THREAD LIFTS - Looking Better With Strings Attached
by Dr Peter Prendergast Medical Director, Venus Medical Beauty
The development of new technologies and techniques in cosmetic surgery and medicine is not dictated by doctors or surgeons. It is the response to societal demands and patient preferences. In today’s active lifestyle and fast-paced living, few can afford to take weeks off work to recover from major surgery. There is a growing demand for quick, rejuvenating and lifting procedures with little downtime and few risks and this is reflected in the increasing popularity of thread lifts all over the world.
The concept of lifting parts of the face or neck with threads is not new. The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use threads for rejuvenating purposes and it is rumoured that gold threads contributed to Cleopatra’s beauty. In Russia too, gold threads were used to stimulate scarring and fibrosis under the skin, a process that increases collagen and tightens skin. Modern thread lifting procedures began in 1956 with Alcamo in the US who developed the first barbed sutures - threads with little cogs or roughened surfaces. Buttkewitz followed with nylon threads to lift noseto- mouth folds, and then Galland and Clavier who in 1966 used catgut to lift drooping tissues and anchor them to tendons or tough fibrous tissue. Guillemain refined these techniques and published his own improved version in 1970
Serdev Thread Lift
Devised by Nikolay Serdev, a Bulgarian cosmetic surgeon, the Serdev threads are non-barbed, antibacterial, semi-elastic threads that lift tissues by suspending them like a sling. Unlike the other thread lifts, Serdev’s technique lifts the moveable but tough tissue that covers the muscles, the so-called SMAS, and anchors it to stable bone or periosteum (lining of bone). It requires a thorough understanding of facial anatomy since deeper tissues are lifted than other more superficial techniques such as barbed sutures. Serdev sutures are made of polycaproamide, a substance used in surgical procedures routinely in several countries. Unlike polypropylene, polycaproamide dissolves slowly over the course of two or three years, after the fibrosis stabilizes to hold the lifted tissue. The Serdev thread lift technique does not require incisions as the threads are inserted through small punctures. Areas lifted with this procedure include the corners of the eyes and brow, cheeks, jowls, and neck.