The Thread Lift Nonsurgical Face Lift
Why I Don’t Perform The Thread Lift Nonsurgical Face Lift
I have been getting quite a number of requests about the Thread Lift procedure, which is a non-surgical “facelift” that has been in existence since the early 1990’s. The claim is that this “facelift” (and I use the term loosely since it is actually quite unlike a true surgical facelift) will tighten and lift the face by inserting medical-grade barbed threads into the face, after which the threads are tightened to “pull up” the skin. Although this is a low-risk procedure with minimal recovery time, it is not without redness, bruising and swelling.
One benefit of the ThreadLift is convenience: it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete, compared with a true surgical facelift which generally requires several hours. Another benefit is cost, as the average price is around $3000. Again, compared with a true surgical facelift that runs around $10,000 in the Dayton area.
Sounds great so far, right? Well, there are some problems with the threadlift which I will share with you. I was involved with them from the very beginning, so this is truly from the horse’s mouth. I do not do this procedure and there are several very good reasons, which I will share with you here.
My History with the Thread Lift
I was fortunate enough to be in the very first group of US surgeons to be trained in the technique of facial threadlifting. Seven other surgeons and I, members of our professional association (The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery) were trained by the Russian aesthetic surgeon who created the Thread Lift. After we were thoroughly instructed in the technique, we then personally performed the procedure on a patient. So far, so good.
The next morning, patient follow-ups were made. Among the 4 patients, one had completely lost the lifting effect on the side he slept on. This was, frankly, all it took for me to decide I would never perform the Thread Lift in my Dayton cosmetic surgery practice!
One year after the 7 surgeons and I had completed the course, I called a colleague in Los Angeles who had continued to perform the ThreadLift. He confirmed that I had made a good decision in not offering the procedure and wished he had done the same.
The Biggest Failure of the Thread Lift
For me, the primary reason I choose not to perform the threadlift facelift is that the lifting is in the fat layer of the face, not in the underlying structures that are lifted during a true facelift procedure.
In the history of facelifting, the first were skin only. Needless to say, these failed quickly because the underlying SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System), which suspend the facial features, were not treated. Once again, the idea is attractive—to avoid a surgical facelift—but the outcome is not. Results of the ThreadLift procedure reportedly last from 1-3 years. A traditional, surgical facelift should last 5 to 10 years before revision is necessary. Although a threadlift appears to be less expensive, in the long run, it’s not, since it would require repeat treatment so quickly. And, by the way, Mesotherapy, Kybella and CoolSculpting have the same attraction—a quick fix solution. However, I don’t use them for the same reason: the results do not stand up to the gold standard surgical methods that bring the highest and most reliable results to my patients.
The Bottom Line
Don’t be fooled by low prices and a quickie facelift that may last for a very short time and perhaps may not work at all.
To your health & beauty,
Ray Wolf, DO
Dayton Cosmetic Surgeon