Threadlift FAQ

Categories : Clinics

It’s that time of year when compliments about how much younger we look now compared to years past, are most welcome gifts. Now, to help us get those statements of admiration, there are a lot of anti-ageing options for us to consider. But there is one procedure that is recently gaining popularity and a courageous following—the thread lift.

What is a threadlift?

The thread lift is a dermatological procedure alternative to surgical facelift. In this procedure, special threads are inserted inside deeper layers of your skin, then get pulled up to achieve tighter, firmer skin. It can be done on the forehead, cheeks, neck, or even on the brow area. This procedure involves multiple threads, depending on the brand of thread, and one may be asked to come back for more insertion sessions.

The procedure takes a couple of minutes depending on the patient’s lift requirements, and results are seen almost immediately. It is said to be less invasive than the traditional facelifts, designed for people experiencing age-related skin sagging. The procedure is done by a trained doctor. As one is conscious during the procedure, the patient can immediately give feedback on the look that is being achieved.

Over time, the threads melt like biodegradable materials. They are, however, not as smooth as sutures, like the ones used in caesarian sections; they are actually somewhat barbed or coarse. They come in this form to effectively pull the skin up. They cause damage to some layers of the skin, specifically the dermis, but it is said that this kind of effect encourages more collagen formation. And it is this production of collagen that is believed to keep the skin lifted.

What are the possible complications?

In an online article published last May/Jun 2009 by Rima F. Abraham, MD; Robert J. DeFatta, MD, PhD, and Edwin F. Williams III, MD, it was said that “Complications encountered in our series were similar to those reported elsewhere. Most of these were skin dimpling and visible subcutaneous knots. Three patients required thread removal because of a visible knot at the thread’s distal end. One patient had a single thread removed secondary to dissatisfaction with thread-lift results. Another patient underwent delayed fat injection because thread-lifting alone did not achieve the results expected.”

The article went on further in their study to say, “Furthermore, this superficial thread placement gives the procedure a high potential for post-procedural morbidity. Reported problems include thread breakage and extrusion, skin dimpling, superficial hemorrhages, mild asymmetry, ecchymosis, erythema, edema, and persistent pain.”

For those considering this procedure, it does help to research and gain enough knowledge about what he or she will possibly go through. There is no rush in deciding whether to get a thread lift or not, as it might be more difficult to reverse this procedure.

Thread lift supporters

Dermatologist Dr. Allan Pua has long-term patients who had the procedure done by another doctor and are satisfied with the results. Nonetheless, patients have two main concerns: the pain and the bruising, because after all, this is an invasive procedure with the thread piercing through the facial muscles.

This procedure is relatively new so definitive objective studies are yet to pronounce the verdict regarding its long-term effect, but some supporters don’t seem to mind as long as the result is satisfactory. And as in any procedure, one would need to take the time to weigh the pros and cons.

But on the face of it, apparently, it’s “no pain, no gain” for the thread lift.