Facial Thread Lifts: The Pros and Cons
In recent years, thread lifts have been getting back in fashion. After all, who wants to go through all the hassle of a surgical facelift when you can get the same results in an hour with just a needle? But here’s something you might be thinking: what exactly does a thread lift entail? I sat down with Dr Toby Hui, senior medical consultant at SW1 Clinic, for a crash course on the pros and cons of threadlifts and the different types of threadlifts – specifically Silhouette Instalift, and Infinity Instalift. To learn more about these “facelifts in a needle”, read on!
1. What are the different facial thread lifts out there?
Dr Toby: Broadly speaking, they can be divided into the older generation and newer generation of threads. The former are non-absorbable threads which are made of materials similar to surgical sutures. The latter are made from 100% bio-absorbable material.
2. Have thread lifts for the face been around for many years and have they improved over this time?
Dr Toby: The Aptos Thread lift procedure was originally developed in the 1990’s by Dr. Sulamanidze, a Russian physician. It was a great idea as a non-surgical option for facial lifting, but soon fell out of favor. Some of the major concerns include frequent breakages of threads and puckering of overlying skin. It was also near-impossible to remove any errant threads as they were made of non-absorbable polypropylene. In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the interest of thread lifts with the development of the newer (third) generation of 100% bio-absorbable threads. As these threads dissolve naturally, the skin starts to produce more collagen and elastin. This in turn gives longer lasting results that go beyond the longevity of the threads themselves.
3. What are the different Thread Lifts for lifting face at SW1 Clinic?
Dr Toby: At SW1 Clinic, we perform the Silhouette Instalift which utilizes Silhouette Soft threads made of Poly L-lactic acid. We also more recently offer Infinity Instalift that engages different unique PDO (Polydioxanone) threads for facial lifting and more.
4. What is the difference between Silhouette Instalift and Infinity Instalift?
Dr Toby: Silhouette Instalift uses Silhouette Soft threads which are comparatively longer with anchor points near the hairline to achieve maximal lifting effects. For instance, the tightening of a saggy double chin to restore facial contours to aesthetically pleasing proportions can be achieved with the Infinity Neck Lift.
On the other hand, Infinity Instalift utilizes different types of shorter PDO threads for a variety of facial enhancement effects. They can be tailored to suit each individual’s needs. For instance, those who desire a sharper nose without surgery will find the effects of our Infinity Nose Lift delightfully rewarding.
5. Who is suitable for Silhouette Instalift?
Dr Toby: The Silhouette Instalift is a great choice for patients on the lookout for a safe and effective thread lift method with maximal lifting benefits. Ideally, the candidate should be between 35 to 65 years of age with fairly good skin quality and mild to moderate sagging. Those with a significant amount of skin laxity might not find the outcome satisfactory, and consulting a certified plastic surgeon on your suitability for a surgical facelift might be a better and wiser option.
6. Who is suitable for Infinity Instalift?
Dr Toby: Patients who want to improve upon small targeted area(s) will take well to the bespoke treatment plan that can be individually crafted with our Infinity Instalift. As the PDO threads used are shorter and can be better manoeuvred in smaller areas, the Infinity V Lift and the Infinity Neck Lift offer facial shaping and re-contouring in addition to skin lifting. Plus, the Infinity Nose Lift, which uses special nasal threads to enable lifting and elevation of the nose bridge and tip is an excellent option for non-surgical nasal enhancement with natural-looking results.
7. What is the downtime or possible side effects for each of the procedure?
Dr Toby: As with all procedures that involve needles and injections, there is the possibility of bruising and small pin prick marks with both Silhouette and Infinity Instalift. These will resolve without any additional treatment in 3 to 7 days’ time, and can easily be camouflaged with concealer/makeup. There can be mild and inconspicuous dimpling of skin near the hairline for the first week post-Silhouette Instalift, and mild swelling over the treated area(s) for 1 to 2 days post-Infinity Instalift.
8. Can both Infinity Instalift and Silhouette Instalift be done on the same face?
Dr Toby: Infinity Instalift and Silhouette Instalift can be safely performed to treat different area(s) of the same face within the same setting.
9. What are the other aesthetic treatments that can be done in combination with face thread lifts to give even better results?
Dr Toby: Facial thread lifts can be combined with Botox microinjections and Natural Fillers to give even better results. Botox erases and softens the harsh appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, while Natural Fillers tackle volume depletion such as sunken temples and hollow under-eyes to enhance the rejuvenating effects of thread lifting. In addition, one would benefit from a resurfacing laser such as Fraxel Light or SmartX Lite as thread lifts will improve the architecture of the skin but does little for its texture.
Dr Toby Hui obtained his medical degree from the National University of Singapore. His postgraduate qualification includes a Diploma in Family Medicine. He has a special interest in anti-ageing treatments such as Botox, Dermal Fillers, Laser treatments and Light therapies to treat age spots, wrinkles, sagging skin, volume loss and uneven complexion. Dr Toby is a Senior Medical Consultant at SW1 Clinic.