A ‘Thread Lift’ Facelift is a worthwhile alternative to a Traditional Facelift when there are only mild degrees of skin laxity and the skin has started to appear a little looser and saggier. It is not an option for advanced facial ageing where a Traditional Surgical Facelift would be the more appropriate procedure.
Countering the early stages of facial ageing by inserting facial threads to ‘lift’ loose and sagging skin without traditional surgery has been an increasingly frequent request since Threads were first introduced in the 1990’s.
One of the early pioneers in ‘Thread Lift’ Facelifts was Dr Des Fernandes, Plastic Surgeon in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2005, Dr Mayson travelled to Cape Town where he learned first-hand Dr Fernandes’ Thread Lift techniques.
Soon thereafter, Contour Threads – barbed non-absorbable threads manufactured in the USA – were released in Australia. Results from those Contour Threads were very impressive but sadly, several years later, the production of these Threads ceased.
Since then, various brands and designs of Threads have been introduced and widely promoted in Australia. After appraising or trialling most of these, Dr Mayson came to the conclusion that he did not consider them effective enough to resume offering ‘Thread Lifts’ to his patients.
In 2019, a new brand of PDO Threads from Korea was approved for use in Australia. The impressive design of these new Threads promised even greater lifting and holding power than all previous Threads, including the Contour Threads Dr Mayson was using back in 2005. The striking design of these new Threads re-kindled Dr Mayson’s interest enough for him to resume offering Thread Lifts to his patients. However, despite their very impressive design, these Threads were made of absorbable PDO (Polidioxanone) material and Dr Mayson soon found that the very impressive initial corrections he was achieving were not lasting long at all – and this was despite his using the identical anchoring techniques with the Contour Threads back in 2005!
The only conclusion Dr Mayson could come to was that with PDO being an absorbable thread, the body’s reactive mechanisms were weakening the PDO well before they were destined to be completely absorbed. In other words, the Threads were losing their tensile strength and therefore their holding power too soon – which in turn meant that patients were losing their corrections far too soon.
Please note that irrespective of the brand of PDO Thread that Dr Mayson has tried, none have delivered the durations of correction he was achieving for his patients back in 2005-2007.
Accordingly, and with only the best interests of his patients in mind, Dr Mayson is not currently recommending ANY brand of absorbable Thread and is currently in the process of sourcing from overseas a non-absorbable Thread similar to those he was using back in 2005 in order to reproduce those earlier, impressive results shown in our Before/After Gallery.
If you wish to register your interest in a Thread Lift for when Dr Mayson has the Threads he feels confident to once again recommend to patients, please email or call us on 9267 3322.
Those with advanced facial ageing and pronounced skin laxity of the face and neck need Traditional Facelift Surgery.
Conversely, early skin laxity can be addressed by ‘Thread Lifting’ or even non-surgical treatments such as Dermal Fillers, Laser Skin Resurfacing, or Ultherapy.
This is why your most important first step should be to have a facial assessment by one of our experienced Cosmetic Surgeons who can recommend the most appropriate procedure for your face. Without such an assessment at a Clinic which can offer you ALL options, you may be sold a ‘Thread Lift’ that leaves you very disappointed because you really should have had a Surgical Facelift. Or, alternatively, you could be sold a ‘Thread Lift’ when a much less costly non-surgical treatment would have sufficed.
The unfortunate risk for patients is that unless the Clinic they’re attending offers BOTH Surgical Facelifts and ‘Thread Lifts’, they could be convinced to have whichever procedure they are able to offer instead of the one that will deliver the best result. At the Sydney Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic, we offer the FULL spectrum of facial rejuvenation procedures so you can rest assured that you will be recommended whichever one your Surgeon considers is in your best interests.
Over the years, two basic types of Facial Threads have been manufactured worldwide. As explained above, these were, and still are:
THE CRITICAL REQUIREMENT for a good correction with any ‘Thread Lift’ is that the Threads must be securely anchored to a fixed point. Unfortunately, many doctors offering ‘Threads’ do not have Surgical Facelift experience and are not aware of where and how to anchor the Threads. Instead, they insert the Threads either as ‘free-floating’ or ‘weakly fixed’ – either of which will likely deliver minimal or negligible degrees of lift and tightening. We regularly receive calls from people complaining that they spent thousands of dollars on non-anchored ‘Threads’ and never saw any worthwhile result!
In order to avoid causing the patient pain each time a ‘Thread’ is passed under the skin, some doctors inject large amounts of Local Anaesthetic Solution under the skin. The problem with excessive amounts of local anaesthetic is that the swelling then makes it impossible to feel and confirm that the ‘Thread’ has been placed at the correct depth and isn’t too deep or too superficial. Placing a ‘Thread’ too superficially can cause surface deformities such as dimpling or ridges. Placing a ‘Thread’ too deeply will not lift the skin effectively and even worse, could injure important deeper structures.
We prefer to be more accurate with our ‘Thread’ placements by avoiding extensive infiltration of Local Anaesthetic and instead have our Specialist Anaesthetist administer medications that allow you to remain awake but relaxed and pain-free.
|‘THREAD LIFT’ FACELIFT||TRADITIONAL SURGICAL FACELIFT|
|Patient Suitability||Best when skin laxity is mild.||Best option for advanced facial ageing.|
|Anaesthesia||Local Anaesthesia with Sedation||General Anaesthesia|
|Where is it Done?||In the Privacy of our Clinic’s own Operating Theatre or at Hospital depending on the extent of the procedure.||In Hospital with a 1-2 day stay.|
|Length of Procedure||About 2 hours||4-5 hours|
|Surgical Scars||Very small, hidden and unnoticeable.||More extensive & noticeable, usually need to be camouflaged with make-up.|
|‘Down Time’||Usually 7 days||Around 2-3 weeks.|
|Post-Operative Appearances||Temporary ‘Bunching’ of the skin where it is pulled back (e.g. in front of the ears and/or upper neck).
Surface Irregularities along the course of the threads are sometimes seen but in experienced hands are usually short-lived.
|No ‘Bunching’ because the pulled-back, excess skin is removed. Surface irregularities can occur but are usually temporary.|
|Return to Normal Activities||Usually after 1 week||Usually after 2-3 weeks|
|Possible Complications||Uncommon, minor and usually temporary in experienced hands.||More serious complications are possible.|
|Duration of Correction||2-3 years with the former non-absorbable Threads. Durations of correction with all current absorbable threads are unpredictable and could be very short-lived.||Longer lasting, average 7-8 years.|
|When Skin Laxity Returns||Simply add more ‘Threads’ or go to a Surgical Facelift.||Repeat the Surgical Facelift or have a ‘Thread Lift’.|
|Cost||Depends on the number of Threads required (can only be determined at a consultation) +/- an Anaesthetist’s Fee. More reliable quotations will only be possible when we have sourced reliable Threads.||Mini-lift: Around $15,000
Full Face & Neck Lift: Around $20,000
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dr Mayson has a long experience with Thread Lifts dating back to 2005 and his impressive before/after photos indicate the beautiful results that can be achieved when high quality, non-absorbable Threads and correct surgical techniques are used.
The earliest threads were permanent but nowadays all threads available in Australia are absorbable. We are currently not recommending any brands of absorbable threads because of the likelihood of very short-lived corrections. Our Clinic is currently trying to source from overseas non-absorbable Threads similar to those we had back in 2005.
A 'Thread Lift' is performed either in the privacy of our own Clinic’s Operating Theatre under Local Anaesthesia & Light Sedation, or in a Day Surgery if additional procedures are planned. In either situation, you can go home shortly afterwards but because of the sedation, you must have someone collect you. You cannot go home alone.
On average, 7 days.
The cost will depend on the areas that need to be lifted and the number of Threads required in each area. Our Doctor will give you a detailed quotation once they have assessed which areas need to be lifted and the number of Threads required.
More and more doctors, many of whom do not have any Surgical Facelift experience, are offering ‘Threads’. Choose your brand of Threads and your Doctor very carefully otherwise you could end up wasting your money. Do your research and always remember that: