A silhouette lift – also known as a thread lift – is a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift that has been growing in popularity over the past couple of years. Dissolvable threads, lined with microscopic barbs, are inserted under the face and used to lift the soft tissue. The treatment is particularly effective at targeting the mid-face, and addressing sagging cheeks, jawlines and jowls. Although the effects don’t last as long as a full facelift, the limited recovery time, lack of need for general anaesthetic and lack of potential risks and side-effects make it an appealing option to many prospective patients.
A silhouette lift takes between 45 minutes and an hour, and is performed under local anaesthetic. Once the anaesthetic has been applied to the face, microscopic incisions are made in the face with a surgical needle.
Through these incisions, long threads – specifically, Silhouette threads – are placed under the skin. The threads are lined with tiny barbs that catch onto the facial tissue and allow the surgeon to alter the position of the facial tissue via a lifting motion.
Once the lift has been completed, the ends of the threads are cut and the incisions are sealed with dissolvable sutures – leaving the remainder of the skin under the surface of the face.
The threads are enriched with collagen, so they can create an ongoing effect to the skin texture and laxity as the body naturally absorbs this collagen (the substance in the body responsible for the majority of anti-ageing effects). The threads are biodegradable, so after the body has absorbed all the minerals and collagen from the threads, the threads themselves will be naturally absorbed by the body.
If there is a lot of excess skin lifted at the time of the threadlift then there maybe an indication to do a limited kin facelift at the same time which would give a longer term result and a better appearance as there is less likely to be bunching of the tissues that can be seen sometimes with thread lifting.
Unlike the majority of facial surgical procedures, the downtime associated with a Silhouette lift is relatively minor. You may experience some slight tenderness to the area once the topical anaesthetic wears off, which can be managed with painkillers that you will be prescribed if necessary.
You may experience some slight swelling and bruising to the site of injection, but this will subside fairly rapidly. You may also experience some slight wrinkling to the skin, but this should only last a day or two at most.
You should avoid undergoing dental surgery, facial massages or beauty treatments for a week after your treatment to encourage healing and allow the threads time to heal. For this time, you should also avoid putting pressure on your face, so sleep on your back where possible.
For the first few weeks after surgery – recommended 3-4 – you should avoid high impact exercise and contact sports.
Silhouette lifts are one of the safest treatments available – something many people see as a fair trade, being that the results only last around 18 months. Because of its non-invasive nature, risks associated with Silhouette lift treatment are rare. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this that you should be aware of: