You’re determined to defy gravity and fight the effects of aging etched in the lines and wrinkles running across your face, but you don’t want to go under the knife. While in the past you would have had to opt for a traditional facelift, now you have another, minimally invasive option — the thread lift.
Here at Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics in Puyallup, Washington, our team of aesthetic experts is dedicated to helping you find solutions to your aesthetic concerns. We’re proud to specialize in the PDO thread lift, a procedure that can lift and tighten the skin on your face and neck without a lot of hassle and downtime. Here’s what you need to know.
What does a “traditional” face-lift involve?
Before we talk about thread lifts, it’s helpful to know what a traditional face-lift entails. As we age, our skin and other tissues lose their elasticity, which leads to lines, sags, and wrinkles. A face-lift — also known as a rhytidectomy — is a surgical procedure aimed at lifting and strengthening the facial tissues to give you a more youthful look. It most often involves removing excess skin and smoothing out the tissues’ wrinkles and folds.
The surgeon generally:
Makes an incision along the hairline near the temples
Continues to cut in front of the ear and earlobe
Finishes cutting behind the ears at the lower scalp
Removes fat and excess skin from the face
Redistributes and tightens the underlying muscle and connective tissue
Seals everything up with sutures or a special skin glue
Once healed, the scars from the incisions blend in with your hairline and new facial structure so they’re not obvious.
Problems with anesthesia
Bleeding or blood clots
Pain or scarring
Difficulty with wound healing
What is a thread lift?
Thread lifting uses surgical thread to lift and tighten sagging skin. The FDA approved the use of these biodegradable sutures for aesthetic procedures in 2015; they had already been used for decades in cardiovascular surgery.
Billed in the late 1990s as contour threads — a “kinder, gentler face-lift” — they came with some frightening side effects, including infection, scarring, and lumps under the skin if the doctor improperly tied the sutures. In addition, these sutures were not dissolvable, nor could they be removed once anchored.
New advances in technology, though, led to the updated and superior, FDA-approved threading technique, which is both minimally invasive and requires little — and sometimes no — downtime. The sutures are made from polydioxanone (PDO), they don’t require anchoring, and they are fully absorbed by the skin without forming scar tissue.
In addition to lifting and tightening your skin, the threads produce other long-term benefits, most notably collagen production. Collagen is a protein crucial to smooth and elastic skin, and its production naturally decreases as you age. Once the healing process from the procedure begins, your body starts to absorb the PDO threads, and collagen cells replicate around the treatment area. This gives your face back its lost volume and smoothness.
Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics uses two different types of PDO threads: Nova and Mint. Nova threads are lighter weight and are fully absorbed after six months. Patients can expect to see a benefit for 6-10 months after treatment, with the thread lasting six months and the collagen response continuing for another 4-6 months. Nova thread treatments can be repeated as early as every six months.
Mint threads are heavier weight and are fully absorbed after 12 months. Patients can expect to see a benefit for 12-18 months after treatment, with the thread lasting 12 months and the collagen response continuing for another six months. Mint thread treatments can be repeated as early as every 12 months.
The surgeon uses a cannula that contains a single, sterilized thread. With a needle, he inserts each thread into the dermis (middle) skin layer, and when he removes the needle/cannula, the thread remains behind. He can then pull the threads to create the “lift.” The procedure takes only about 1-2 hours, and the side effects are minor:
Potential of infection at the injection site
Possible thread extrusion
Thread lifts can’t compete with full face-lifts in terms of longevity, but used together with neurotoxins like Botox® that prevent the underlying muscle contractions that cause wrinkles, and dermal fillers that smooth and tone by plumping up the skin, they can help you fight the signs of aging without surgery and at a small fraction of the traditional procedure’s cost.
Are you looking to fight the visible signs of facial aging? Give Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics a call at 253-268-3400 to find out more about our innovative thread lift procedure and to set up a consultation with our staff.