What Is A Thread Lift?
In athread lift, threads are inserted underneath the skin to instantly and effectively lift sagging skin. The threads are mainly used on the face and the neck, but can also be used to lift skin on the body.
The thread lifting procedure does not involve surgery. It is a minimally invasive and very safe and effective in-office procedure with little downtime—especially when performed by an experienced surgeon.
How Have Thread Lifts Evolved Over The Years?
Thread lift is not a new concept. It’s been used in cosmetic surgery for decades internationally, although it is newer to the United States.
The original thread lift procedure started in the late 1990s and was performed up until the mid 2000s. This procedure fell out favor primarily due to the use of permanent threads, which increased the chance of infection and thread breakage. These older, barbed, permanent threads were also difficult to work with and required a more invasive anchoring method into the scalp, temple or brow region to hold up the loose skin. The knots used to anchor these threads had to be tied carefully so that the thread did not release from the anchored site.
Another issue with these permanent threads was that the skin could be only pulled in one direction, which made the results appear two-dimensional. The old thread lifting procedure also required overpulling the skin to get a good result, increasing the downtime, akin to what is now called a mini-facelift. Additionally, these permanent threads made any future surgery in the same area more difficult.
In 2015, Gwyneth Paltrow, actress turned wellness expert, made headlines for covering the older thread lifting procedure on Goop. She called it an “under the radar approach” to anti-aging, despite the fact that it wasn’t considered to be completely safe at the time. Thanks to new research, advancements and FDA approval of newer dissolvable threads, the thread lifting procedure is making a huge comeback.
How Is The Thread Lifting Procedure Of Today Different That The Thread Lifting Procedure Of The Past?
The newer thread lifting procedure is radically different from the older one. Because the original threads were made of permanent, nonabsorbable suture materials, once they were placed underneath the skin, they were there to stay – forever. Today’s threads are completely dissolvable, meaning the body naturally breaks them down over time. These absorbable threads are better than the older threads for many reasons:
- They are far safer with very low risk of infection. Bacteria don’t have a permanent foreign material to live on and hide from the body’s immune system. This makes the risk of infection pretty much nonexistent. Permanent sutures, on the other hand, can provide a hideout for bacteria.
- They have far less chance of breakage over time.
- They improve skin quality by stimulating collagen production, making the skin firmer and tighter to enhance the initial lifting results.
- They provide a more natural, three-dimensional look, since they can be lifted in two directions.
What Are The Advantages Of A Thread Lift?
As we age, we lose volume in our face and our skin starts to sag. The result is a longer, more square and older-looking face. While BOTOX® is great for smoothing wrinkles that are formed with movement and dermal fillers are excellent at restoring facial volume and improving deep folds, there was still an unmet need in cosmetic dermatology: a nonsurgical way to effectively lift sagging skin to restore the face’s natural and youthful V-shape and vitality.
Although traditional facelift surgery is an excellent way to address sagging skin, it also carries with it a lot of expense and downtime. Many people are also afraid to “go under the knife” as you may not come out looking natural and liking the results—which, unfortunately, cannot be reversed.
The thread lift is the perfect solution to address sagging skin without surgery that looks natural and is also effective and safe when performed properly. It’s quickly becoming the treatment of choice, especially for busy individuals who need to quickly resume their daily activities.
Summary of the advantages of the Thread Lift
- Instant lifting: People love the instant lift of sagging skin that takes years off the face and neck.
- Natural results: Natural yet noticeable results can be achieved with the thread lift. There’s no worry of looking“ over-pulled” or “wind-blown” as with a surgical face lift.
- Non-Surgical: Since the procedure doesn’t involve any cutting and incisions, it doesn’t leave any permanent scars like traditional facelift surgery.
- Minimal downtime: Because the procedure is far less invasive than a surgical facelift, the downtime is very minimal. Most people are able to return to work soon after the procedure.
- Collagen stimulation: The threads stimulate your own skin to gradually produce more collage in the treatment areas over several months. You not only get the benefit of an instant lift, your skin also gets firmer and tighter over time!
- Cost-effective: Thread lift is a very cost-effective way to achieve a more youthful appearance compared to other aesthetic procedures, like Ultherapy.
- Safety: The thread lift procedure is very safe. In fact, it can be even safer than dermal fillers. Although very rare, dermal fillers have a chance of being injected into blood vessels, which can result in skin necrosis or other major side effects. Since the threads are thin, they don’t have the potential to block blood flow in vessels. Also, since the procedure is done under local anesthetic, it doesn’t carry the risk of general anesthesia used in a traditional surgical facelift.
What Types Of Absorbable Threads Are Available?
