Suture facelift or thread lift

Purpose:

To tighten or smooth out the skin around the eyes, cheeks or chin.

The procedure:

Special threads with tiny "teeth" are passed using needles through the layer of fat beneath the skin by a surgeon or doctor. Tissue then forms around the threads and holds them in place. The doctor or surgeon pulls these threads to tighten the skin and stitches the top of the thread with a small suture. Each procedure takes up to two hours and is usually done under local anaesthetic.

The results:

Most people will see a smoothing or lifting of the skin on their face. The results are permanent but skin will continue to age, so the effects will normally last for up to five years.

The risks:

Risks include swelling, bruising, a loss of facial symmetry or puckering of the skin. You may also be able to feel the threads, which some people find uncomfortable. If removal is required because of infection, discomfort or an unsightly appearance, more extensive surgery will be required.

The treatment is not advised for those with very thin or dry skin.

Before you start:

Most people choose to have a suture facelift because they think their facial skin looks sunken or old, but a suture facelift cannot dramatically alter your facial shape. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist to see if there are any alternatives.

Also see:

Facelift
Botulinum toxin injections
Brow lift
Upper and lower eyelid surgery
Light rejuvenation therapy

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.