“What are the contraindications of thread lifting?”

“So far, I’ve been doing with hardware techniques and fillers. The example of a friend (very impressive, by the way) made me think about a facelift with threads. How much will it really help at my age, and how is thread lifting compatible with contouring preparations (I use Radiesse)?”

Dina (47 years old)

The cosmetologist’s answer

The use of threads to rejuvenate the face and body these days will not surprise anyone. However, it is probably very difficult to figure out on your own the types of threads and the expediency of their use, given their diversity and contradictory advertising slogans. There is a generally accepted division of threads into biostimulating, reinforcing and lifting.

Biostimulating threads include threads made of absorbable suture material – polydioxanone, polycaprolactone or pure lactic acid. More often, these threads are thin (not thicker than a human hair), smooth or having minimal devices for fixing in fabrics (in the form of braids, intertwined braids, spirals of one or more threads). The main purpose of such threads is to compact flabby skin, stimulate tissue renewal, and enhance collagen production. They are not able to stretch or move the skin, but they are able to create a good “base” for subsequent thread tightening. Such threads are the most atraumatic, they are recommended to start using after 25 years to prevent aging of certain areas of the skin that are most susceptible to aging.

Reinforcing threads are thicker than biostimulating ones, they can have more reliable mechanisms for fixing in tissues: hooks, notches, etc. They are created from the same types of suture material, and have both a biostimulating effect, the ability to strengthen tissues, and create a light effect of tension of the skin and subcutaneous structures. Biostimulating and reinforcing threads are effectively used to prevent sagging of facial and body tissues and to correct initial age-related changes. According to indications, they can be used even at a relatively young age up to 30 years. Women in their 30s and 40s should already seriously think about using biostimulating and reinforcing threads to preserve their face, because if they do not keep the descending tissues in time, then they will have to use more traumatic types of threads – lifting, or even seek help from a plastic surgeon.

Lifting threads can consist of both absorbable and non-absorbable suture material. They necessarily have the ability to capture and move fabrics well due to notches, cones, knots, as well as the ability to install them with a loop. The installation of lifting threads is always more traumatic compared to biostimulating and reinforcing ones, and there may be such moments as a “stretched” face immediately after the procedure and the next few days while the face will “sit down” on the threads, soreness due to the desire of tissues to assume their former position, folds of excess skin that will gradually spread out over a month, swelling for several weeks depending on the number of threads and the scheme of their installation.

Lifting threads are used when you need to pull sagging tissues (they are often positioned as an alternative to surgery, but this is not quite true).

With all its wonderful possibilities, lifting threads are also powerless in some situations. The results of lifting threads cannot be compared with plastic surgery, because during the operation, excess tissues are cut off, and when installing threads, these surpluses move and give a slight shrinkage within the limits possible. The age when it is time to resort to the installation of lifting threads can be defined as 40+, but even in younger patients we can see indications for the use of this type of threads, for example, in the deformational type of aging, where the tissues are very heavy and are strongly influenced by gravity.

Contraindications to thread lifting

Thread technologies have indications and contraindications for use, which must be strictly observed. So, it is impossible to use threads for infectious diseases of general or local (colds, purulent processes, inflammatory acne, sinusitis, otitis, caries, etc.), in the presence of non-biodegradable implants in the area of thread installation (silicone, polyacrylamide gel, biopolymer), at elevated body temperature of any origin, with systemic diseases (autoimmune processes, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, etc.), during pregnancy and lactation, with decompensated forms of diabetes mellitus, in severe general diseases and mental disorders.

After installing the threads, you need to wait for three weeks before using peels, botulinum therapy, biorevitalization, mesotherapy. Appaprate techniques such as lasers, phototherapy, radio wave therapy, focused ultrasound are used no earlier than a month and a half after the installation of the filaments. After installing fillers based on hyaluronic acid, it should take at least three weeks before using the threads, and after the threads, such fillers can be injected in a month. If other fillers were used (for example, based on calcium hydroxyappatite – Radiess), then after them the filaments can also be installed only after three weeks, and after the fillers such fillers are recommended to be used no earlier than three months. However, in any case, the decision on the expediency of installing threads and combining them with other methods is made by a doctor at a face-to-face consultation.    

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