Aesthetic Thread Mimetics in Facelifting

Facelift surgery has been the gold standard in the aesthetic enhancement of the face. For many years, thread lifting has been employed to attempt to create the effects of surgery sans the risks and downtime.  However, the use of these earlier threads was short lived due inherent problems of these thick, non-absorbable sutures.

We have seen in recent years the resurgence of thread lifting especially in Asia where instead of thick non-absorbable threads, fine absorbable threads were used.  It has gained popularity and has progressed to cogged or barbed threads.  Techniques in application of these advanced threads have somewhat mimicked its surgical counterpart such as facelift surgery, hence the suggested term, “thread mimetics”.

Aesthetic thread mimetics are procedures that mimic the principle, technique, and/or results of cosmetic surgery (e.g. facelift surgery, rhinoplasty) with the use of threads in a minimally invasive method.  These methods vary but have good correlation to its surgical counterpart. The absorbable material most commonly used is polydioxanone or PDO.  Other materials are PLLA (poly L lactic acid) and PCL (poly caprolactate).

Face lifting using these absorbable threads may achieve comparable results to surgery but effects may not last as long, roughly around eight months to as long as two years. Combining thread lifting with other modalities such as filler injection, fat transfer, Botox, etc. complement its effects. Patients who are not yet be candidates for surgery may benefit the most from this procedure.

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