One of the most enduring trends in the aesthetics field is providing less invasive alternatives to surgical techniques. That’s a goal definitely worth pursuing as long as patients understand that, in most cases, their results won’t match what can be accomplished through plastic surgery. An example is a thread lift, which is often touted as an option for patients considering facelift surgery. In Nashville, patients occasionally ask if I perform thread lifts.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why I don’t believe they are a good facelift alternative and why women and men who are concerned about sagging skin, jowls, and other signs of aging in the mid and lower face are better off undergoing a Reflection Lift.
What Is a Thread Lift?
Sometimes called suture suspension lifts, a thread lift is a nonsurgical procedure that uses absorbable threads inserted by a surgeon with a specialized needle below the skin’s surface. The objective is twofold—to support and lift tissue and stimulate collagen production to enhance facial volume. Even though various thread lift techniques exist, one of the most popular is called the Silhouette Instalift, which uses bidirectional cones to anchor the threads and lift the tissue.
Today’s threads are made of substances called polymers, including poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which is the material used in the filler Sculptra® Aesthetic. As the threads break down and are absorbed by the body, the collagen created improves the skin’s quality.
Should You Get a Thread Lift?
Even though the technique has improved somewhat from when it was initially introduced, the drawbacks of a thread lift still outweigh any benefits. Most experienced facial plastic surgeons don’t offer these types of procedures, and with good reason. Among the disadvantages is that thread lift results don’t last very long—often as little as 6 months. Results that last a year are considered successful. Compared to surgical facelifts, which produce changes that can last 10 years, thread lifts are not cost-effective.
Additionally, the results are often disappointing. I’ve removed many threads from facelift patients during surgery as part of revision plastic surgery. To be clear, women and men who are good candidates for a facelift likely will be underwhelmed by suture suspension lifts. At best, they provide a bridge between fillers and a facelift.
The Benefits of a Reflection Lift
If you’re considering facelift surgery, your first step should be to schedule consultations with board-certified facial plastic surgeons because their training and experience are exclusively focused on the face. When I consult with patients, I assess their facial anatomy and discuss their concerns and cosmetic goals to determine the best treatment path for their unique needs.
If I believe a nonsurgical or minimally invasive approach would be the best approach, that’s what I’ll recommend. In many cases, a Reflection Lift combining a facelift with nonsurgical treatments such as laser skin resurfacing will produce the long-lasting results that patients want.
Our gallery of before-and-after photos featuring many of my actual Reflection Lift patients demonstrates the type of results you can expect. If you are considering facial rejuvenation and looking for a facial plastic surgeon in the Nashville area, contact my practice using the online form to request a consultation. Or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.