As the name suggests, a thread lift helps lift, sculpt and youth boost the skin. Currently, social media is a-buzz with talk of this treatment that’s fallen in and out of favour over the last five years. But how much do you really know about facial threads, and are you the ideal candidate for this somewhat mysterious procedure?We asked EV expert and Founder and Medical Director of Adonia Medical Clinic, Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, to talk us through all things thread lifting. From how it works, to what you can expect during a treatment, here's everything we discovered...
What exactly is a thread lift?There are two types of thread lift procedures. One uses non-dissolvable threads, in the deepest layers of fat, requires anaesthetic and can only be performed by a surgeon. The more popular ‘lunch hour’ variant sees dissolvable threads ‘sewn’ underneath the thickest layer of the skin and pulled taut to rejuvenate the face. This ingenious treatment uses the threads to create a net that supports the skin and acts like 'scaffolding' to replace the collagen and elastin loss that begins in our early 20s.
It’s important to note that despite the incisions being small, there are blood vessels, arteries, and veins to avoid. Thus, making it imperative that you see a medical practitioner with plenty of experience to perform your thread lift.
The lift begins once local anaesthetic has numbed the treatment site, and anywhere from one to eight threads can be used in areas like the forehead, jawline, browline, centre of the face, and neck. Plus, they can also be used on the body, namely on the stomach, knees, and arms.
What are threads made of?There are many different brands of threads on the market, with more innovative varieties than ever before. Synthetic surgical threads are medical-grade, non dissolvable sutures that can be made up of a number of textiles like nylon and polyester and are traditionally used to stitch up wounds and deep cuts.
Polydioxanone aka PDO threads and poly-L-lactic acid known as PLLA threads are synthetic threads made from polymers that are naturally broken down by the body over time. If you have no idea what a polymer is, it’s likely you’re not alone – but all you need to know is this dissolvable material is flexible, durable and totally safe.
Also, thanks to new innovations you’ll find there are three different types of textures to choose from – mono, cog and screw.
The mono variant is a totally smooth thread that offers a subtle lift, cog threads have a barbed texture that can give a superior lift and create safe micro injuries to the skin that boost the production of firming and tightening collagen and elastin. Screw threads join multiple threads together to provide added volume along with a lift.
Are you the ideal candidate for a thread lift?Thread lifts are not for everyone, and you may be surprised to hear that both men and women who are as young as 30 can make great candidates for this treatment. But age is not the best indicator of eligibility.
So, while those in their 30s and 40s can achieve the most impressive results, it’s your skin quality and facial volume that truly counts. Meaning, to get the most out of this Goldilocks procedure, volume and laxity loss need to be just right – which in this case is slight.
This is why where the face is concerned, it’s often smarter to make dermal fillers, and wrinkle relaxing injections your first port of call. These can then be followed up with a thread lift to tighten mild cases of loose skin that can present as jowls, a deepening of the nasolabial folds, a drooping brow and laxity in the neck area.
Is there any downtime?There is no downtime required with this treatment, however, depending on your personal pain threshold you may feel sore, and experience some mild discomfort in the areas where the threads have been inserted. Bruising and swelling are commonplace but can be mitigated by following aftercare instructions.
How long do results last?While a surgical thread lift can last anywhere between two to five years, PDO and PLLA threads gradually dissolve over the course of six to 12 months. Generally, the lifting effect is instantly noticeable and even more so once swelling subsides, but what you’ll find is that to maintain this result it’s best to see your practitioner after three months to assess if additional threads are required.
And while the jury is out on how noticeable the collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid boost truly is, manufacturers claim these effects can be seen for up to 18 months.
Are there any risks associated with this treatment?If poorly administered or if you’re not the right candidate for this treatment, excessive bruising, skin dimpling, visible threads and scarring could transpire. It's also worth noting that this treatment is suitable for all skin types and tones, but those who are prone to keloid scarring should steer clear.
To discover if you are the ideal candidate for this innovative lifting treatment – book a consultation with London based, EV Physician, Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme or visit our practitioner finder for an expert near you.