Thread lifts were invented in 1997 by Dr Marian Sulamanidze. They were a new way to treat sagging facial tissue.
Facial aging is characterised by 2 phenomena:
- the loss of tissue: which is compensated by injections of hyaluronic acid or by fat grafting (lipofilling).
- sagging tissue: the soft superficial planes (muscles and contours) become lax.
Sagging facial tissue can be treated in 3 ways
Lifts which detach, shorten and redrape the skin
- very effective for the lower face and the neck,
- less effective for the cheekbones,
- not useful for the forehead since the introduction of Botox.
- phenol or TCA peeling
- CO2 laser
- dermabrasion A good result for skin tonicity but has no effect on facial sagging.
Thread lifts: Russian threads
- The tissues can be lifted without detaching them from the muscle. The skin is not cut; the excess skin retracts itself with time.
A local anaesthetic is administered to the area concerned, and then a long needle of about 10cm is inserted along the curve that needs to be lifted. The surgeon uses this needle as a guide through which the thread will be introduced. Once this is done, he just has to remove the needle, put a little pressure on thread so as to lift the skin which locks onto the barbs of the thread. 2 or 3 threads are inserted in this way on each side of the face.
It is clear that this technique is a lot gentler than the 2 previous ones, (a face lift involves the cutting and detaching of tissues and peelings, a real burning of the skin).
- Pain: the longer and more numerous the threads, the more painful the post operative effects will be (a pain killer and anti-inflammatory are required).
- Patients are often uncomfortable at night and it is not advisable to sleep on the side of your face (an airplane pillow is useful for the first few nights).
- Moderate bruising, sometimes a hematoma. Infections are avoided by aseptic surgical procedures and post-op medication (antibiotics, Betadine…).
- Finally, the “creased” look, due to surplus skin and swelling, make a 5 to 7 day period of isolation preferable.
Thread lifts treat:
- the face oval
- the neck
- the eyebrows