Thread or suture lifts are a group of procedures that entail the insertion of various types of thread under the skin for the purpose of rejuvenation and/or to correct saggy skin. Threads have been used for many areas eg face, neck, breast, buttocks.
The threads used for such procedures can be of the absorbable type, non-absorbable or has elements of both in a single thread.
Generally, they can be divided into 3 types.
- Biostimulatory threads
Made of a variety of materials ranging from simple Polydiaxanone (PDO) to gold, insertion of these threads under the skin is thought to bring about a certain amount of inflammation that would cause the skin to react by laying down more collagen and promoting cellular rejuvenation. These threads are usually smooth (ie, non-barbed)
Although theoretically this might very well work, in reality as of yet, there is not enough studies and evidence to show that this procedure actually works in the manner that has been described. There has been some success cases but these are purely anecdotal.
- Rejuvenative threads
These threads are usually barbed and are inserted in specific areas eg cheeks, jaw and neck. They function mainly to shift tissue masses in order to redefine the shape of these areas that has been lost due to saggy skin and volume loss due to aging. Works best in combination with facial fillers. Example of such threads would be Silhouette-Soft.
- Suspensory threads
As it’s name suggest, these threads (almost always barbed) are used to suspend tissues and saggy skin, lift them and secure them against a fixed structure of the head. It attempts to mimic the principle behind the traditional surgical facelift while maintaining it’s quality of being minimally invasive . Example of such threads would be Contour threads and Silhouette-Lift.
There has been much controversy especially in recent years about the effectiveness of threads in achieving it’s intended aesthetic goals or whether they even work at all!
Our experience of working with threads have somewhat formed some basic opinions about the validity of it’s claims. Do they work? Yes but…
- Only rejuvenative and suspensory threads give reliably visible results
- They only work for very specific areas and condition.
- Results from threadlifts are inconsistent and will vary from patient to patient.
- Threadlift must always be performed as an adjunct to other treatments. When done on it’s own, results are unimpressive.
- Patients must have realistic expectations with regards to the results they can achieve with threadlift and it’s longevity ie threadlift cannot and should never be compared to a traditional surgical facelift. (In fact, we are of the opinion that there really is NO SUCH THING as a non-surgical facelift; beware the ever so popular facelift-in-a-needle, facelift-in-a-bottle, “liquid face lift” jargons!)
We advice patients who are keen on exploring the option of threadlifts to attend a formal consultation with their doctor and not rely on information from the internet nor the experience of others.