Suture Lifting with Associate Professor Greg Goodman
Society will always be in awe of the force that keeps us grounded on earth, gravity. However, the great weight of this force in combination with other effects of ageing such as changes in our elastic fibres as well as the loss of collagen and deeper tissues, is also partly responsible for the downward pull of our facial tissue over time. As a result of this gravitational pull, we see facial skin laxity presenting as sagging skin and facial jowls.
There are many options to fight the signs of ageing, ranging from creams, injectables through to intensive, invasive surgery in the form of a face lift. A middle ground between fillers and surgery is a technique referred to as suture lifting or thread lifting. This is a highly effective technique for those with mild to moderately sagging skin and is a welcome alternative to a full facelift.
Why is it often called thread lifting?
Thread lifting is the perfect descriptive name as this is exactly what the practitioner performs. The procedure involves inserting surgical threads, like those used to stitch wounds or incisions, under the skin and suspending them sideways and upwards which results in a realignment and lift of sagging skin.
What is the difference between a suture lift and facelift?
While a full facelift provides a most effective way to reposition sagging skin, with it comes potential long surgery times, hospital stays and lengthy recovery times due to the invasive nature of the surgery. Facelifts involve the removal of skin and suspension of the face with the patient usually under general anaesthesia. In the case of suture lifts, a small cannula is used to insert the threads under the skin, which then lift and reposition the descended facial tissue. There is no removal of skin during this method. Performed under local anaesthesia, it has exceptionally low medical risk and is a substantially less invasive procedure than its alternative. Common side effects of facelift surgery include swelling, soreness and bruising, all of which are minimised with the suture lifting method.
What are the advantages of suture lifting?
In addition to being an alternative to a facelift, suture lifting can combat ageing in a secondary manner by triggering the body's natural healing response. When the body experiences trauma it activates a response system which, in this case, provides a positive anti-ageing outcome. After the sutures are inserted, the body directs large surges of collagen to the threaded areas as a form of healing. This stimulation of collagen results in a gradual improvement of the skin's tone and firmness. In other words, this process provides ongoing and progressive rejuvenation for the facial tissues.
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