Table of Contents
- 1 About Thread Lift
- 2 Alternative Options: Non-Invasive Facelift Procedures
- 3 Threadlifts vs Non-Surgical HIFU Face lift
Whether you blame age or gravity, once you cross your twenties, facial skin laxity is a reality with every passing day. Drooping cheeks, nose, jowls and a sagging jawline are some of the more common concerns that you would love to reverse. Compared to the more drastic procedures like surgery, and thread lifts, lasers, Radiofrequency (RF) and HIFU treatments are considered to be safer and more popular treatments for treating skin laxity. Let’s find out more about their pros and cons.
About Thread Lift
As a minimally invasive treatment modality, thread lifts such as for the nose are another option to surgery and non-invasive procedures like energy-based devices like lasers, radiofrequency and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) A thread lift procedure gives a lift to the face by inserting temporary sutures in the skin.
The procedure is quite simple. A supporting framework of fine threads is temporarily created under the facial skin to help pull or ‘lift’ the lax skin upwards. The threads that are inserted in areas such as the cheeks or nose help pull back the loose skin, giving the face a tauter look.
Advantages of Thread Lift
- Time-saver: The procedure requires about an hour on average. This makes the thread lift procedure very convenient for busy professionals.
- Minimally invasive procedure: No surgery or deep cuts are involved.
- Minimal pain: Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, the pain factor is also substantially lower.
- Low recovery timeframe: Post-procedural effects, such as slight swelling or reddening, usually subside after three to five days.
- Localised anaesthesia: The procedure does not require general anaesthesia and is therefore considered safe for most people.
Disadvantages of Thread Lift
- Temporary results: The outcomes of thread lift for the nose or cheek procedures last for a relatively short time.
- Not effective in severe cases: Thread lifting is a moderate intensity modality and is ideal for treating the preliminary signs of ageing. It is ideal for people in their thirties and forties. Beyond that, results may not be so satisfactory.
- Expensive: Thread lift procedures may be costly over the long run.
- Less significant results: Thread lift results are not as pronounced as conventional facelift procedures. The subtle effects of the treatment may disappoint thread lift patients.
- Complications: Although thread lift is considered minimally invasive, some sutures and cuts are required. There is still a risk of complications such as bruising, thread breakage, thread extrusion, fever, and infection. Even with topical anaesthetics, some patients may still experience pain during or after the procedure.
- Insertion into the skin: Many patients do not want to insert synthetic substances into their bodies. In the past, surgical sutures were made from catgut derived from cows. This type of suture breaks down naturally by the body's own proteolytic enzymes. Its natural suture's structure makes it highly suitable for human implantation due to its normal absorbable properties. However, due to widespread concerns over mad cow disease, catgut has been largely replaced by synthetic polymer materials. Synthetic polymers do not occur naturally in skin tissue. After inserting any foreign substance under the skin, the body will reject it and consequently will mount a foreign body reaction to destroy the thread.
- Repeated Treatment Consequences: In some patients, it is not desirable to insert threads repeatedly into their faces. These threads can sometimes cause dimpling, extrusion, and asymmetry of the skin surface. Similarly, if the threads are not placed properly, they may spit out like conventional sutures.
Alternative Options: Non-Invasive Facelift Procedures
If you’re on the lookout for facelifts treatments that are painless for your cheek or nose, have no downtime and are safe, non-invasive energy-based devices are your best option. Lasers, Radiofrequency (RF), and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) are among the most popular types of non-invasive procedures that are used for firming and lifting the face. HIFU treatments bypass the external skin layers and directly rejuvenate the inner support structures. The procedures help to tighten lax skin, and contour faces by targeting the cheeks, jowls, and neck areas.
