Want to be free of fine lines, get that perfect arch for your eyebrows or a defined jawline? You can acquire them all over lunch _ yes, over lunch, thanks to the thread lift, a quick and painless non-surgical procedure. This is not a new procedure but with more choices and types of threads now available on the market, it is gaining in popularity, particularly due to the fact that more and more areas can be better worked on.
Who gets a thread lift?
Who gets a thread lift?
An ideal candidate is usually someone who doesn't actually need to get anything done. A thread lift is ideal for those looking for a subtle lift with minimal recovery time. The procedure can be applied to people of both genders and all ages.
Women in their 30s often seek to lift their eyebrows, foreheads or breasts. People in the 40s prefer to correct laughter lines, sagging bellies and buttocks, while for those in their 50s it's often for a drooping mouth. Younger men and women sometimes prefer to use the procedure to lift sagging skin that may have resulted from abrupt weight loss.
However, it is mostly those aged 35 to 45 with minimal signs of ageing and needing just a small lift who favour thread lifts. The procedure corrects their sagging cheeks and brows caused by weakened muscles. A thread lift is an alternative to more invasive procedures. However, those with more noticeable sagging who expect drastic results might be disappointed.
What's the new thread lift we're hearing about?
Before I get to that, let me give you a quick overview of how threads are used to give a facelift. Your doctor will use thin needles to insert threads under the skin. These threads are then gently pulled tight to lift sagging skin in the treated area.
In cases where an extreme lift is needed, a small slit at the hairline will be made to insert the non-absorbable thread and fix the thread to the hairline to create a stronger pull. Although there are several choices of threads available today, the introduction of the spring or cone thread has definitely added to the procedure's popularity. It is thicker than its alternatives and its cone or coil shape allows it more anchoring points on the skin. This means that when you insert this thread into the skin, not only does it catalyse the production of collagen in the area, it also holds on to the skin better.
Although patients and doctors have more choices of thread to choose from such as Aptos, Korean and other dissolvable threads, they all have their pros and cons.
Aptos, also known as the feather lift or contour lift, uses a hypodermic suspension system with special, dissolvable threads which are usually effective in lifting sagging or asymmetrical eyebrows, a fading jawline and sunken cheeks but less suitable for the contour of the eyes.
Then there are Korean threads which are widely used in Asia because they are cheaper. These threads dissolve naturally after a while, so their job isn't to lift the skin but instead to boost the production of collagen in the treated area, letting the skin naturally tighten.
Regardless of which thread is used, the results are highly dependent on the doctor's skill and experience. For non-dissolvable threads, the results may last longer. The threads can also be removed if a patient is not happy with the results.
How long does each sitting take and how much does it cost?
The length of time depends on factors such as the age of the patient, the area to be treated, the degree of sagging and the number of threads required. On average, it takes about 30 minutes, hence its nickname _ "the lunchtime lift".
You also usually need only one procedure to get the desired outcome. So it's only a one-time, half-hour procedure that costs around 10,000-50,000 baht. This depends on the area to be treated, the severity of the sagging, the type of thread used and the place or clinic you're getting it done.
What are the possible side effects?
If done professionally, a thread lift is a safe and effective treatment that offers subtle, natural looking results. In this procedure, incisions are small and there is no interruption of the blood supply to the skin. However, if not well done, there can be complications. Common issues involve sutures being felt or seen. This may cause headaches or prickly sensations under the skin. In extreme cases, the threads can break or stick out of the skin. But this is rare, and usually the worst it gets.
Dr Nantapat Supannachart is an American Board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon.
About the author
- Writer: Dr Nantapat Supapannachart