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Minimally Invasive Procedure Restores Sagging Facial
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Thread Lift Delivers Many of the
Benefits of A Facelift with Shorter Downtime
(press release from AAD)
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SAN DIEGO (July 27, 2006) * As the aging process begins, the
skin starts to thin and it loses its ability to maintain its firmness. Changes
in underlying support structures appear as sagging, deep creases, folds and
wrinkles. Until recently, the only way to reduce those problems and tighten the
skin was a facelift, which must be done in a hospital or surgical center under
general anesthesia and can have a long recovery period. But now there is a
technique that can provide many of the same advantages of a facelift without the
downtime and risks.
Speaking today at ACADEMY '06, the American Academy of Dermatology's (Academy)
summer scientific meeting, dermatologist Victor A. Neel, M.D., F.A.A.D.,
director of dermatological surgery, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston,
Mass., discussed the effectiveness of the thread lift procedure.
"Thread lifts can be an alternative to a facelift for patients who want lifting
and tightening of their cheeks, midface, jowls or eyebrows, but don't want to
undergo major surgery," Dr. Neel said. "Patients find that it gives a more
natural result and is very easy to tolerate because it is done with local
anesthetic in the doctor's office."
The thread lift procedure takes about an hour to perform. The dermatologist
places a special thread below the skin to lift the sagging skin and tissue and
anchor it underneath the hairline to give the patient a more youthful look.
Afterwards, patients are advised to avoid making exaggerated facial
expressions and to be careful when sleeping to minimize the risk of pulling on
the threads for about a week. Most patients can resume normal activities within
a couple of days.
As with any surgical procedure, there can be side effects. They include
bruising and swelling that can last for a week and some patients have reported
being able to see or feel the sutures under their skin. These concerns can
usually be resolved.
"In general, a thread lift is a safe, conservative and effective procedure," Dr.
Neel said. "By gently shifting sagging skin upward, the physician can use this
technique to produce a relaxed, fresh appearance while preserving and enhancing
the natural contours of the face."
Dr. Neel cautions that the thread lift is not permanent, lasting approximately
two to three years. However, because it is relatively simple and
cost-effective, it can be repeated as necessary with few side effects.
"While this is a great option for some patients, it's not something that will
work for everyone with sagging skin," Dr. Neel said. "Patients who are
interested in thread lifts should discuss their expectations carefully with
The Academy recommends that anyone considering cosmetic procedures ask the
- What are the doctor's credentials? Is he or she a board-certified
dermatologist or other appropriately trained physician? Ask to see his or her
- How many of these procedures has the physician performed? The procedure
should be one that the doctor performs regularly.
- What results can be expected? How long is the recuperation period? Ask
to see before and after photos of the physician's previous patients.• What are
- Where is the procedure being performed?
- What is the cost?
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology
(Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most
representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than
15,000 dermatologists worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the
diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and
nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research
in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of
healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at
1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.
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