The above is an intra-operative photo depicting a patient who had undergone a previous Facelift with another surgeon, specifically a Thread Lift. Note the arrows and the areas to which they point. These areas show ends of “threads” used in her Thread Lift that have been retained in the tissue. In addition, you can see scar tissue around the threads that appear as white colored tissue.
Dr. Slupchynskyj performed Revision Facelift Surgery on this patient, employed his SLUPlift™ technique and removed the “threads”.
Thread Lifts were first performed approximately ten years ago, and several surgeons developed the procedure. The thinking at the time was the threads could be placed in the patient’s subcutaneous tissue, brought out through stab incisions and basically pulled up and sutured in the back of a neck, acting much like a purse string. Unfortunately, several complications resulted as reported in numerous clinical studies.
First, the threads are permanent and this leads to scar tissue in and around the threads. Second, the threads pull soft tissue, fat and skin only. This translates to results that are short-lived, as the procedure does not address the underlying muscle. Jowling will continue regardless of skin and soft tissue being pulled up. Bunching of the skin can also be seen in some patients.
Revision Facelifts can be performed in patients who have suffered complications of a Thread Lift and their outcomes are good. The retained suture material (threads) must be carefully removed from the subcutaneous tissue. If the threads are embedded, removal could incur damage to the surrounding sensory and motor nerves, arteries and veins. In this case, threads are typically left in place.
While Thread Lifts are still performed today, the consensus among qualified and experienced Cosmetic Facelift Surgeons is that this type of Facelift is to be avoided.