In 1901, the first skin-only surgical facelift was described. In the 1970s, a deep layer method involving the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) was described and revolutionized the way surgeons viewed the surgical facelift. But the cutting, pulling and stitching requiring weeks of downtime have now led to people looking for more “convenient” alternatives.
The idea of a surgical facelift is clearly dated. Not entirely because of the downtime it gave, but because there was no need to get cut to look lifted and youthful anymore. Facial lifts can now be performed far more quickly and conveniently with Botox, fillers and threadlifts.
THE FACIAL THREADLIFT
The traditional surgical facelift treats an aging face by removing excess/lax skin and tightening deep muscles, requiring anaesthesia and giving approximately 14 days of downtime and another 4 weeks of settling time.
Threadlifts have a minor downtime of 12 to 24 hours. These threads have small graspers on them and are passed under the skin in designed vectors to effect maximal lift. The graspers get hold of the skin from beneath and the doctor then pulls, suspending the skin in a more desirable, lifted position. Following insertion, the skin starts to produce bundles of collagen around each thread which act as a scaffold to continue the lifting effect long after the threads have dissolved. It sounds invasive but it is actually only minimally so. Unlike the surgical facelift, there are no incisions at all. In fact, there is rarely much downtime at all which makes this amazing given the immediate lift that can be visibly appreciated.
What’s better about this generation of facial threadlifting is the material of the threads. The new threads are now completely dissolvable and this has multiple benefits, reducing the risk of complications years down the track. Because there is no deep layer manipulation, the procedure is usually comfortable but the slight downside is that the results is less dramatic and not long-lasting like the surgical facelift.
Another reason why the threadlift is so popular now? According to Dr Kenneth Lee, co-founder of the SW1 Clinic, people are now seeking facial rejuvenation treatments earlier – when they show early signs of aging, which usually do not need something dramatic such as going under the scalpel. “Many patients still prefer the least invasive and less costly options, such as Botox, fillers and threadlift.” says Dr Kenneth Lee.
Threadlift results can be instantly appreciated, but the best results can be seen around 4 months after, when the collagen has formed around the threads, and results last approximately 18 months or longer, and additional threads can be placed to maintain results.