It wasn’t that long ago that certain issues with facial laxity could only be treated with a facelift surgery. Those suffering from jowls or developing drooping cheeks didn’t have much choice: either undergo surgery or live with the issue. At Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL, we can now offer a much better alternative in the thread lift. If you’re not interested in an invasive surgery with long downtime, or if you’re not a candidate for a facelift, come talk to us about the thread lift and how it can help.
How Does a Thread Lift Work?
In a typical facelift, a surgeon will remove loose facial skin entirely. With a thread lift, we simply lift the skin and suspend it, stitching up portions of it with special barbed threads that pull back the skin. This lifts and tightens the face, but it also does far more than that. The threads and skin lift done in this way also provoke your body to produce its natural healing response and ramp up the production of collagen to the area.
Why Collagen Matters
Collagen is the key protein involved in skin health, though it’s found all over the body. It forms a matrix of tightly interwoven tissues in the dermis, which is the secondary layer of skin, and there it supports the epidermis while also firmly anchoring the lower tissues, like fat and muscle.
When collagen production is high, our skin is firm, elastic, and strong. As it naturally begins to wane with age, our skin loses that strength and begins to fall into wrinkles and lines. Meanwhile, underneath, the firm anchoring of fat and muscle gives way and both tend to sag, which is one of the biggest reasons for the jowls and drooping cheeks none of us want to see.
How Increased Collagen Changes Things
In a thread lift, you’re first pulling the skin up to the place where you want it to be. But the threads aren’t meant to hold it there indefinitely. Instead, they simply define the outline of your new, refreshed face and hold it there while the collagen gets to work.
Over the course of the first few weeks after your lift, ramped up collagen production will begin re-building the strong matrix of dermal tissue that you had when you were younger. As this happens, the sutures and threads will be expelled naturally and completely replaced by a new, strong matrix of natural collagen.
Advantages Over a Traditional Facelift
The biggest obvious advantage of this treatment is how much easier, simpler, and less invasive it is. A traditional facelift requires you to be heavily sedated. The process itself requires a lot of incisions and suturing. Then you’ll need to be driven home and have someone care for you for at least three days. If you have children, you’ll need to arrange childcare. Most people who undergo a facelift will also need to take a few weeks off from work.
A thread lift is much different. It’s not very invasive, and it doesn’t require a lot of downtime. While you will need to avoid rubbing your face for a week, you won’t have to go through all the intense after-care that you would with a facelift.
Whenever you have surgery, there are always risks. The more anesthesia that is necessary, the greater the risk. Additionally, a facelift comes with the risk of scarring, bruising, bleeding, and other complications. These are almost non-existent with the thread version of a lift.
Because there’s so much less involved in the thread version, and because it takes less time and requires less effort to perform, it is significantly more affordable while still producing good results.
If you have a regular facelift, there’s no going back. If you’re not happy with the way things were done, there’s almost nothing you can do about it short of waiting for full healing and then scheduling another complicated and invasive procedure to try and make some changes. With the thread treatment, we can simply remove the sutures and return your face to its previous state if necessary.
When you have a facelift, the results can look dramatically different, advertising to everyone that you’ve had work done. When you address your laxity issues with the thread version of the lift, the results are much more natural because you’re stimulating your collagen to rebuild its formal structure. You’ll look just like you, only younger.
Important Things to Know About This Treatment
Having Realistic Expectations
This is a great way to see a significant difference in skin laity, but the results will always be somewhat subtle compared to a full facelift surgery. You can expect to see several millimeters of change, so if you need a greater change, talk to us about exactly what you can expect. We can help you make the best decisions for your treatment needs.
The best candidates for this treatment are usually suffering from a mild or moderate degree of laxity rather than severe laxity. In fact, the earlier your address your skin laxity issues, the more effective you can expect this (or any treatment) to be. Most ideal candidates are between 35 and 55. Those younger than 35 will usually get better results with other types of treatments, like dermal fillers. Those over 55 may not get the results they want and could benefit from a full facelift.
Ideal candidates also need to be free of any conditions that could affect the safety of this treatment. Some issues that could complicate treatment include unmanaged high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. If you have a blood disorder or an allergy to the anesthesia, you may also need to seek an alternative treatment. At your consultation, we’ll go over your medical history and help you understand if this is the best choice for you.
Results and Future Treatment
A full facelift lasts as long as a decade. In contrast, this treatment will usually last from one to three years. However, because this is a very low-risk and easy procedure, it’s also possible to simply have a fresh set of threads put in where the old ones were whenever necessary. This is in stark contrast to a full facelift, which may not be possible or safe to do again ten years down the line.
Making the Most of Your Lift
Once you have your excellent results, you’ll want to keep them for as long as possible. As with almost any cosmetic treatment, the duration of results depends at least in part on how you treat your skin and what other therapies you might choose to use in conjunction with it.
In some cases, loose skin tightening with radio-frequency treatment can be paired with a thread treatment to provide even better results. You might also consider treatment with certain facials and dermal fillers that could make a dramatic difference. There are treatments that can deal with other signs of aging, like wrinkles, skin texture, and uneven pigmentation, that can complement the results of your thread treatment.
Treat Your Skin Right
With any cosmetic treatment, you’ll get the longest-lasting results when you take careful care of your skin. This means staying hydrated, avoiding things that can dry the skin or slow collagen production (like excessive alcohol consumption or smoking) and eating a skin-healthy diet full of good fats and lots of fruits and vegetables.
You should also always protect your skin with sunscreen of 30 SPF or greater, and it’s best to avoid spending too much time in the sun during the peak hours of UV radiation, which are typically from about 10 am to 3 pm. Your skin will also thank you for keeping up a healthy routine of exfoliation, moisturizing, and skincare products designed to address your specific issues. We can recommend the best products for your skin needs.
Don’t Wait to Get the Look You Need
When you look your best, you feel and perform at your best, too. To learn more about this treatment and other ways you can get back the youthful face you remember, contact Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL today and set up a consultation. Your skin deserves the best care: and that’s just what we provide!