Comments on Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Thread Lifts – The Future of Face Lifts” by MilfordMD Cosmetic Surgeon

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Are thread lifts the new “surgery-free” face lift? While recently endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Dr. Richard E. Buckley explains how thread lifts compare to traditional, surgical facelifts.

In a facelift, the skin is slid up over tissues that were tightened & the excess skin is trimmed off. In a threadlift, you don’t have the tightening of the tissues below. Both procedures have their place, however there’s really no substitute for the dramatic results you get from a surgical facelift.

“Thread lifts help address saggy jowls and necks that make many of us feel years older than we are by temporarily lifting the tissue for a more youthful lower face and neckline,” says Dr. Richard E. Buckley who is the medical director of MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA. When thread lifts initially came out in the late ‘90s they were heralded as a kinder, gentler facelift but the early barbed surgical threads or sutures caused scary side effects. Now, thanks to technological advances with the threads and celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow discussing it on Goop and England royal Sarah, Dutchess of York confessing to getting a thread lift, the rejuvenation procedure has bounced back in popularity.

Patients love the new and improved thread lift because it is FDA-cleared, non-invasive, can be done during your lunch hour and has little to no downtime. But can this non-invasive lift compare to the traditional surgical facelift?

“MilfordMD offers Silhouette InstaLift threads and NovaThreads (PDO Threads); however, thread lifts do not compare to surgical facelifts,” states Dr. Buckley. “You can lift up your cheek with your finger and hold it there all day today, tonight and even the next day but when you let go of it, it’s going to slide back down where it was. With thread lifts, you don’t have true tightening of the underlying facial structures as you do with a surgical facelift meaning the skin will slide back to its original position once the threads dissolve.”

A thread lift benefits patients with facial skin laxity at its early stages, such as somebody who’s in their 30s and wants a little bit of correction for marionette lines, nasolabial folds, slight laxity in the lateral cheek area, according to Dr. Buckley. With a thread lift, dissolvable threads are placed underneath the skin through tiny access points and then the skin is gently manipulated over the suture to help lift it and keep it in place. “With NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift threads, the threads are dissolvable which means the lifting is eventually lost. Additionally, the surface of the skin has not permanently moved up over the top of the underlying tissues and since there is no separation between the skin surface and deeper layers, the subcutaneous fat, then there is none of the ability for the skin to stick in an elevated or lifted position. What the threads do help with is the stimulation of collagen. Increased collagen will give the area a more plump, youthful look,” says Dr. Buckley.

With a surgical facelift, you can counteract the effects of time and gravity by tightening the underlying superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and remove excess sagging skin; thus smoothing deep folds and lifting and tightening the deep facial tissues. “A facelift is more than pulling up on the skin and trimming off the excess. During a facelift, you are cutting the skin, loosening it off the underlying connective tissues, pleating the thin SMAS fibrous layer which lifts the underneath portions and structures, repositioning the deeper facial tissues and trimming off the extra skin. In a proper facelift, the skin is not pulled at all. It’s done with zero tension,” says Dr. Buckley.

“In a facelift, the skin is slid up over the tissues that were tightened up and the excess skin is trimmed off resulting in both tightening and lifting. In a thread lift, you don’t have the sliding of the skin or the tightening of the tissues below. Plus, the threads dissolve typically in about 6 months so after about 180 days, or fewer, you’re back to where you were before. Both procedures have their place, however when you need a facelift, there’s really no substitute for the dramatic results you get from a surgical facelift,” says Dr. Buckley.

About MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center:

The MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center offers state-of-the-art highly specialized procedures in laser and cosmetic surgery and aesthetic skin care. In addition to its AAAHC nationally accredited surgical center and extensive laser surgery capabilities, MilfordMD offers physician designed skin care products for home use. Milford Pennsylvania’s MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center is sought out by patients from around the world for expertise and innovation in cosmetic treatments performed by Board Certified Physicians, Richard E. Buckley, M.D. and Marina Buckley, M.D.

MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center is located at 303 W. Harford Street, Milford, PA 18337. Tel: (570) 491-1962. For real patient video testimonials, follow MilfordMD on Instagram and Facebook, and visit our MilfordMD YouTube channel.

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