Threadlift

Threadlift

History of Threadlift

The previous generation of suture introduced more than a decade ago was called “Contour Threads” and only granted FDA approval for a short period before losing the FDA label. It was made out of permanent and thick suture material with barb design to anchor the thread into the tissue. Overall the material proved to be too coarse to be well tolerated by the patients and too difficult for most surgeons to reproduce consistent results. I was fortunate enough to have been certified in both the basic and advance techniques in use of the Contour Threads where I learned a lot in the principle of thread lifting techniques. Fortunately for my patients, I never applied it in my practice as I saw too many inherent flaws in the design and technique. I am now excited to recommend two relatively new FDA approved threads for “minimally invasive” non-surgical lifting of the face and neck.

Silhouettes Instalift

The Silhouettes Instalift Thread has been used successfully both in Europe and Asia for the past few years with great results and high patient satisfaction. The success of the Instalift Threads lie with 3 very important characteristics of the design. First the suture material fully dissolves in time, making it very safe. Second the suture diameter is smaller than previous generation for patient to better tolerate. Thirdly and most important, the anchoring points are rounded into miniature cone-shape which can gently lift the overlying skin. Even the underlying soft tissue can be lifted in the direction of the pull if the Surgeon correctly floats the suture into right layer and anchors the sutures properly. The “varying” degree of success however lies with Surgeon’s understanding of vectoring and knowledge of the anatomy underneath the skin allowing for the operator to deftly float and anchor the thread with the minimalist of bruising and swelling. The end result should be a perfect blend of volume enhancement as well as lifted appearance to the sagging areas of the face and neck and should be significantly more dramatic than using lifting devices such as Thermage or Ulthera. While the suture material safely dissolves over a period of a few years, it will stimulate new local collagen formation, leaving a “permanent” gain from the Instalift Suture Lift procedure. The procedure usually takes about one hour to perform and patients are advised to rest for a day or two. Finally, it is very important to understand the role of Instalift Thread as FDA approved lifting “device” rather than as a mere implantable thread like so many non-approved threads out there.

PDO Threads

The second category of threads are PDO Thread, which has received FDA approval for tissue approximation. PDO threads are very successful and versatile as they are available in vast array of sizes, length, and barb design. The thin and short threads with gentle arb design are simply “tissue firming” device which should be considered as a more versatile alternate to injectable fillers to restore volume and provide local tissue firming. The thicker, longer threads with more aggressive barb design provide significant local tightening to various segmental parts of the face, providing comparable lift to the Silhouette Instalift cone design. A good surgeon should be able to properly harness the best and safest use of both the Instalift device and PDO Threads with synergistic goals in mind if properly trained in the use of these various Suture Threads and threading techniques.