, like fillers, Botox and chemical peels, can accompany the facial thread lift, and many medical professionals recommend a combination for best results.