Facelift surgery is a great choice to smooth wrinkles and tighten skin on the face and neck. Yet even with multiple specialized techniques available at Noble Cosmetic Surgery in Plano and DeSoto, the procedure is not for everyone. Some prefer a less invasive option, without the risks or recovery time associated with surgery. Dr. Patrick Obasi explains what you need to know about thread lifts, as a beautiful solution.
Understanding underlying causes of skin laxity
A child’s skin looks smooth and dewy fresh. The deep layers contain a robust network of components that keep it that way. Collagen is a protein. It creates a fibrous meshwork that supports skin. Elastin gives skin resiliency. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that binds with water for internal hydration. Adding to the appeal of a youthful complexion, is a substructure of firm muscles and fat pads.
As we age, the body’s production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid slows down. Meanwhile, environmental elements such as sun exposure, smoking, and pollution, speed up depletion. Skin gets thinner and drier and becomes less responsive. As the years continue to advance, natural fat pads diminish, and we lose muscle mass. Facial bone eventually shrinks.
These conditions allow fine lines and creases to develop. Gravity causes lax skin to sag downward, into folds around the mouth. This gives a once defined jawline a square, masculine appearance. Loose skin drapes under the chin and looks crepey on the neck and chest.
Filling the need between minimally invasive facial rejuvenation and surgery
A responsible program of nonsurgical skin rejuvenation, started early, helps to forestall these changes. Neuromodulator (Botox) injections keep dynamic wrinkles from developing from repeated frowning, squinting, or puckering. Injectable dermal fillers maintain volume and smooth wrinkles. Chemical peels, PRP (platelet rich plasma), and laser skin resurfacing revitalize the complexion. Yet time marches on. Even skin that has had excellent care will eventually show signs of aging.
Facelift surgery involves surgical excision of loose skin and tightening of underlying muscles.
Thread lift is ideal for the patient who desires more improvement than minimally invasive skin rejuvenation can deliver but is not at the point of needing a facelift.
Dr. Obasi uses a polydioxanone (PDO) dissolving suture material, precisely placed into dermal tissues, to lift and suspend surface skin. Threads, embedded with tiny cones, are inserted using a cannula – a slender tube, like the type of needle used for injectable fillers.
Thread lift provides immediate results from the upward pull of the suture. The material also stimulates the body’s natural healing reaction. Extra collagen is produced to expel the foreign object in the dermis. Thus, as the sutures are gradually absorbed, they are replaced with fresh collagen. Patients notice improvement in firmness and tone of skin, which is long-lasting.
What you need to know about thread lifts in Plano: Top five questions answered
Here are some of the questions patients commonly ask Dr. Obasi during consultation:
- Does thread lift hurt?
The face is numbed with local anesthetic, so there is no pain. You feel only a gentle tugging sensation as threads are placed. Because threads are so fine, they are not uncomfortable. Some people say they feel a little scratchiness for a day or two as skin heals around the suture material.
- How long does the procedure take?
At Noble Cosmetic Surgery, every patient receives a personalized treatment plan. However, most thread lifts require only an hour or two of your time.
- What is recovery like?
Unless you request a sedative, you are free to drive after your procedure, and may return to work or other normal activity the next day. Some people have minor redness, swelling, or tenderness, but it generally resolves in a few days. Any post-procedure discomfort is easily managed with over the counter analgesics. The surgical team will talk with you about some common-sense precautions to take while healing. However, thread lift is FDA-approved and has low risk of side effects.
- How long do results last?
Threads are fully absorbed by the body within about six months. However, natural improvement in skin thickness and firmness from collagen remodeling lasts much longer.
- Does it work?
While it is important to have realistic expectations (thread lift cannot achieve the same level of correction as facelift surgery), this procedure produces a subtle, natural-looking lift. Friends won’t think you had “work done.” They will notice that your face looks smooth and refreshed.