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What is the thread lift?
It is a minimally invasive face rejuvenation procedure with short recovery period, often called a “mini-facelift”. Specially designed threads are inserted under the skin in order to elevate sagging cheeks, jowls, eyebrows as well as re-contour the mid and lower face. The procedure is a good option for patients who do not wish to have a surgery and/or any downtime. Threads are usually inserted into the face but neck, decollate, inner arms, hands, knees, inner thighs, buttocks and abdomen can be treated as well.
How does the thread lift work?
The threads are made from polydioxanone (PDO) a well-known material used in surgery for many years without any significant adverse effects. Once inserted subcutaneously the threads are hold in place by surrounding tissue. Their presence induces inflammation and stimulates collagen production. The skin becomes firmer and tighter thus enhances the lift.
What results can I expect after insertion of the threads?
The best candidates are people in their 30s to 60s who have a relatively good skin texture and do not have an excessive sagging skin and /or excessive loss of fatty tissue in the face and in the neck. Most patients after the thread lift procedure can achieve a natural rejuvenation of the face and neck as well as an improvement in sagging and drooping facial areas. Patients with excessively loose skin often require a more rigorous surgical facelift.
How long the effects last?
Polydioxanone is a biodegradable material which means that once in the body it is broken down by enzymatic reactions. This process usually takes 200 days from the insertion. Because the threads continue to stimulate collagen synthesis the results also continue to improve over the time.
Results vary from person to person. Up to certain degree visible effects are already seen immediately after the procedure, but with time they improve and usually last 18 months when they gradually wear off. Often additional threads are inserted to maintain the desirable effects.
Are there any special preparations needed before the treatment?
No special preparation are needed.
On the day of the treatment the patient does not need to be fasting.
Patients taking Aspirin, anti-coagulants (Warfarin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (diclofenac, ibuprofen etc) may consider to stop taking them for a week prior the treatment, in order to minimalize bruising and only after consultation with their physician.
For the same reason it is also recommended to stop taking supplements like Omega 3, garlic, Vitamin E.
How long does the treatment take?
This depends on the number of threads inserted, but usually it takes 30-45 minutes.
Is there any anesthesia needed?
This also depends on the type of threads to be inserted. For most threads no anaesthesia is needed, because the threads are attached to very fine needles which cause only little discomfort when inserted. For thicker threads local anaesthesia is indicated.
What are the potential side effects and complications during and after the treatment?
As with any invasive procedure a certain amount of risk exist.
The possible complications and side effects include: discomfort, bruising and swelling.
Scarring; PDO threads are inserted through small puncture wounds, which may take a few days to heal; small scars, although unusual, may occur at the puncture sites. Skin infection is a possibility in all skin procedures. Bleeding is unusual. Allergic reactions are not common, but possible, if allergic reactions appear they usually are to a tape or topical preparations. Pigmentation changes; there is a possibility that the treated skin becomes lighter or darker in colour than the surrounding skin. This is usually temporary, but on rare occasions, may be permanent. Appropriate sun protection is very important. Partial laxity correction; PDO thread lift gives improvement in laxity only up to certain degree. In cases of excessive skin laxity, threads may not be recommended. Delayed healing; Smoking is strongly discouraged.
Other: slight asymmetry, redness, visible thread(s) or temporary dimpling may require additional treatment or resolve by itself.
What are the contraindications for the treatment threads?
Contraindications include patients who are younger than 18 years old, who are pregnant, nursing mothers, patients who wish to have an excessive lift, patients with excessive sagging skin, with excessive loss of fatty tissue in the face or in the neck, patients who are sensitive or allergic to the thread material, who have tendency to form hypertrophic scars or keloids, who suffer from cancer, auto-immune disease, who have acute or chronic infections or acute inflammation in the treated areas (for example herpes, acne)
What are the aftercare instructions?
For the first 3 nights after PDO thread lift it is recommended to keep the head elevated, at least at 30 degrees. Ice may be applied for the first 24h. Any direct pressure to the face should be avoided for at least 3 weeks. For the same period of time one should avoid excessive chewing, yawning. Arnica gel may be applied. For pain one could take oral Paracetamol, but anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen, should be avoided.