THE MINIMALLY INVASIVE FACELIFT
While the surgical facelift is deemed the gold standard for hoisting and shaping facial tissues into a more youthful position long-term, thread lifts (aka absorbable suture suspension lifts) can offer an immediate fix for those with less severe skin laxity.
Here’s what you need to know:
NEW AND IMPROVED
In 2015, Silhouette InstaLift  spearheaded the shift from permanent, polypropylene threads to dissolvable, poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) sutures, which are completely reabsorbed by the body after nine to 12 months, says Chicago plastic surgeon Julius W. Few, MD. Brands such as Nova Threads and MINT have also introduced similar versions made of polydioxanone (PDO), a material that’s been widely used for thread lifting in Asia for years.
SHORT- AND LONG-TERM GAINS
Modern thread lifts provide more than just an immediate boost. “With Silhouette InstaLift specifically, because the sutures are largely composed of PLLA—the same material used in the dermal filler Sculptra Aesthetic—a bio-stimulatory effect occurs in the skin with the production of both Type 1 and 3 collagen,” explains Washington, D.C. dermatologist Tina Alster, MD . “This collagen increase can lead to a volumizing effect that continues for up to two years, enhancing the quality of the skin in the long run.”
_To address early signs of aging like sagging jowls, loose skin and volume loss, this 59-year-old patient underwent a Silhouette InstaLift procedure with New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD ._
THE RIGHT FIT
“The best candidate is someone in their 30s, 40s or early 50s with mild-to-moderate sagging,” says New York plastic surgeon Z. Paul Lorenc, MD. “For patients in their mid-50s and older, we can still see some good results, but they’re much less predictable.”
According to Dr. Few, downtime following Silhouette is generally minimalwith little swelling and/or bruising. Many of his patients have gone to big events 24 hours later where no one noticed, although he stipulates this may not be the case for everyone.
Unlike a surgical facelift, which “pulls the deeper layers of muscle and fat up with the skin, says Eugene, OR plastic surgeon Mark Jewell, MD, sutures elevate only the skin, “so the lifting effect isn’t nearly as profound.” Dr. Singer notes that those with significant laxity, loss of elasticity or sun damage “are generally best-suited for a facelift,” adding that “patients need to be educated on the differences between the two procedures.”