The Thread Lift is a new aesthetic technique that is both innovative and attractive, as doesn’t require any surgery or incision. The thread technique is both an alternative and a complement to minimally invasive rejuvenation techniques. It takes advantage of the body’s natural healing processes.
Both Dr. Marlen and Dr. Georges Sulamaridge were behind the development and refinement of the “Feather Lift” technique.
Tensor threads, collagen generators
Polydioxanone threads (known as P.D.O.) are synthetic, medical-grade, bioresorbable threads. They have been commonly used in surgery for more than 15 years. They are made of an inert material, causing virtually no rejection reaction from the tissues.
This new aesthetic technique takes advantage of the collagen-stimulating role of the tightening threads. These bioresorbable threads come in different shapes, sizes and lengths depending on the indicated application. They can be with or without small hooks, twisted or smooth. After four months, these threads will disappear, leaving the skin rejuvenated, maintained for about 12 to 18 months.
These tensor threads stimulate the natural tissue repair mechanisms and cause the production of new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. This results in an improvement in the skin texture, tone and elasticity. The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is also reduced.
The treatment will be repeated after three months for more tone and volume, then on an annual basis to maintain the obtained effect.
There are other types of threads such as P.C.L (Polycaprolactone) and P.L.L.A (Polylactic) such as instalift® which are biostimulators and have the same functions. They are indicated for certain types of skin or degree of sagging. Dr. Bernier will be able to advise you.
What about the procedure?
The technique consists in positioning the polydioxanone threads (P.D.O.) under the skin, using fine needles or cannulas, i.e. long needles with a blunt tip.
The procedure is straightforward, safe and requires no incisions or cuts. It is an injection technique such as dermal volumizers or Botox but leaves a thread rather than Botox or a volumizing product. It requires only a simple application of a local anesthetic cream if necessary. The sensation can be compared to that of acupuncture.
How do tension threads work?
- Threads with small irregularities anchor the skin better to stretch it and support it in an antigravity direction. It is not a matter of removing the skin as with surgery. The lifting obtained is secondary to the healing mechanisms that will cause the skin to contract and stimulate collagen formation around the small spicules. This leads to a greater firmness of the tissues and a better tone, hence the lifting effect. Tensor threads are indicated for the relaxation of the cheeks, neck, forehead, neckline, stomach, thighs, buttocks and arms.
- Smooth threads can also be used, especially if you want a hammock or support effect, for example, thin skin wrinkles due to the dynamism often seen on the cheeks or lips. Neck and neckline, where the skin thins over time, are also reasonable indications. The threads are usually positioned on canvas for a more spread-out formation of collagen. They are also small calibres (as small as a hair) and placed in larger quantities, between 40 and 50 wires per region.
- Twisted threads are used when a volumizing effect is sought, especially when localized defects are involved. They are designed for small surfaces such as post-face-lift correction, lips, cellulite depressions.
Is the thread lift suited for me?
The lifting procedure (evolving threads with irregularities) is particularly indicated for people between 35 and 50 years old who have a slight to moderate relaxation of the cheeks, the mandibular rim (jowls), and the eyebrow. Skin appearance will be firmer, thicker and more toned.
The thread lift is used either to complement the conventional facelift or to correct the slight sagging of the skin. This procedure could be a non-surgical alternative to a traditional facelift. These threads can also be used on other body parts in the same context when surgery is contraindicated.
Smooth and twisted threads are used at any age when there is a need for tone or volume. They contribute to smoothing and maintaining the skin’s elasticity. The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is also improved.
Frequently asked questions about thread lifts
What are the contraindications?
During the medical evaluation, Dr. Bernier will determine if you are a fit candidate for the thread lift. Some conditions could be detrimental to good healing and desired outcomes. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, local infection or cancer, a history of diabetes, autoimmune disease, vicious scarring or coagulation abnormalities are some of the contraindications.
Sun exposure is not a contraindication after the bruises has disappeared. The thread lift is a procedure that can be done all year round.
What precautions should be taken before a thread lift?
The same precautions as you should take before volumizing injections.
Have healthy skin, no signs of infection or lesion, no make-up. Use an antiviral first if you have a history of cold sores in the area to be treated. Two weeks before the procedure, it is suggested to stop taking drugs, supplements or foods that can increase bleeding, such as anticoagulants, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, garlic, vitamins C and E, Ginko and primrose oil. A list will be given to you if necessary.
After the treatment:
- To allow the formation of scar tissue around the threads and promote their maintenance, excessive chewing movements should be avoided (do not chew gum).
- Avoid manipulating the site, such as applying pressure to the skin or pulling it in the opposite direction.
- You can wear make-up after 12 hours. Gently remove make-up without excessive friction.
- Most people who have undergone the procedure will choose to resume their normal activities the next day. There may be some discomfort or stiffness. It is allowed to use Tylenol (acetaminophen); however, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil (ibuprofen) are to be avoided, as they can thwart new collagen formation.
- Avoid other procedures such as Botox, volumizing injections, or peels during the first seven days after treatment.
- For two weeks, wash the site gently, without massages or rubbing.
- Avoid stretching the site for a month after your treatment.
- Avoid techniques such as I.P.L., laser or radiofrequency, as they release heat near the treatment sites for ten weeks.
What can the side effects be?
The most frequent ones:
Minor bruises (about 10% of cases) and slight swelling (edema) of the tissues may occur. Make-up is allowed after 12 hours.
The most common complication (2.5 to 15% of cases, depending on the studies) is the displacement of the thread through the skin, with one end emerging on its surface. The thread is then removed. It will be re-implanted at a later date. This occurs mainly with the implantation of smooth threads.
A small bump can sometimes be visible, especially at the ends of the threads with roughness. It will spontaneously disappear.
Asymmetry is possible, especially if it already existed.
It may also be preferable to implant other threads, usually after three months, to complete the process.
Less frequent side effects:
Infection may occur, but it’s doubtful if the care instructions are followed. When redness appears, medical consultation will then confirm the diagnosis, and antibiotics will be prescribed.
More exceptionally, induration (also called granuloma) or nerve damage may occur.
After two to three weeks, you will notice a first visible effect of about 30%. The collagen formation process will be completed over three months. In the end, another procedure can be performed if necessary. The effect is long-lasting, up to one year. A follow-up treatment is suggested annually, as tissues continue to undergo ageing processes.
Want to know more about thread lifts?
The thread lift is a technique that is both an alternative and a complement to minimally invasive, simple rejuvenation techniques that take advantage of the natural healing processes of the human body.
Contact us today to learn more about this revolutionary technique and to arrange a consultation with Dr. Bernier in Montreal, Sherbrooke or Val-d’Or.