Jul 21

Thread-lifts: Do they really work?

We’ve had doubts for a long time about the effectiveness of thread-lifts for revitalizing the face. For those who don’t know, this procedure involves a bunch of barbed sutures or threads that are placed under the skin under local anesthesia to lift sagging brows, cheeks, and necks.

Thread Lift

That just doesn’t make sense to us. You can’t expect a thread to do what a real lift should without pulling through the tissues over time. More involved lifts work because the sagging tissues are widely lifted away from underlying tissues and allowed to reheal in a new desirable position. Thread-lifts aren’t even anywhere near the same ballpark. The threads can’t support the weight of the tissues and when they break and fragment, a whole host of problems can arise.

It’s one thing for guys who don’t like the idea and who’ve never used them to trash these threads. But, when docs who embraced the technique start raining on the parade, that’s a reason to take notice. In the latest issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, a report on thread-lifts by an experienced surgeon indicated that a whopping 30 out of 75 patients treated experienced a complication. In 14 patients, the thread was extruding, meaning it was popping out of the skin! They all required procedures to repair or remove the thread. Three patients needed threads removed for visible puckering or dimpling of the skin. Another 17 patients on top of that were unhappy with the result and had to undergo repeated or alternate procedures to achieve the change they were hoping for. Even in the patients who didn’t have a problem, the surgeon wasn’t impressed with the longevity of the results and has stopped offering the procedure.

Sounds like he’s not the only one. Recently, at least 1 manufacturer has removed their thread product from the North American Market. Are we finally hearing the death knell of this overhyped procedure? We think so. It’s about time plastic surgeons got back to procedures that work, even if their names aren’t on them…

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  1. […] support the weight of the skin and are only proving to be temporary fixes.  When I read this post from my docs, I have to admit I was in the dark as to what the hell thread-lifts exactly are; I did a little […]