For patients with early signs of aging, such as minor facial sagging, the flaws themselves aren’t serious enough to warrant surgery, but they typically don’t respond well to toning either. For instance, if you can picture slightly drooping cheeks giving the appearance of jowls, you’ll have the idea. Thread facelifts target these problem areas around the face but shine when treating the neck and jawline areas where fillers and Botox®-type treatments aren’t as effective. A youthful, healthy face forms an upwards V-shape that age, time, and gravity conspire to invert. Thread facelifts help counter these inversions, restoring the upward V.
The Herschthal Practice uses both NovaThreads and Silhouette Soft® products. NovaThreads uses polydioxanone sutures (PDO sutures) similar to those used in internal surgery. One of the safest substances that can be implanted in the body, PDO sutures dissolve over 4-6 months without leaving scars. Silhouette Soft uses a similar material, poly-L-lactic acid, which is also biologically inert and resorbable by the body.
Each company offers a lifting suture. Inserted about 5 mm below the skin and running parallel to the surface, the lifting thread then re-emerges at the other side of the treatment area. This is done under local anesthesia or none at all. The sutures have small barbs called cogs that run along their length, and the thread gets pulled gently at both ends. The cogs prevent slipping, resulting in a tightening of the tissue in the treatment area and a restoring of a more youthful shape. The ends of the suture are knotted and trimmed when the desired profile is reached.
There’s more to it than that. Medically, thread facelifts create what’s called a selective inflammatory response in the treatment area. This is how many cosmetic procedures work. The body sees the lifting suture as damage to the skin and starts producing new collagen to “repair” the damage. Thread facelifts shake the body out of its complacency. In fact, NovaThreads also produces a product that doesn’t pull through the face but instead creates a mesh expressly to stimulate collagen results. Ideal treatment areas include fine lines around the mouth, cheeks, chest, arms, and knees.