Blog Viewer

Thread Lifting in 2022: The Evolution Continues

By Informa Admin posted Nov 30, 2022 05:19 PM

In response to patients looking to avoid the cost and risk associated with surgical facial rejuvenation, plastic surgeon Marlen Sulamanidze, PhD, introduced a barbed suture to lift ptotic facial tissues in the late 1990s. However, this treatment soon fell out of favor, due to temporary results that were riddled with reports of complications.

Neverthless, this was not the end of the road for suspension sutures. In 2002, the technology progressed from the original antiptosis sutures when Woffles Wu, MD, developed a technique using bidirectional barbed sutures to suspend facial tissue from a fixed point within the deep temporal fascia. He called the procedure a nonsurgical facelift. These early contributions began an explosive revolution in thread lifting technologies and methods that is still flourishing 20 years later.

Thanks to innovative and determined companies, improved thread technology and methods have catapulted thread lifting procedures into one of the top nonsurgical treatments for facial rejuvenation. Today, thread lifts are considered by some physicians to be the hottest trend in aesthetics. According to analysts, the aesthetic threads market is projected to record a CAGR of 7.8% over the forecast period 2022-2027.1

The Right Treatment for the Right Results

According to Gideon Kwok, DO, co-owner and medical director for eight Skin Perfect Clinics around Southern California, thread lifts add another minimally invasive option for skin rejuvenation in the physician’s armamentarium of treatments. “An educated practitioner understands that threads are used in one layer of the face, while fillers, toxins, lasers and microneedling are still needed. These can be used in the right combination to help the patient achieve a more natural and balanced look.”

Rahi Sarbaziha, MD, CEO at Dr. Rahi MD in Beverly Hills, Calif., uses thread lifts for patients who desire natural results with a more contoured appearance, and employs a variety of threads to get the job done. “The barbed Polydioxanone (PDO) threads have a slight lifting effect in addition to collagen stimulation. Smooth PDO threads are great for localized collagen stimulation and can help treat acne scars,” she reported. “I also use PDO threads to treat areas that can be considered dermal filler ‘danger zones’ such as in between the eyebrows.”

Dr. Rahi chooses between recommending thread lifts or facial surgery depending primarily on the patient’s goals and her evaluation. “Thread lifts are an option when the patient wants a natural-looking lift,” she explained. “PDO threads can make a difference in millimeters while surgery makes a difference in centimeters. I consult with each patient to ensure they will achieve the results they want.”

Tara Sulyman, MD, founder and CEO of That Face (Chicago, Ill.) says that PDO threads used today are different from those that were used in earlier years. “Thread lifts can lift tissue without adding more volume, and provide collagen stimulation, so patients notice immediate and long-term changes in their skin,” she noted. “On the other end, slipping and extrusion of the threads are a risk, which is why proper training and practice are crucial to achieve consistently successful outcomes.”

To ensure the best results with his use of Poly Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) threads, cosmetic surgeon Babak Farzaneh, MD (Chino Hills and Irvine, Calif.), told us that patient selection is a critical factor to consider. “The best patients are those with realistic expectations, as thread lifts are more of a repositioning technique than a lifting technique. Ideally, they should have strong bone structure and good skin quality that is not too thick or thin,” he emphasized.

This is a sample article from The Aesthetic Guide.

Become a free member of the AMS to access all digital issues.

Continue reading here: The Aesthetic Guide