As we age, we could all use some tightening of the sagging skin on our face and neck, but many of us may not be ready for a surgical facelift and/or neck lift. That’s why the variety of laser and other skin tightening treatments has exploded in recent years.
Dr. Tarbet has an alternative — the PDO thread lift using NovaThreads. A thread lift at Amara Medical Aesthetics uses the implantation of fine, absorbable threads to lift sagging tissues and to stimulate collagen production, providing lifting and tightening that can last up to two years.
What is a thread lift?
A thread lift is a simple procedure where Dr. Tarbet uses temporary sutures to produce a subtle, but visible lifting of the facial skin. Unlike a surgical facelift, where excess sagging skin is trimmed and underlying support tissues brought back to a higher position on the face, a thread lift uses sutures to simply suspend the skin by stitching up portions of it. This has the effect of pulling the skin back slightly and lifting and tightening the face.
These procedures have a secondary tightening mechanism. The threads used are made of the same material as absorbable surgical sutures. Once these are placed for their initial tightening, the body begins the process of absorbing the sutures, a process known as hydrolysis. This stimulates the body to produce new collagen around the threads. As the threads are absorbed, eventually turning to water, the new collagen remains, firming the skin for six months to two years.
How does a PDO thread lift differ from a surgical facelift?
Both procedures lift and tighten sagging facial skin, but their methods are quite different. During a facelift, the surgeon releases the connections holding the facial skin in place. The skin is lifted back to a higher position on the cheeks, and the underlying muscles and support tissues are anchored in their higher positions. At this point, any excess sagging skin is trimmed away, and the skin is then re-draped. Facelifts have various incision locations, depending on the method, but they are typically hidden in the hairline or the crease in front of the ears. Due to tissue repositioning, facelifts create a good deal of swelling and require lengthy recovery times.
A PDO thread lift with Dr. Tarbet is a different story altogether. For starters, PDO thread lifts only take about 45 minutes, and patients only need local anesthesia.
Dr. Tarbet inserts the threads with a tiny cannula or needle into the different layers of the skin. NovaThreads have barbs or are smooth, depending on the area they are placed. Barbs help them anchor and hold the skin from beneath. By positioning the threads to elevate the skin, creates lifting and rejuvenation. At from four to six months, your body begins the process of absorbing the threads, which is an inflammatory response where new collagen is created. With a thread lift there are no incisions, and very little, if any, recovery.
Who is a good candidate for a PDO thread lift using NovaThreads?
As you would imagine, thread lifts cannot provide the same tissue repositioning as a surgical facelift. For that reason, the best candidates for a thread lift at Amara Medical Aesthetics are in the early stages of facial and jowl laxity. PDO thread lifts provide subtle rejuvenation in the cheek, jowls, and neck. The procedure is especially good for those who’ve had a previous facelift but are starting to see some sagging again due to aging. For patients with more extensive skin sagging, a thread lift is probably not the best option. A surgical facelift can better address more significant sagging.
For an age range, PDO thread lifts with Dr. Tarbet are more appropriate for patients in their late 30s to late 40s, whereas surgical facelift patients tend to be around the age of 55.
What are the benefits of having a PDO thread lift?
Although Dr. Tarbet, as a double board-certified plastic surgeon in Bellevue, WA, performs surgical facelifts and neck lifts, some patients simply are not interested in surgery, at least not yet. Plus, due to work responsibilities or other reasons, they may not be able to accommodate the lengthy recovery necessary with these surgeries.
A PDO thread lift, on the other hand, has little or no recovery time. Because Dr. Tarbet only uses local anesthesia, patients can drive themselves home. They can go back to work or their normal activities, or just take off the rest of the day. There is a little soreness, redness, and swelling, but it doesn’t last long.
Despite the lack of downtime, thread lifts deliver immediate lifting and then secondary lifting when new collagen is produced as the skin dissolves the NovaThreads. These provide more lifting and tightening than any laser procedure can deliver.
How long do NovaThreads last?
Because they are made from a biocompatible material called PDO, the same material used in dissolvable sutures, NovaThreads are designed to eventually be absorbed by the body. Once Dr. Tarbet places them strategically, they will last for between four and six months before the body begins dissolving them. This is when a PDO thread lift shifts from the initial tightening by the NovaThreads to tightening provided by increased collagen production.
How is NovaThreads different from than thread used for a Silhouette InstaLift?
Dr. Tarbet uses NovaThreads because they come in different forms: barbed sutures or straight or curved options. She finds the barbed NovaThreads excellent for gathering skin. They can be placed near the hairline in order to gently pull back the skin and lift the cheeks and jowls. The smooth NovaThreads produce less of a lift, but they are excellent for collagen stimulation. She places smooth sutures in strategic locations around the face, such as the corners of the mouth or along the brows, in order to stimulate the most collagen production.
NovaThreads are different than the threads used in Silhouette InstaLifts. Those threads are intended more for lifting than collagen production. Rather than smooth or barbed, the sutures are interspersed with tiny cones that grab the tissue.
Is NovaThreads safe?
The FDA has approved NovaThreads for the purpose of lifting tissue to provide results similar to a limited surgical facelift. They are made from the same biocompatible material that has been used for decades in dissolvable sutures. The body accepts them, eventually breaking them down to provide the secondary skin tightening from new collagen production. These are very low-risk procedures.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about PDO Thread Lifts please contact us for a consultation at (425) 455-2131 or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.