For many people age is just a number and if they have a youthful spirit, then they want the body and face to match. Gravity and environmental stresses take their toll on the face, but there are two procedures that can perk up the features without having to go through a full surgical facelift, and the pain and recovery time that involves.
Developments in addressing the effects of ageing now include the contour thread lift and the silhouette lift (or silhouette soft thread lift), that are both essentially a form of non-surgical facelift. They are a great option for those who would like to rejuvenate their face in a subtle way without the invasive surgery and general anaesthetic required during a full face lift.
The silhouette lift has several plus points, including being fast, needing minimal recovery time, and giving results that will make a difference without making anyone look strange or perpetually surprised. It can be performed during a lunchtime break and only requires a local anaesthetic. During the procedure, threads are inserted into the face and these threads bear cones that point in two directions. The cones help to generate the production of collagen, the protein that is important in maintaining structures in the face. The procedure begins with planning where the threads will be inserted and then injecting needles into various points, to which the thread and its cones are attached. The needle is pushed through layers beneath the face to exit at the appropriate place. When the thread is pulled tight, the cones pointing down are embedded in the subcutaneous fat layer, and the upward cones help to push muscle and other tissues back up where they once were.
The results last for about 18 months, at which time the cones and the threads start to biodegrade and are absorbed by the surrounding tissue. The cones and threads contain a substance called polylactic acid, used in sutures as it is physiologically compatible with the body. Negative effects tend to be minimal, although there can be a risk of infection, and the puncture marks must be kept clean.
The contour thread lift also uses threads to tighten facial tissues and refresh the complexion. In this procedure, a predecessor of the silhouette lift, the surgeon inserts a hollow needle into the face to access the fat layer beneath. One end of the thread is fastened securely to a firm element under the skin and the other end moves through the skin for about four inches. When the needle is taken out, small cones pointing down on the thread insert themselves into the parts of the face that are sagging. When the thread is pulled tight, the sagging features are lifted up. Collagen will also form around the thread and the cones to enhance the lifting effect.
An advantage of this procedure it that it usually takes only around an hour, and the effects can be seen straight away. The results can last up to five years, and the threads are permanent. Of course, as with any medical procedure there are risks, though for most patients the side effects are minimal, with possibly a little swelling or bruising. In a small proportion of patients there may be infection or the threads are displaced.