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The Silhouette Soft Lift Thread Lift  is a new procedure designed to lift the skin of the face and neck. The  Thread lift procedure hassometimes been dubbed the ‘one stitch facelift’, although this is technically inaccurate since we normally use two or three stitches on each sideof the face / neck to achieve optimal results.

The procedure can be used to lift any part of the face, including the forehead, cheeks, jowls, jawline and neck. In practice, Tracey Bell finds thestitches to be most useful in the lower face and neck, where other non-surgical techniques usually provide less satisfying results.

The Thread lift can be used alone or can be used in combination with other non surgical treatments.

WHAT IS A THREAD LIFT ?

The Thread Lift begins by first identifying the problem areas of excess skin and marking out where each suture – or stitch – should be placed.

The threads are made from poly-lactic acid ( e.g. the same product in Sculptra). The thread and the little cones on the thread all dissolve over1- 2 years. The cones are bi-directional (at the half way point, they point in opposite directions along the thread) therefore do not need andanchor-point as with older types of thread technology. The poly- lactic acid also stimulates collagen synthesis (as with Sculptra) and this effectcan last for 2 years. A typical treatment involves placement of 2 threads on each side or occasionally a third too. Various entry points areconsidering depending on the individual face shape and need.

Some local anaesthetic is then injected to make the procedure a more pleasant experience. The stitches contain small cones along their length (similar, if you like, to barbed wire) and are inserted using long needles. After the stitches are in place they are then pulled back to re-suspendthe skin and soft tissues, whilst the small cones along their length anchor the tissues in their new – more youthful – position. This at first canproduce a very tightened look but this will always relax .

The benefit of this technique is that it is a truly minimally invasive way of lifting the skin. Previous ‘thread lift’ techniques have used small incisions behind the hairline and behind the ear to insert the sutures and so have been associated with significant bruising, swelling and ‘down time’ afterwards. The Silhouette Soft lift however has no cutting or scarring and very minimal down time – most patients resume normal activities immediately and go back to work the very next day.

WHAT WILL I LOOK LIKE AFTER THIS PROCEDURE?

Immediately after the lifting and placements will have a series of needle marks on each side of the face. These will remain visible for the restof the day although most people are able to cover them up the next day with make up. Excess pulling will also be noted.

You may experience some bruising and swelling around the sutures, although this tends to be relatively minor and short lived. For up to aweek after the procedure it may feel tender around the sutures. If necessary, you can take some simple paracetamol to help with this althoughmost patients do not bother with this step. You will be able to feel the stitches and the anchoring cones beneath your skin especially when youapply your skincare products or make up, although you should not be able to see them.

HOW LONG DO THREAD LIFTS LAST ?

The results are expected to last around 12-18 months, at which point you can – if you wish – have the procedure repeated.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THREAD FACE LIFT

  • Some puckering along the length of the thread – this settles quite quickly but may take up to 2 weeks to lay flat
  • Indentation at the entrance and exit points
  • Application of Fucidic acid antibiotic creme is needed
  • Some bruising
  • No make-up for 48 hours and no picking
  • Sleep flat on your back for 5 nights
  • No facials and no massage for one month
  • No opening the mouth wide
  • Review at 2 weeks. There is no charge for reviewing

OTHER ADJUNCT TREATMENTS

Other treatment such as filling and laser can be used to complement the thread lift.

WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH A SILHOUETTE SOFT THREAD LIFT?

Complications are unlikely but you must be prepared for the worst case scenario:

  • As with fillers infection excessive bruising
  • Unhappy with results or expectations not realised
  • Unevenness
  • Broken thread