Lasers and Radio Frequency Skin Lifting Treatment
As part of the ageing process, our skin loses thickness and elasticity. Our body loses about 1% before menopause and 2% after menopause of its collagen reserves every year. Lasers and RF treatment can help to combat this problem. This treatment addresses skin laxity by delivering ultra-focused RF energy deep into the skin. By targeting the jowls and areas below the chin, both treatments help achieve the coveted V shape lift to the face. These procedures bypass the skin surface and work deep inside the dermis. This energy helps in the generation of collagen which are especially important for the skin’s elasticity.
Through contracting the collagen fibres, the skin just lifts and tightens to deliver a more youthful appearance. Thereafter, by secreting cytokines and heat shock proteins, it attracts more fibroblasts to the area and induces these cells to produce more collagen and more elastin. Three weeks later, another chemical mediator called CDP1 converts these immature type 3 collagen fibres into type 1 collagen fibres. The mature collagen fibres last longer because they are stronger and more stable.
HIFU Skin Lifting Treatment
Skin is attached and held up by ligaments. As we age, gravity pulls the skin down including the nose and causes these ligaments to lengthen, making our skin look saggy. But when we shorten these ligaments, the skin will be lifted up, making our skin tauter. Although this process is similar to dermal thickening, this facelifting treatment is done at a different layer, called the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System, or SMAS.
The HIFU Skin Lift procedure uses high intensity focused ultrasound energy to lift the skin and add lost youth to the face. The best known HIFU device is the Ulthera. The procedure also helps to add definition to the neck and jawline. Working from the inside out, the treatment acts on the deeper tissues, while ensuring the safety of the skin and its surrounding tissues. During the procedure, HIFU generates energy to repair the skin ligaments within the SMAS.
Acting on this crucial subcutaneous layer that supports the facial structure, the HIFU Skin Lifting Treatment tightens the ligaments, improves skin elasticity, and reduces laxity. The procedure also stimulates a restoration process by producing new collagen and elastin proteins that rebuild the skin’s strength and firmness. Since HIFU Skin Lifting therapy targets the dermis and SMAS layer of the skin, patients can expect firmer, tighter, and radiant skin. One of the popular HIFU treatments is Ultherapy.
RF and HIFU treatments complement each other to help lift your face safely and effectively without pain or downtime. Imagine that the SMAS layer is the foundation of a house, while your dermis represents the pillars. To ensure the proper revival of the facial area, it is important to address both of these factors for optimum and comprehensive facelift results.
Advantages of non-invasive face lift treatments
- No foreign body insertion into the skin: As no needles are involved. You get less bruising, swelling and the risk of complications.
Bloodless procedure: Unlike thread lift procedures, non-invasive treatments do not involve the insertion of sutures physically into the skin. So, these treatments are entirely bloodless and do not bring the risk of infection.
No anaesthesia required: Non-invasive face lift procedures are painless and do not require anaesthesia to be injected. At most, the patient may require the application of a topical anaesthetic.
No downtime: Patients can return to their daily routine immediately after the procedures.
Clinically safe: These procedures are FDA approved and hence come with the assurance of patient safety.
Natural looking: The ultrasound energy triggers the production of natural collagen in the body to help lift and tighten your skin.
Improve the skin quality: The energy boosts collagen production which gives the skin better tone and texture. It also helps to reduce wrinkles and tighten saggy skin.
Disadvantages of non-invasive face lift treatments
- Effective for medium-level ageing signs: The non-invasive skin lift treatments are ideal for initial and intermediate phases of ageing. It means that the treatments are effective for people in their thirties and forties.
Long terms effect: Our skin will continue to age daily, therefore, there is a need for successive procedures to retain the results for a longer period of time. HIFU and RF treatments can be repeated safely.
Threadlifts vs Non-Surgical HIFU Face lift
Thread lift procedure for the nose or cheek can help regain some of your facial skin’s lost youth. However, people looking for substantial outcomes may feel let down by its subtle results. Since it’s a minimally invasive procedure, it could turn off people who have low pain tolerance levels. Moreover, the thought of having foreign objects inserted under the skin is also something that many people find a bit distressing. If you belong to any of these categories, non-invasive face lift procedures could turn out to be just right for you.
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