Here’s to looking younger without surgery

There are a huge variety of procedures available to rejuvenate the ageing face these days. The more familiar ones are RF, Ultherapy, botulinum toxins, dermal fillers, chemical peeling. Non-invasive procedures have become popular in recent years as they allow short downtime and increased convenience. Among all the non-invasive aesthetic procedures, thread lift is the only one that provides the mechanical lifting action that can directly counteract the downward sag. Thread lifts are ideal for people with minimal signs of aging, but that does not mean you cannot use it to prevent the sag before it starts. With the advances of aesthetic procedures, increasing number of people are able to maintain their youthful appearances. What do you think is the secret to Song Hye Kyo’s youthful appearance at age 37?

South Korean darling Song Hye-kyo appears in public in Seoul for promotion activity. — Photo via Instagram/songhyekyo.ig
Photo via Instagram/songhyekyo.ig –21 October 2019

What are thread lift?

There are many types of threads. They can be made from all sorts of different materials: gold, polydioxanone (PDO), polycaprolactone (PCL), poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). They are often suturing materials used in surgery on a daily basis for the past few decades, so there is often no issues with allergy and no long-term complications. The threads are also fashion in many different styles: barbed, cogged, spiral. The attachments which acts as “hooks” can be single directional, or bidirectional.

What can thread lift do?

In 2011, Korean Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mono 6-0 PDO threads for 1) Neovascularisation (New blood vessels) 2) Collagen type 1 and 3 regeneration and 3)lipolysis. On a cellular level, the inserted threads that are placed at the right layer of the skin can stimulate collagen production, giving that rejuvenated skin effect- more lifted and firm. PDO facial threads has also been observed to give that brightening complexion and its reasons is believed to be a combination of new blood vessels and new collagen production effects. The lifting effects comes from the fibrous capsule reaction that creates bands of fibrosis or “new ligaments” that holds the skin envelope to the underlying fascial structures.

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Histological slide showing collagen deposit around the thread and its knots (Source-Product Presentation “Silhouette Lift Sutures Suspension System” by Roberto Pizzamiglio M. D., Marbella-Spain and Franco Perego, M. D., Monza-Italy™)

Threads can also be used for tissue healing, tendon trauma (tennis elbow, golf elbow), frozen shoulder, knee collateral ligament repair, fibro-myalgia and muscular relaxation (masseters, orbicularis oculi, gastrocnemius skeletal muscle) and Hypotrophic acne scars. Hydrolifts (hyaluronic skin boosters) and botox combine well with threads, augmenting the results of threadlifts.

How does the procedure look like?

The following pictures are my personal photos of PDO thread lifts performed by me. Face was cleaned and then prepped with numb cream. No local anaesthetic is needed for the procedure. It was reported to be quite comfortable by the patient.

Risks of Thread Lifts include:

  • Skin dimpling
  • Visible threads under skin
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage with facial weakness or numbness (temporary or permanent)
  • Asymmetrical results
  • Thread extrusion

What to expect after?

You will expect some swelling which will last from few days up to a week. But the swelling is very minimal, you can still go for socialising event on the day itself. Depending on the material of the threads used, the time it takes for the threads to dissolve fully will differ. The lifting and stimulation of collagen will continue over months and years.

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