There is no disputing that surgical facelifts are the most effective and long-lasting facelifts available on the aesthetics market (lasting up to 10 years). Yet there is also no denying that facelift surgery is highly invasive, and comes with a lengthy downtime – surgery takes months to heal; and compression bandages need to be worn for weeks afterwards to facilitate a desirable outcome. Surgical facelifts are costly too – a significant investment of both your time and money.
A Facelift Alternative
There are alternatives to the full surgical facelift. One incredibly effective treatment is to have thread lifts – when cosmetic threads as light as feathers are inserted under your skin like a supporting scaffold, and anchored at strategic points in order to ‘lift’ your face. The effects are immediate, downtime is approximately 48 hours, and the effects get better over the following months. Your facial features will be lifted, fine lines and wrinkles will be reduced, your face will look more smoothed out, naso-labial (nose-to-mouth) lines will be softened, and your whole face will appear slimmer, less baggy, and more sculpted.
Moreover, our thread lifts have added benefits: we use dissolvable, PDO (polydioxanone) threads, which trigger the body’s natural healing response and encourage collagen regeneration in the area, long after the threads have been absorbed. PDO threads dissolve within 6 months; but in their tracks, the cellular regeneration in the skin makes the effects of a thread lift last for much longer; renewed production of collagen will go on to add natural volume for up to 2 years after the procedure. A thread lift delivers immediate lifting results, prolonged collagen regeneration, and significantly reduces the effects of ageing on the face and jawline. It will take 12 weeks to see the full results – not just the effects of the facelift, but firmer, tighter, smoother skin too.
Another recommendation for a thread lift is that you can have this mini facelift performed in your lunchbreak – because the procedure only takes about an hour to perform, and downtime is so minimal; you can wear makeup 48 hours after treatment.
The procedure will take place in one of the theatres downstairs at The Clinic. First of all, your face will be thoroughly cleansed, and then prepped with injections of local anaesthetic: along your cheek bones, at the corners of your mouth, and along the jawline. These initial injections of local anaesthetic will sting like needle scratches; but your face will soon be numb, and you will not feel the trocar or the cannula inserted at your upper cheekbone. At The Clinic Holland Park we insert threads via a cannula, which considerably reduces the risk of complications like nerve damage or bleeding.
The PDO threads are transparent, and (in general) 10 threads are used: 5 on each side of your face. The threads are delivered under the skin via the cannula, and are then guided across your cheeks until they arrive at the spots on your face that need lifting – jowls, corners of the mouth, jawline. When the thread has reached its intended spot, Dr Doyle will apply manual pressure to the facial tissue in order to reshape it and achieve the desired lift. The sensation of the threads being inserted under your skin and manipulated will be odd; but you will soon get used to the experience. However, some parts of the face might feel more tender than others during the procedure; and if that happens you must tell Dr Doyle immediately; she will administer more local anaesthetic to the area before she continues.
The thread lift is performed on the face one side at a time. When one side of your face is lifted, Dr Doyle will show you the difference the threads have made to that side of your face before she proceeds to work threads on the other side. An entire thread lift takes about an hour to perform. When it is over, Dr Doyle will anoint antibiotic gel on the entry points used to insert the threads (which have probably bled a little), and advise you not to touch your face for the rest of the day.
A thread lift is over so quickly, and makes such a dramatic difference, that you are advised to settle in one of our private ‘recovery pods’, downstairs at The Clinic, to allow yourself at least half an hour to recuperate and get used to the incredible results. Our two recovery pods are curtained areas, each with a comfortable chair, footstool and side table. Here you can relax for as long as you wish; our Clinic staff will offer you light refreshment (tea and biscuits, or water – as you like it); and washroom facilities are next door to the left. Our nursing assistant will discharge you once you are fit to leave; and should you require transport, our concierge service will chauffeur you to your required destination.
Some patients do not respond well to the local anaesthetic, and might feel nauseous after the procedure. In such cases, you will be given sips of water, and be asked to rest in a recovery pod until you are fit and ready to be discharged.
- Do not touch your face for the first 12 hours after the thread lift – use splashes of tepid water and nothing else. You are not to apply any pressure to the treated areas of your face; your face will still be inflamed and feel tender – especially across your cheeks. Take paracetamol to help with any soreness; and if there is bruising or inflammation, apply an ice pack to the affected areas for a couple of minutes, 4-5 times a day.
