A thread lift (also known as a non surgical face lift or contour thread lift) is a less invasive option for tightening and lifting facial skin than the surgical facelift. A thread face lift can be used to lift the cheeks and eyebrows and to tighten skin around the eyes, jowls and neck and even to ease nose-to-mouth lines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, thread lifts cannot provide the same results as a full surgical face lift. Since there is no skin being removed during the procedure, there is a limit to how much improvement can be made. If your face requires a significant amount of lifting, then surgery may be more appropriate than a thread lift.
Non Surgical Face Lift Options
There are two techniques which can be used for this procedure. The first option is the free-floating thread lift (also known as the Aptos thread technique). The threads are made from polypropylene (the same material used for surgical stitches) and contain tiny cogs or barbs. These barbs help to stimulate collagen along the length of the thread and also help to anchor scar tissue.
Insertion is made using a hollow needle which guides the path of the thread. Once the surgeon is satisfied the needle is in the right position, the needle is removed, leaving the thread in place. The thread is then lifted and the excess trimmed.
The alternative option is to use smooth threads instead of barbed. Since there are no cogs to anchor into the fat, these must be suspended from the closest stable part of the head (such as the scalp) using a stitch. This method uses a standard needle and is harder to perform. If the surgeon uses dissolvable stitches for this technique, the scar tissue which forms around the threads remains intact, maintaining the pull of the lift. However, it is argued that Aptos threads last longer than a suspension thread lift.
Non Surgical Face Lift Recovery
Since contour thread lifting is much less invasive than a surgical face lift, the recovery process is not as demanding. After the procedure, your face will feel tight, swollen and bruised. For a few days you may find it challenging to talk. The skin may feel bumpy but this usually settles within a few weeks.
The swelling should ease by the end of the week. You should be able to see the effects of the thread lift at this stage. The collagen starts to rebuild after about a month. This is when you’ll be able to notice the full effect of the face lift. The skin continues to improve over the ensuing three to six months.
Non Surgical Face Lift Risks
Here are some of the common risks associated with having a thread lift:
- Threads slipping out – sometimes a thread can protrude out of the skin. This requires your surgeon to trim the end. Don’t attempt this yourself.
- Thread Visibility – if a thread becomes visible or if you can feel it on the surface of your skin, then it may need to be removed. This is a more invasive procedure than inserting.
- Asymmetry – there is a possibility of the threads moving. This can make the results uneven.
- Puckering – if this happens, have your surgeon gently massage the skin back into place. Don’t try this yourself. You may make things worse and may even induce an infection.
- Scars – the scarring should be very faint and barely noticeable. However, if you are prone to problem scarring make sure you let your surgeon know prior to the procedure.
- As with any other surgery there’s also possibility of infection, reaction to anaesthetic and haematoma.
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