For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, the Thread Lift was a much-hyped procedure in which a special type of barbed suture would be placed under the skin, to draw the loose facial tissue upward. The idea was to get a facelift-like lift, without actually doing a real facelift. It sounded so promising – just have a few of these magic threads inserted into your cheeks during your lunch break – and voila! – a younger looking you. A number of companies make and promote these barbed sutures, under a variety of trade names.
Well, as we’ve said before – when you do less, you get less.
Here’s some more evidence: in this month’s issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, a study looked at how well the thread lift procedure held up over a two year follow-up period. The answer: not good.
The authors evaluated the results of 33 patients who underwent a thread-lift procedure alone or in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures to the brow, midface, jowl, and neck. Long-term aesthetic results were evaluated by 4 independent, blinded surgeons.
The thread lift group had a much smaller degree of improvement than the groups that were treated with standard procedures. Furthermore, any early improvement from the thread lift had vanished by the end of the two year study period.
The authors concluded that the short-term improvement of the threat lift was largely attributed to “post-procedural edema and inflammation” (swelling). After evaluating the thread lift extensively, they’ve decided to abandon it, stating “Given these findings, as well as the measurable risk of adverse events and patient discomfort, we cannot justify further use of this procedure for facial rejuvenation.”
Take home lesson: there is no substitute for a properly-performed facelift for facial rejuvenation. Don’t waste your time & money on thread lifts.