Two main types of absorbable threads are used in the today. These are the PDO (Polydioxanone) and PLGA/PLLA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) threads. Both PDO and PLGA have been used safely for many decades in different surgical specialties.
In the United States, the NovaThreads (PDO threads) and the Silhouette Instalift (PLGA threads), a.k.a Silhouette Soft in Europe are the most popular. These threads have brought the thread lifting procedure back into the spotlight. The MINT PDO threads are also FDA approved and are one of the preferred PDO threads, as it is a stronger thread.
What Is The PDO (Polydioxanone) Material That’s Used To Make The Threads?
PDO is a synthetic polymer (a type of sugar molecule) that is colorless and crystalline. It’s been used in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications (such as rods, screws and pins in orthopedics and sutures for heart and eye surgery) for many years because of its extremely safe profile. This material has excellent biocompatibility (e.g. it’s non-allergic and non-antigenic) and is also completely biodegradable and doesn’t create scar tissue. Since the body completely absorbs the PDO material, possible complications are significantly reduced.
What Are The Various Types Of PDO Threads And How Are They Are Used In Thread Lifting?
As the thread lifting procedures become increasing popular, there are more and more clinics that are starting to offer this treatment. However, it can be challenging for consumers to figure out what types of threads and procedures are best. PDO threads come in varies sizes, shapes and thicknesses. Knowing how to use them correctly and effectively comes with years of experience, skill and knowledge. Although procedures using PDO threads can seem simple, they require advanced skills to use them effectively and safely.
There are two main categories of PDO threads: non-barbed and barbed:
PDO Thread Categories
|Mono-filament (smooth) threads||Unilateral vs bilateral|
|Braided (twist, screw) threads||Uni-directions vs bi-directional vs z-type|
|Cutting barbs vs molding barbs|
Non-Barbed PDO Threads – Collagen Stimulation (Smooth or Braided)
These “non-barbed” threads come in two main forms: smooth (mono-filament) and braided (twist, screw).
The smooth threads are usually single, very thin threads (i.e. the diameter of your hair). The braided threads come in one or more threads that are intertwined in a helical fashion around the inserting needle. These threads are typically very short, usually 1” or 1.5”.
These threads are mainly used for collagen production and are inserted into fine lines and wrinkles. Some immediate effect can be seen after the insertion of these threads. However, since it takes time to build collagen, more noticeable results will be seen few weeks later, with continued improvements over the next 3-6 months. For even better results, more of these non-barbed threads can be inserted a few months later to continue to stimulate collagen production.
These threads are best used in conjunction with BOTOX® and dermal fillers to help soften forehead and neck lines, lift up sagging eyebrows and upper eyelids, tighten loose skin under the eyes, lighten dark circles, soften vertical cheek and smile lines and soften upper lip and neck lines. Some techniques utilize numerous threads inserted right underneath the skin to give a “lifting” effect. However, the lift that is achieved with this technique is minimal and doesn’t last as long as the lifting that’s achieved with thicker barbed threads.
Usually around 10 – 20 smooth threads are inserted right underneath the skin in a “mesh” (criss-cross) pattern to help with fine lines and to firm up the skin through collagen production. The braided threads can give a little bit more volume than the smooth threads. Hence, they can be used for deeper wrinkles and lines and are also good for defining lip borders.
Barbed (Cog) PDO Threads – Lifting
Barbed (or cog) threads are thicker mono threads with barbs on the threads. These barbs hook and hold the tissue underneath the skin. When these barbed threads are inserted, the barbs open up like an umbrella to form a support structure that lifts and repositions the sagging tissue.
Depending on how they are inserted, these threads can give different results. Many providers insert them in a “floating” fashion, which means these threads are not anchored anywhere in the skin. This is an easier insertion method. Consequently, people can quickly become disappointed with the minimal lifting effect that may last only several months.
A more effective way to insert these barbed threads is by using the “anchoring” technique. This provides more significant lifting and also sustains the lift for a longer period of time. This advanced “anchoring” procedure is highly technical and must be performed well to achieve excellent results and minimize potential side effects.
What Is MINT And What Are The Advantages Over Other PDO Threads?
A successful outcome of a thread lift procedure depends both on excellent technique and the type of suture used. MINT (Minimal Invasive Nonsurgical Thread) PDO threads, with their stronger lifting power compared to other PDO threads, is the material of choice.
The MINT PDO threads were designed to most effectively perform a nonsurgical facelift by lifting up sagging skin to restore a more youthful V-shape.
WHY MINT PDO
MINT PDO threads are the latest innovation from South Korea. They have several distinct advantages over other threads. MINT PDO is a heavy gauge barbed thread. The heavier gauge and patented barbs allow the threads to give more lifting and lasting hold than weaker threads. Like all PDO threads, it also promotes collagen in the treated areas and dissolves 6-9 month after insertion, with lifting effects lasting for at least one year or more.
