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Important Questions about Thread Lift Procedures Answered for Australians

October 08,2020 | Posted by: CMC
Focussing on dermal filler treatments

When skin ages, facial fat and elastic fibres decrease around areas such as the cheeks, under the eyes, jowls and the neck. This causes the face to sag and drop forward, becoming heavier in its lower sections.

Advances in facial cosmetic medicine such as Thread Lift treatments offer a non-surgical alternative to repairing the effects of aging without traditional face lift surgery. So what exactly is a thread lift procedure and can you benefit from it? Find out everything you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of thread lift procedures here.

How Does the Thread Lift Procedure Work?

Thread lifts are a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses temporary sutures (threads) to rejuvenate facial tissue or lift the skin. According to an article in the Journal of Dermatology and Cosmetology,  thread lift procedures trigger a natural healing response. 

Those who get a thread lift will have medical-grade sutures (threads) inserted under the skin into designated areas such as the cheek, neck and other areas in need of some lifting. Once threads and their barbs are anchored, these threads will be pulled up to achieve the desired outcome. The skin in the affected areas will produce more collagen, making the skin denser and more elastic thus restoring volume and improving the skin’s texture. The result is a naturally aesthetic outcome.

After the procedure, there may be some swelling and bruising which normally settles within days but will vary among individuals. 

Post-procedure care involves …

  • Avoiding heavy or excessive rubbing of the treated area
  • Avoiding excessive mouth movements such as biting into food
  • Keep skin and hair clean

Unlike a traditional facelift, a thread lift doesn’t necessitate systemic anaesthesia.  A local anaesthetic will be utilised to numb the treated facial region and the entire procedure will be over within an hour.

One new technology that has made thread lift procedures a lot safer and less invasive is the discovery of absorbable sutures. These are broken down by the body in a safe, completely natural manner. Thus, the sutures do not interfere with other procedures you may want to have done in the future and the thread lift itself can be repeated.

Which Suture Type is Best for My Treatment? 

Three types of sutures are available; polydioxanone (PDO), polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA).  

PDO polydioxanone Sutures – Polydioxanone (PDO) biodegradable polymer sutures stimulate collagen production for several months before being absorbed into the body and stimulating collagen tissue to replace them.  Effects of the threads therefore last longer than the threads themselves.

Smooth: these sutures are smooth without barbs. They anchor to the face or scalp. They mainly tighten the skin and provide a small amount of lift.  They are often placed in ranks of many threads in particular areas where tissues are thin or crepey, rather than needing a lift.

Barbed: these are sutures that hook to the skin. They are anchored near the hairline and provide good volume restoration to sagging tissue around the cheeks and jowls. Different lengths, thicknesses of threads and different orientations of barbs are used for different purposes in the brow, cheek, nose, neck or elsewhere.

PLA polylactic acid Sutures – polylactic acid sutures promote the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Anchored near the corner of the mouth or along the brows. Provides a small lift but excellent for collagen stimulation, promoting skin firmness. 

PCA (Polycaprolactone) Sutures – PCL threads stimulate both Type 1 and Type 2 collagen and  hyaluronic acid. These provide good lift to sunken areas of the skin. 

Who’s an Ideal Thread Lift Candidate?

If you are considering a thread lift treatment, you’ll need to see a cosmetic doctor to discuss the option. Doctors assess patients in advance to determine their suitability for one procedure or another.

Ideal candidates for the thread lift treatment include:

  • People who have visible signs of aging they want to address such as – 
    • Sagging skin
    • Fine lines and wrinkles
    • Smile lines
    • Sagging jowls
    • Under eye bags
    • Turkey neck
  • Men and women in the 35 to 55 age range
  • Those who have had a previous face lift and are starting to see the effects of that procedure wearing off
  • People who aren’t interested in more invasive procedures like a traditional face lift

Who is not eligible for Thread Lift Procedures? 

  • Individuals who cannot have lignocaine/lidocaine local anaesthetic
  • Individuals who cannot have adrenaline in local anaesthetic
  • People whose skin is too thin
  • People with too much excess skin

It’s very important for patients to also have realistic expectations about the thread lift. A thread lift will not deliver the same results as a traditional face lift. The outcome will be less pronounced and you’re not going to immediately shave 20 years off your face. Thus, a cosmetic doctor will make sure that you’re aware of exactly what you can expect from the procedure before getting started.

What Results Can I Expect? 

  • Natural looking facial contours
  • Skin tone improvement
  • Wrinkle rejuvenation
  • More defined jawline
  • Cheeks which are fuller in the upper part with reduced jowling
  • Reduction in skin fold around the mouth

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thread Lift Procedures

Determining whether this rejuvenation procedure is the right one for you will depend on understanding both the benefits and the shortcomings.

Some of the biggest advantages of getting the thread lift treatment include:

  • The procedure is quick and much less invasive than an actual facelift
  • You will not have to go under general anaesthesia to benefit from a thread lift treatment
  • The recovery time after the completion of the procedure will be minimal – there could be some initial redness, swelling or bruising but these will go away within a week or so.
  • A thread lift is less painful than an actual facelift (there will be minimal swelling and much less bruising than in the case of a surgical procedure)
  • This is a really versatile procedure that can be applied to various facial areas in need of rejuvenation, as well as the neck
  • There will be no big cuts
  • They are relatively low risk 

While all of this sounds great, there are still some shortcomings to keep in mind before choosing a thread lift:

  • 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
  • A thread lift can be costly
  • 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

 How Much Does A Thread Lift Treatment Cost in Australia?

Since a thread lift is much less invasive than an actual face lift, it also happens to be a more budget-friendly option for experiencing some facial rejuvenation.

A bit of research reveals a price range for a thread lift treatment in the $1,560 to over $3,680 dollars depending on what needs to be done. Common areas treated include the neck, cheeks, the lower cheek and jaw area.

When looking for a thread lift treatment, however, you should not opt for the most inexpensive offer. Instead, try to identify the best price to quality ratio. While less dangerous than surgical procedures, thread lifts could result in long-lasting negative consequences when not performed correctly.

If you are concerned about the inevitable process of aging, a thread lift may be just the procedure you’ve been looking for. While it can give you good results, you should be prepared for both the advantages and risks of the procedure. Finding the right cosmetic doctor, discussing the possibilities and having all of your concerns addressed will help confirm that you’ve made the right choice.