Contour Thread Facelift is a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift
After years of research and scientific progress, doctors finally have a minimally invasive way to lift the face with virtually no scars. This new procedure, the Contour Threadlift, uses tiny incisions and strong sutures to lift and reposition aging skin. This is a remarkable advance in the treatment of facial aging, and allows many patients who did not want to have a facelift to finally achieve the results they are looking for.
The quest for the perfect facelift has been going on for decades. Beginning in the early part of the 20th century, doctors began to seek improvements in technique to lift facial skin back into a more youthful position. The single greatest limiting factor in traditional facelift surgery, until now, has been the noticeable scarring that occurs in front of and around the ears. In addition, other factors such as the risk of an over-pulled look, as well as the inherent risk and recovery of a surgical facelift, have made many patients and doctors reluctant to take the plunge. That has all changed with the introduction of facelifts using suspension suture, or threads.
Why have a facelift?
Although the general trend in cosmetic surgery has been to move away from more aggressive facelift surgery, there is still a significant role for the lifting of tissues back into position for many patients. Patients understandably are reluctant to undergo invasive surgery to achieve this lifting and repositioning of facial tissues, but in many cases this is exactly what the patient needs.
As we age, tissues of the face including skin, fat, and muscle, begin to sag due to the effects of gravity. In addition, there is atrophy and loss of supporting structures such as fat.
The goal of facelift surgery is to lift and reposition tissues that have sagged. This simple strategy can be an extremely effective. Many patients will also benefit from ancillary procedures, such as Botox injections to reduce wrinkles, and soft tissue fillers to replace the supporting fat that has been lost. But the essential goal of the facelift is to restore tissue to its more natural, youthful position. Conceptually the facelift is a terrific procedure, but the inherent risks and scarring have limited its utility.
So what is new now?
In a word, what is new are threads. We have used various types of threads for decades in cosmetic surgery, but until recently none of the threads available provided the strength needed to predictably lift tissues. The first materials that proved useful, Contour Threads, were approved by the FDA in 2005. These specially designed threads are made of polypropylene, a suture material we have used in surgery for decades with a superb and proven safety profile. The threads have tiny “barbs” placed along their length, giving the threads their unique ability to lift tissue.
What are the advantages of the Contour Threadlift?
There are several very important advantages to the Contour Threadlift. They include:
- There are no visible scars after the procedure
- The procedure can be performed with only local anesthesia
- Recovery is rapid, with return to activities within a few days
- The amount of lift is actually adjustable for several months
The Contour Threadlift is performed as an outpatient procedure. Only local anesthesia is required. A major advantage of the Contour Threadlift is the ease of recovery afterwards and the absence of risk associated with general anesthesia. Tiny 3 to 4 millimeter incisions are made in the hairline, and the Contour Threads are gently slid into place under the skin. Your surgeon will determine just how many threads you will need, and exactly where they should be placed.
Once the threads are in place, your surgeon will gently lift and move the tissues to be repositioned. This part of the procedure is totally painless, and it is remarkable to watch as signs of aging are literally swept away. This movement of tissue is truly where the artistry of your surgeon helps to create the natural results achieved with Contour Threads. After the skin has been repositioned, your doctor will have you look in a hand held mirror so that with your input, the threads can be adjusted to achieve the precise results you were looking for.
Perhaps most amazing, the amount of lift created by the threads can be adjusted for several months after the procedure. This fine-tuning of the result is achieved in a painless five minute office visit without the need for any anesthesia.
What is recovery like after the Contour Threadlift?
Recovery is rapid after the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home, but you will not need any bandages. Pain is minimal after the procedure and usually controlled easily with Tylenol. It takes several weeks for the threads to “lock” into place, so you will need to be careful with sleeping and certain facial movements for 3 to 4 weeks after the procedure. Since the threads contain tiny little hooks or barbs that hold your skin in its new position, your body will take a few weeks to adjust to the presence of the threads. Our staff will give you detailed instructions as to the proper care of your skin after the procedure. The threads themselves cannot be seen or felt under the skin once they have settled into position. Patients report that they feel totally natural and comfortable with the threads in place, and they don’t even notice they have them, except for the superb results they have achieved.