A ‘Thread Lift’ Facelift is an excellent alternative to a Traditional Facelift when there is only early or medium degrees of facial ageing and the skin has started to lose its firmness and appears a little looser and saggy. It is not an alternative 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 – a new barbed thread system developed in the USA – were released in Australia. Results from 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.
However, after years of waiting for a design of ‘Threads’ that Dr Mayson felt was worth offering to his patients, the ‘Mint’ brand of PDO Threads from Korea were finally released in Australia in April 2019. The different design of these Mint Threads provided such a degree of lift and holding power that they are the only ‘Threads’ Dr Mayson will consider using on his patients!
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, early skin laxity may be more suited to non-surgical treatments 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, you could be recommended a Thread Lift that leaves you very disappointed because you really should have had a Surgical Facelift OR alternatively you may have been sold a Thread Lift when a much less costly treatment would have sufficed.
The risk for patients is that unless the doctor they’re seeing performs BOTH Surgical and Thread Facelifts, they could be recommended whichever procedure the doctor does and not the procedure that will achieve the best result for them. At our Clinic, we offer the full spectrum of facial rejuvenation procedures so you rest assured that you will be recommended whichever one the doctor feels is in your best interests.
Over the years, two basic types of Facial Threads have been developed:
THE CRITICAL REQUIREMENT for a good correction 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 anchoring them. Instead, they insert the threads either ‘free-floating’ or ‘weakly fixed’ – either technique 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 ‘Threads’ but never saw a result!
In order to avoid discomfort for the patient each time a ‘Thread’ is passed under the skin, many doctors inject substantial amounts of Local Anaesthetic Solution under the skin. The problem with this technique is that the swelling of the skin from the local anaesthetic solution makes it difficult to be certain that the “Thread’ hasn’t been placed too deep or too superficial. Placing a ‘Thread’ too superficially can cause permanent surface irregularities. 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 prefer to 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 Conscious Sedation||General Anaesthesia|
|Where is it Done?||In the Privacy of our Clinic’s own Operating Theatre||In Hospital with a 1-2 day stay|
|Length of Procedure||About 2 hours||4-5 hours|
|Surgical Scars||Very small, hidden and essentially undetectable||More extensive & noticeable, usually need to be camouflaged with make-up|
|‘Down Time’||Usually 4-7 days||Around 3-4 weeks|
|Post-Operative Appearances||Temporary, short-lived ‘Bunching’ of skin where it is pulled back (e.g. in front of the ears)
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 3-4 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.||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’ Facelift|
|Cost||From $2,640 depending on number of Threads required +
Anaesthetist Fee ($990 – $1,320 depending on time)
|Mini-lift: Around $15,000 – $18,000
Full 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.
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 threads and correct surgical techniques are used.
The earliest threads were permanent but nowadays all threads available in Australia are absorbable. Absorbable threads are a definitely an advantage because they allow a ‘clean slate’ to work with if more threads need to be inserted years later.
Important: After a long wait, we finally have received our new PDO Threads. Dr Mayson considers these latest Threads to be far superior in lifting and holding power compared to anything others he has previously used. Nevertheless, as good as these new Threads are, unless they are properly anchored, maximum correction will not be achieved. Don’t waste your money having Threads simply ‘free floating’ under your skin because you will get only minimal or no correction.
A Thread Lift Facelift is performed in the privacy of our own Clinic’s Operating Theatre under Local Anaesthesia & Light Sedation administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist. You can go home shortly thereafter 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. Dr Mayson will give you a detailed quotation once he has assessed which areas need to be lifted and the number of threads to be used.
More and more doctors, many of whom do not have any surgical facelift experience, are starting to offer ‘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: