Emerging technology in the aesthetic market refers to the latest innovative procedures or treatments. As we know, hot trends create a great deal of interest and excitement. Sadly, many of these treatments hit the market before scientific evidence supports their results.
A lack of regulation allows manufacturers to make inflated claims without independent studies. Direct-to-consumer advertising also gets people excited before the scientific research proves their value. A recent review of a previously abandoned procedure shows why a certain degree of skepticism is justified.
A number of years ago the promise of a fabulous new non-surgical procedure called The Thread lift joined the aesthetic market. The technique utilized a clinic setting and a barbed suture to lift and re-position soft tissue without requiring incisions. After initial enthusiasm, this material and procedure quickly lost favor. Patients were left with no lift and yet permanent, sometimes painful sutures.
Unfortunately, there is a now a new barbed suture that is re-absorbable and marketed with fantastic corporate advertising material. This commercially called Instalift procedure continues to lure patients in with empty promises of a quick, minimal downtime, facial lifting option.The truth is that an Instalift procedure fails to provide results for a number of different reasons.
- First, in order to truly reposition and lift the face, you must release tissue from certain fixation points. These ligaments are what drive a plastic surgeon’s surgical technique. Without this repositioning, the tissue will resist any attempt to lift it.Short-term changes seen by non-surgical options such as thread lifting have little or no chance of providing permanent results. The Instalift website predicts only temporary results, and Thread lifts lasted anywhere between one and three months.
- Secondly, the amount of change achieved with a simple barbed suture is quite meager. The barbs on the sutures are small and delicate and really cannot get enough purchase to change facial structure.
One of the reasons for an incision in a conventional surgical facelift is to provide a hidden location to remove any excess tissue. The lack of incision with a Threadlift clearly shows that there is not any excess tissue created. Otherwise, bundled, deforming areas of non-moving tissue would be obvious.
- Thirdly, Instalift claims improvement over the initial Thread lift because of the temporary nature of the new suture material. Logic tells us that a temporary suture promises less result with even less duration. The promised collagen production from the suture material is not significant enough to provide an increase in volume or strength capable of supporting any facial repositioning.
- Finally, physicians who are not traditional surgeons most often use suture-lifting techniques. Surgeons are able to offer minimally invasive or modified mini-facelifts that are not significantly more expensive and yet still deliver natural, permanent results.
The original Thread lift company is no longer in business. The procedure failed because it could not provide any significant value and did not deliver on the promises made.
Unfortunately, a single change in suture material does not offer any improvement on an already flawed concept. One achieves contemporary facial rejuvenation by two means. The first is restoration of facial volume, using soft tissue fillers as a clinic-based procedure. The other is for those candidates who want to lift the skin and soft tissue of the face, and this requires surgery.