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Face Lifts - Rhytidectomy / Brow Lift


Suspension lifts treat the first signs of sagging by using specially designed sutures or threads to hold slightly slack skin in a higher position.  These procedures can raise the brows, soften sagging in the mid-face and refine a drooping jowl.  However, suspension lifts do not address excess skin or the underlying muscle and fat - there merely suspend the skin higher.


                                           Feather Lift Thread

                                                         Feather-Lift Thread



A special thread with little barbs or grippers is inserted in the skin through small incisions (which are less than .5 cm) that are usually hidden within the hairline.  The sutures gathers the skin before it is knotted  to tighten and lift.  A suspension lift takes about an hour and usually requires only local anesthesia which may be combined with oral sedation.




Not only is there different suture placements used by different doctors, the actual threads used can vary as well.  The Silhouette thread joined the Contour Thread as the only brands FDA approved for cosmetic use.  APTOS threads are widely used option that employs barbs to hold the skin in a higher position.

The various different types of material used in Thread Brow or Face Lifts are:

  • Smooth sutures or threads that dissolve

  • Smooth sutures or threads that do not dissolve

  • Barbed sutures or threads that dissolve

  • Barbed sutures or threads that do not dissolve

  • Cross linked or hatched suture or threads that dissolve

  • Cross linked or hatched suture or threads that do not dissolve





A suspension lift can be performed in a doctor's office under local anesthesia, with or without oral sedation.  Although it can be performed in office, be sure the facility is fully accredited and properly equipped and staffed for surgical procedures. 

This is NOT a lunchtime procedure that allows you to return to regular activities right after treatment.  Expect swelling and bruising to last a week or more.  Immediately after the procedure you will likely see distortion or bunching of the skin and bruising.  If you are not happy with the outcome, the procedure may be reversible within a week, depending on the threads and the technique used.  But if more time elapses, it may require more extensive surgery to remove the sutures.  Although suspension lifts are less invasive, the cost can be as much as a more extensive life.




This is a temporary fix for slightly slack skin. the skin and the muscles will continue to age.  Results from a suspension lift lasts only one to two years at most - it is very short lived compared to those achieved through other more extensive lifts for facial rejuvenation.





Suspension lifts tend to be controversial because they lack consistent results. 

When performing a suspension lift, the surgeon cannot see the anatomy into which the threads are placed, so the following might occur:

  • risk of nerve damage
  • swelling and bruising
  • penetrating the sinuses
  • extrusion (where the thread comes visible on the surface of the face)
  • skin irregularities
  • asymmetries
  • puckering
  • infection
  • patient might feel some tightness or pulling - or may be able to feel the threads
  • threads might loosen or break - which can lead to an asymmetrical appearance
  • the sutures are permanent
  • over time, the sutures might work their way to the surface of the skin where the patient can see them or feel them.




Feather lift is not as popular as it was five years ago when this procedure first came out.  Most plastic surgeons have not seen many good results with this procedure, hence many have decided not to perform them anymore.  The reason is these procedures proved to be very expensive and didn't produce results that lasted even a year in most cases.  The problem is that living tissue expands to accommodate tension, meaning that if you pull on skin it will grow and stretch out to eliminate that pull - and facial tissue does so pretty quickly.

Some of these threads have been taken off of the market by the FDA due to problems. 






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