- Abstain from alcohol (for at least 24 hours, preferably for 2 weeks); and do not smoke for 2 weeks after the procedure, because cigarette smoke has a detrimental effect on your skin healing.
- Expect any inflammation to have gone within 72 hours; but tenderness in the mid and lower face might last for up to two weeks after a thread lift. During the weeks following a thread lift, you will continue to notice positive changes as your face heals and any inflammation from the procedure subsides. It will take 12 weeks to see the full results.
- For 2 weeks following the procedure, you should sleep with your head slightly elevated, and try to sleep on your back (rather than sleeping on your side or on your stomach); many clients find propping themselves up with pillows or rolling up towels to use as bolster to be helpful.
- Do not use makeup or skincare for the first 48 hours after treatment. Do not use any active skincare (retinoids, AHAs etc.) in the treated areas for 72 hours.
- Whatever you do, do not overstretch your facial muscles for the first 3 weeks, nor scrub, rub, tug, exfoliate, or massage the treated areas – you do not want the threads to snap, become dislodged or misaligned. Likewise, avoid facials or facial massage treatments for 3 weeks after a thread lift.
- Refrain from any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 3 weeks, and that includes any movements that would cause your head to be held in a position lower than your heart (so be careful when you wash your hair, for example, or practise yoga).
- Avoid exposure to excessive heat: the sun, saunas, steam rooms, tanning beds; and try to avoid anything likely to raise your blood pressure.
- Avoid taking aspirin-based medicines for 2 weeks.
- Avoid using chewing gum for 2 weeks.
- Do not have any dental work carried out until (at least) 2 weeks after your thread lift.
You will not be able to stride into The Clinic on your next lunchbreak and demand a thread lift immediately. As with all aesthetic procedures at The Clinic Holland Park, you will first need to undergo a consultation with Dr Doyle, during which your medical history will be discussed and your suitability for treatment addressed responsibly. If Dr Doyle thinks that a thread lift will give the outcome you are seeking, you may then proceed to book in for the procedure.
In preparation, do not drink alcohol or smoke for 7 days before the procedure; at the least, abstain from alcohol for 48 hours: 24 hours prior to your thread lift and 24 hours afterwards. Do not take any blood-thinning drugs (like aspirin) or ibuprofen for 24 hours prior to the procedure either – these can cause bleeding and other unwanted complications. Dr Doyle will have already asked whether you take blood-thinning medication (such as warfarin) at your initial consultation, but you must alert Dr Doyle to any medication you are currently taking. Do not carry out strenuous exercise, or visit saunas, on the same day as your procedure. All aesthetic outcomes are improved if you follow pre- and post-procedural guidance; thread lifts are no exception.
The aesthetics industry has been subject to bad press ever since it became mainstream; but major reasons behind the horror stories that can be found online about every type of cosmetic procedure are to do with unqualified practitioners, poor standards, and unhygienic, unsafe practices.
Although thread lifts are considered a non-surgical cosmetic procedure (as are injectables and laser treatments – indeed, anything that does not involve cutting the skin), thread lifts should only be performed by qualified aesthetic surgeons. All cosmetic procedures (surgical and non-surgical) should be undertaken in the sterile environment of a surgical theatre. Thread lifts at The Clinic Holland Park are performed in one of our state-of-the-art surgical theatres, and by Aesthetic and Ophthalmic Surgeon Miss Jennifer Doyle BMBCh MA (OXON) FRCOphth – a highly experienced aesthetician, with the expertise to have trained other medical professionals in carrying out aesthetic treatments safely and responsibly, in line with best-practice healthcare regulations in the UK. At The Clinic Holland Park, we pride ourselves on impeccable aesthetics performed under clinical, immaculate conditions.
Moreover, thread lifts have advanced considerably since they were first available in the 1980s: permanent threads made of plastic were used in those days; but modern threads dissolve in the skin, and encourage further collagen growth in their tracks. Today’s thread lifts can be so effective at lifting the face and bringing volume back into the upper cheeks that the need for dermal fillers can be cancelled out.
Full Non-Surgical Threads Face Lift £2995