Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out PDS barbed threads to rejuvenate the face. These threads are toted, as non-painful, low downtime, cheaper than a traditional facelift, with good results. I wanted to try this new technology. Though I did not see this as a replacement to a facelift, I wanted to see and try this new technology in action. I saw the place for this procedure in the same category as Restylane, Juvederm, Botox and other injectables. These injectable agents can serve as stand-alone procedures in patients that are not ready to undergo a surgical procedure, or as adjuncts to a surgical procedure. Furthermore, I have seen and heard of “thread-lifts” for the last 7-8 years, the thread-lift procedure had been touted on Dr. Oz, and various other TV shows, and I wanted to see what the newest iteration of this technology would yield.
After viewing all the surgical instructional videos, I found an appropriate patient to test the PDS thread lift technology on. The goals in this patient were to:
These are normally the traditional goals of an endoscopic brow lift, and a face lift.
The thread lift procedure is usually done with only topical anesthesia spread on the face. As a surgeon, we applied numbing cream, but also performed nerve blocks. I also prescribed pain medication for the patient after surgery. I was told this was overkill, but I thought it appropriate.
The case went quite well. I was impressed at how easy the threads went in the skin. I was disappointed by the total amount of lifting, however. As a surgeon, I am used to significant tightening of the midface, neck, and jowls with significant lifting of the brow. The observers all marveled at the amount of lifting. I attributed the difference to what I knew my capabilities were in the operating room, and the fact that we were doing this procedure in 1 hour in the office.
The results….abysmal! The patient had significant pain during and after the procedure. The patient had contour irregularities that required a secondary revision surgical procedure. My face lifts usually only took 3-4 pain pills. The patient with the thread lift used >20 pain pills, and still complained of pain till several of the threads were removed. To add insult to injury, the overall results were not even close to what I can achieve in the operating room.
What I learned from all of this…I will look at new technologies. But I will judge new technologies against proven gold standards for the patient’s goals. If a patient desires: a tighter neck line, less jowls, with a lifted/fuller midface, I will recommend a face lift. I do not feel that the barbed thread lifts offer a single advantage other than cheaper cost to the patient. Furthermore, the cheaper cost is nullified by the poor overall result and the need to return to the operating room.
Athré Facial Aesthetics offers a wide range of facial plastic surgery options and non-surgical cosmetic and skincare treatments. Find the right one for you by contacting our office at (281) 557-3223 or click the button below to request a consultation.
Dr. Athré is one of the few cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in Houston who is a double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, certified in Otolaryngology and Head/Neck Surgery.Read more