Patented Molded Barbs
The barbs on the MINT PDO threads are machine molded through a patented process, rather than cut into the threads, which weakens them. Hence, these barbs achieve a stronger hold on the tissues to give better results.
Unique 360˚ design
MINT PDO threads have molded barbs around the threads in a unique 360-degree pattern. This design enables the molded barbs to hold the tissues from all directions. This further contributes to their strength and long-lasting lifting power.
Bi-directional Helically Positioned Barbs
The barbs on the MINT PDO threads are also bi-directional and helically positioned to further contribute to the strong anchor on the soft tissue to sustain the lift.
Anchoring Strength and Tensile Property
MINT PDO threads are superior to other PDO threads, as the patented molded barbs will retain their anchoring strength on the tissue, providing a longer-lasting result.
MINT has a diameter of 0.400 – 0.499mm, which is USP size 1-0 for a stronger tensile strength. Bi-direction and helically positioned barbs on the MINT strongly anchors onto the tissue and gathers, then approximates to the desired position.
Are MINT PDO Threads FDA Approved?
Yes. MINT PDO threads have received its 510(k) clearance from the FDA and are currently being used in many other countries worldwide. MINT PDO threads are manufactured in Hans Biomed’s research facility in South Korea and shipped all over the world. They are currently used in more than 15 countries worldwide, including in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Which Areas Can Be Treated With The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure?
Mint PDO thread lift is very versatile and can be used for many areas on the face and neck. The main areas that are lifted include:
- Nasolabial fold and smile lines (mid-face)
- Jowls and jawline (lower face)
- Marionette lines
- Chin and neck
Who Are Good Candidates For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
Thread lifting is an ideal solution for both men and women with mild to moderate skin laxity and sagging skin in the face and neck. The best candidates for thread lifting are men and women 30-60+ with relatively good skin tone. Thread lifting is a great alternative for men and women who don’t wish to undergo traditional face lift surgery with its long downtime, expense and potential complications, but still want to look refreshed and lifted, naturally. It’s also an excellent choice for those who just want to lift their skin and not get too much volume, as with fillers. Also, it’s a great choice for those who need more than just skin tightening that is achieved with aesthetic skin tightening devices.
What Are The Contraindications For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
- Thread lifting is not performed on women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Thread lifting should not be performed on those with active skin infection or inflammation.
- Patients with blood clotting disorders are not good candidate for thread lifting.
How Do I Prepare For The MINT PDO Thread Lift?
Before your procedure, to minimize bruising from the procedure, stop all blood thinners for at least 10 days (e.g. fish oil, aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, turmeric, etc.). If you are taking blood thinners for medical conditions, please inform us before the procedure.
How Is The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Performed?
- Photos are taken.
- A strong topical numbing cream is applied.
- Oral pain analgesia is given before the procedure, if desired.
- The topical numbing cream is removed after 30 minutes and treatment area is thoroughly cleansed and prepped.
- The treatment area is marked with the thread lift design to optimize the results.
- Local anesthetic (Lidocaine) can be injected into all the areas where the threads will be placed to ensure the patient doesn’t feel any pain during the thread insertions, if needed.
- The threads are inserted underneath the skin in the predetermined areas.
- Excess threads are cut off.
- Arnica and ice packs are applied to minimize any bruising.
- Post-procedure instructions are given to the patient. The treatment area is thoroughly cleaned.
How Long Does The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Take?
Depending on the areas treated, it takes about 20-30 minutes to insert the threads. However, the patient will be at the clinic for about one hours, which includes the prep, numbing and post care.
Is The MINT PDO Thread Lift Procedure Painful?
You may feel some slight stinging during the lidocaine injection if it is required. However, once all the lidocaine injections are complete, you shouldn’t feel pain from the threads.
Right after the threads are placed, you will feel some tightness in the treatment areas. You may have some soreness for several days to couple weeks, depending on the number and location of threads. Oral analgesic can be prescribed as needed for post-op comfort.
What Will I Look Like Right After The PDO Thread Lift Procedure? What Is The Recovery After A PDO Thread Lift Procedure?
You will see immediate lifting of the loose skin right after the procedure. Due to you will have some swelling. Most of the swelling should resolve in few days. There may be some mild bruising that lasts a few days to a week. You’re able to wear mineral make-up the next day.
Patients are able to resume their normal daily routine right after the procedure.
Since the threads are absorbable, no sutures need to be removed after the thread lifting procedure.
To book an appointment contact Harbour Medispa Hamilton
Clinic Location: 12/71 Racecourse Road, Hamilton, Queensland