The thread lift or suture lift is often advertised as a cheap alternative to the facelift, and like so many things that sound too good to be true, it probably is. The thread lift is a procedure in which a barbed suture is threaded through the face. This is supposed to lift the face with minimal surgery. It costs less than a facelift, yes, and sometimes recovery time is shorter, but this procedure doesn’t last and can have associated complications. Many cosmetic surgeons do not perform thread lifts because they feel that they are ineffective.
The problem with relying on a barbed thread to improve facial features is that the threads can break or move, and you may be able to feel them. You may not see any improvement, and if you do, it will likely last only a few weeks or months. The thread lift is a superficial treatment that may temporarily improve problems like cheek ptosis, but it’s unlikely to give you lasting change.
Who Gets Thread Lifts?
Those targeted in ads for thread lifts are often those who worry about the cost of treatment and are looking for the best deal. Unfortunately, when it comes to health care and cosmetic treatments, “the best deal” can sometimes mean the worst service. The truth is that the best surgeons are expensive, and effective treatments cost time and money. When you consider how costly medical school is and all the investment a doctor must put into his or her career on top of the high demand for the most skilled and experienced providers, it’s easy to see the great value in a procedure done right. While a thread lift may cost less right now, if you think about how long it lasts and what you’ll have to pay for future corrective procedures, the thread lift is actually far more costly than it seems.
Another demographic commonly targeted for the thread lift are those who are young or appear young enough to not require dramatic change. Thread lift providers may focus on people in their 30s who have faces that are just beginning to show signs of age. The reason why the emphasis is on those seeking subtle improvements is because the thread lift is not considered a powerful procedure. It simply isn’t capable of giving the results required by someone with more severe signs of aging. People in this age group do much better with appropriate non-invasive treatments like Restylane and BOTOX.
Removing the Sutures Later
Not everyone has to have the sutures removed, but many people who are dissatisfied with their thread lift opt to have them taken out later on, especially if they are experiencing facial discomfort or seeking further treatment. Removing the sutures can be a lengthy process, and one that should be done if you wish to receive a facelift later. Having the sutures removed will add to your bill and increase your risks of complications.
Facelift: The Smart Solution
If you are concerned about your aging, sagging face, do yourself a favor and seek treatment that will last. If your concerns are minimal, consider seeking a consultation to find out if nonsurgical treatments are more suitable. For those who need surgery, a facelift is almost always a wiser choice than a thread lift, and for those with minor problems, there are minimally invasive cosmetic treatments available that you may not have considered.
The facelift is a dynamic procedure that gives real results and can be completely custom-designed for your needs. There is a lot of flexibility with designing the best treatment program for you without resorting to thread lifts.
As with any treatment, there is a small risk of complications like numbness or suture migration. What should most concern you is the significant risk that you will receive no improvement from this procedure. If you do experience improvement, you still run the large risk of having this improvement last only a few weeks before the suture strips in the tissue. For these reasons we recommend seeking alternative forms of treatment.
Find a doctor who specializes in multiple procedures that improve facial structure and aesthetics. This way you will receive balanced advice. A doctor with extensive experience in facial cosmetic procedures will best understand your options, rather than rely on thread lifts as a default. As an incredibly complex and potentially beautiful part of the human body, the face must be treated on an individual basis with regard for its sensitivity and respect for its proven treatments.
Dr. Steinsapir is widely experienced in specialized facial treatments, including the facelift, BOTOX, Restylane, facial liposuction, reconstructive surgery, and more. With resources available in his Beverly Hills practice and UCLA, Dr. Steinsapir uses proven facial treatments and insight gleaned from years of experience as a specialized physician. Dr. Steinsapir always treats patients himself without relying on nurses, technicians, associates, or ghost surgeons. Call us today to learn how to improve your facial structure through proven methods.