A ‘Thread Lift’ Facelift is an excellent alternative to a Traditional Facelift when there is only early or medium degrees of facial skin laxity where the skin has started to lose its firmness and appear a little looser and saggy. It is not the primary option for advanced facial ageing where a Traditional Surgical Facelift would be a more appropriate choice.
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’ surgical 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 company was sold and the production of these Threads was discontinued.
Since then, various brands and designs of Threads have been introduced and promoted in Australia but Dr Mayson 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 the original Contour Threads did back in 2005. However, despite their impressive design, being made of absorbable PDO (Polidioxanone) material, Dr Mayson soon found that the very impressive initial corrections he was achieving were not lasting as did the original Contour Threads – and this was despite his using the identical anchoring techniques from 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 (even well before they would be completely absorbed) and so the Threads were losing their tensile strength – which in turn meant that patients were losing their impressive initial corrections far too soon.
Please note that irrespective of the brand of PDO Thread that Dr Mayson has tried to date, none have delivered the durations of correction he was achieving for his patients back in 2005-2007.
Accordingly, with only the best interests of his patients in mind, Dr Mayson is not recommending ANY brand of absorbable Thread and is currently trying to source from overseas a non-absorbable Thread similar to what he had back in 2005 in order to be able to reproduce the impressive results possible as shown in our Before/After Gallery.
If you wish to register your interest in a Thread Lift for when Dr Mayson can source Threads that he feels confident once again to recommend to patients, please email or call us on 9267 3322.
Those with advanced facial ageing and pronounced skin laxity of the lower face and neck would be more suited to Traditional Facelift Surgery. Then again, very early skin laxity may be more suited to non-surgical treatments such as Dermal Fillers, Botox, Laser Skin Resurfacing or Ultherapy. These are the reasons why your most important first step is to have a facial assessment by someone such as Dr George Mayson who has done both ‘Thread Lifts’ and Surgical Facelifts and can accurately predict which procedure is the most appropriate for you. Without such an experienced assessment, another Clinic could sell you 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 wcould have sufficed.
The risk for patients is that unless a clinic they’re seeing performs BOTH Surgical Facelifts and ‘Thread Lifts’, they could be recommended whichever procedure that clinic offers instead of the procedure that will give the patient the best result. At our Clinic, we offer the FULL spectrum of facial rejuvenation procedures so you can rest assured that you will be recommended whichever one our Doctor feels is in your best interests.
Over the years, two basic types of Facial Threads have been developed worldwide. As explained above, these were and still are:
THE CRITICAL REQUIREMENT for a good correction with a ‘Thread Lift’ is that the Threads must be securely anchored to a fixed point. Unfortunately, many doctors now offering ‘Threads’ have no Surgical Facelift experience and are not aware of where and how to anchor them. 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 a worthwhile result!
In order to avoid discomfort for the patient 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 of the skin makes it difficult to be certain that the ‘Thread’ hasn’t been placed too deeply or too superficially. Placing a ‘Thread’ too superficially can cause surface deformities. Placing a ‘Thread’ too deeply will not lift the skin as much and even worse, could injure deeper anatomical 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-medium||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 3 weeks|
|Post-Operative Appearances||Temporary, short-lived ‘Bunching’ of skin where it is pulled back (e.g. in front of the ears, upper neck)
Surface Irregularities along the course of the threads are sometimes seen but these are usually temporary only.
|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 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. Duration of correction with all current absorbable threads is unpredictable and can be very short-lived.||Longer lasting, average 7 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 number of Threads required (can only be determined at a consultation) +/- Anaesthetist’s Fee. More reliable cost estimations will be possible when we secure reliable Threads.||Mini-lift: Around $15,000 – $18,000
Full Face & Neck Lift: Around $22,000
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.