It’s a bitter truth that as we age, our facial fat, especially around eye area, cheeks, neck and jowls, is lost.
Paired with this is the skin’s aging process wherein skin’s elastic fibres become thinner causing loss of facial elasticity.
These two processes cause a longer face and wrinkles because “facial scaffolding” is unable to give as much support.
Thread lifts involve using sutures or threads that are placed under the skin so that they can tighten and elevate the sagging or loose areas on face as well as body to decrease the effects of aging and gravity, thus helping to rejuvenate the face and other body parts.
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Types of Threads
Three main types of threads are currently used in thread lift procedures, viz. PDO (polydioxanone), PLA (polylactic acid) and PCA (polycarpolactone).
1. PDO Threads
The longest among the threads that have been around are the PDO threads. They are made of a biodegradable synthetic polymer that is being used in surgery for past so many years.
PDO threads are absorbed in the body by hydrolysis over six months and work by stimulating fibroblast to generate more collagen in the targeted area.
PDO threads are again of three types:
- Mono: These are smooth with no barbs. They are secured to a spot on the scalp or face. Their function is to tighten the skin, along with which they provide a small lift too.
- Cog: These have barbs which provide support to the sagging skin and lift it by hooking onto the skin.
- Screw: These have an intertwined thread or two around the needle and offer good volume restoration to skin’s depressed areas.
The collagen production around the threads and barbs helps in restoring volume and enhances the skin elasticity and texture giving rise to a natural aesthetic result.
2. PLA Threads
Following PDO threads, PLA threads were created. They are produced from a biocompatible polymer developed from lactic acid. The polymer has been used in several applications like orthopaedic pins as well as sutures.
These threads are resorbable and help regenerate collagen over a longer period than PDO threads.
PLA threads are hooked to the tissue with cones and add to the volume of sagging areas, thus helping regain the shape of facial area and also providing a lift.
3. PCA Threads
These are the latest threads and are bio-absorbable. They are monofilament suspension threads having a synthetic origin (caprolactone).
These work by redeveloping collagen over an even longer period than PDO and PLA threads. They also leave a collagen structure behind that offers support to the skin, firms it and protects it from sagging.
Because of the fibrotic reaction produced by the threads, the stretching and lifting action will go on even after the threads are resorbed.
The thread breakdown generates molecules having a small molecular weight which further stimulate the production of collagen as well as hyaluronic acid by the skin. So, the skin becomes more revitalised, moisturised and firm for a longer time.
Choosing Right Type of Threads
For deciding which type of thread to use, your surgeon should consider your indications and what is to be achieved – facial rejuvenation or facial lift.
If a patient wants tissue lifted, PDO threads would not suit the procedure because they are positioned superficially, have no barbs and are completely smooth.
Although they provide a firming and regenerative effect that enhances skin quality visibly, they don’t offer a significant amount of skin lifting.
Thus for a powerful lift with improved facial rejuvenation and tightening, barbed threads are perfect. The barbs act as devices to clasp the skin producing tension in thread which lifts the facial area.
Considering all these factors, your surgeon will choose the right type of threads whereby you can get just the results you want.
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