Saggy cheeks. Droopy jowls. Is that a double chin you see?!

These are the tell-tale signs of aging – gravity pulls at our facial tissues everyday, made worse as our skin loosens with age, inevitably showing up as hollows, excess fats in places they shouldn’t be, and wrinkles. All of these askew from the ideals of what a supple, youthful face should be like.

What are face threads? 

Thread lifting is a minimally invasive procedure that helps restore our facial contours by lifting sagging tissues and repositioning facial volumes, usually to achieve a more youthful look. 

These threads are made of absorbable PDO (polydioxanone), which are used for sutures in surgeries and are proven to be safely used in the human body. The threads are biostimulatory and have barbed hooks to stimulate collagen synthesis and tissue contraction.

Minimally invasive face lifting techniques like face threads have been steadily gaining widespread public acceptance due to heavy research over the years, improved thread material and mature techniques.

How does it work, and what is the process like?

Different types of threads are frequently needed for different areas: some threads provide a lift, others are needed for repositioning facial fat and some others work by purely stimulating collagen to thicken loose skin. The number of threads needed depend on severity and other individual considerations.

The procedure is a fuss-free day procedure that takes about 30 minutes and allows you to return to normal activities almost immediately.

After careful planning, local anaesthesia is injected in the sites where the threads are needed to numb the area and reduce pain. Usually done through a needle-hole incision, the face threads are then inserted into beneath the dermis layer, but above the subcutaneous tissue. using well positioned blunt or sharp needles. After all the threads have been inserted and cut off, the face is massaged to relax the threads and adjusted for symmetry.

What are the results I should expect from having face threads done?

Apart from an immediate lift to sagging tissues, thread lifts also provide a stimulus for collagen regeneration over the treated areas. This ensures long lasting and natural results that continue to improve even months after the procedure. Additionally, the procedure helps with overall skin rejuvenation and improvement of skin texture problems such as wrinkles and even scarring!

How long do the results last?

The results from a session of thread lift are immediately visible and can last until the threads are absorbed by the body. For PDO threads, full absorption usually happens in 6 months, but the effects of the lift are further maintained for another 6 to 12 months depending on individual factors like genetics and lifestyle. Since collagen degradation happens with age, a maintenance procedure is normally recommended annually.

What is the downtime, and does it hurt?

Thread lifts are generally a very safe procedure and side effects are mild and temporary. It is likely that one may feel a mild soreness during the recovery period of 3 to 5 days. Mild bruising may also occur which is usually easily covered up by cosmetics. Following the treatment, it is recommended to avoid heavy physical activity and aggressive facial movement for the next 1 to 2 weeks.  

A significant risk is that one may not notice any improvement – this normally means that the patient is not suitable for immediate lifting and will instead experience gradual skin rejuvenation over the next few months.

Very rarely, infection or thread extrusion may occur and these may require another visit to the doctor’s office.

How does it compare to other minally/non-invasive facelift methods?

As with other minimally invasive aesthetic lifting devices, patients need to be carefully selected. Even though most people will benefit from the procedure, some may see less improvement with a thread lift procedure and instead, get better results from an Ultraformer HIFU or Radio Frequency treatment. A detailed consultation with the doctor communicating ideas and expectations is necessary for best possible outcome.