Contour Threads ™ are specially designed sutures fashioned from clear polypropylene, a material that has been safely used in the body for many years in other medical products. By gently shifting sagging tissues in an upward direction, this technique allows the surgeon to produce a relaxed, fresh appearance while preserving and enhancing the natural contours of your face. It must be noted that this procedure does not replace a conventional facelift; rather it offers patients an innovative, minimally invasive approach.
What is a Contour ThreadLift™?
A Contour ThreadLift™ with patented Contour Threads™ is a minimally invasive, safe and effective non-surgical procedure that offers subtle, natural looking facelift-like results.
How is it performed?
A Contour Threadlift™ utilizes tiny surgical sutures to lift and support the droopy areas of the brow, cheeks, face and neck. Contour threads™ have tiny, teeth-like (barb-like) cogs that will grasp onto and lift the soft tissues. The threads are inserted in precise locations using a long needle. Once inserted under the skin, they open in an umbrella like fashion to form a support structure that gently lifts and repositions the tissues into a more vertical and youthful position. With the lift effect secured, the needle is removed, and the end of the thread is cut and knotted, allowing it to retract deep under the skin where it cannot be felt or seen. The non-absorbable threads stay within the deep tissues and provide support.
What are “barbed” sutures?
Unlike conventional sutures, which are smooth, patented Contour Threads™ have tiny teeth-like barbs or cogs that are spaced evenly apart. Once inserted under the skin, they are fixated with tension, creating a suspension effect that gently lifts the sagging tissues.
What do the threads look like?
Unlike other thread products, Contour Threads™ are completely clear so they are not visible under fair or thin skin.
How do they work?
Due to the unique design of the cogs of Contour Threads™, the surrounding tissues act to hold the threads in place without the need for visible scars. The physician makes a tiny incision behind the hairline and the threads are advanced along the previously marked contours, creating a firm hold on the underlying tissues without causing additional trauma. The cogs do the work of holding, by being fixated to tissue as they are softly contoured into place. Once in position, your body generates new collagen bundles that surround each thread to maintain the lifting effect.
Does it hurt?
Pain and discomfort are very minimal with this technique and most patients only require Tylenol for relief. Ice compresses are recommended for the first 24-48 hours.
Is it safe?
When performed by a certified physician with experience, the procedure is very safe. The risks and complications are uncommon and usually easily correctable. The actual sutures are made from polypropylene, which is a material that has been used in brain, heart and abdominal surgery for many years. Since a Contour Threadlift™ is performed under local anesthesia, there are none of the risks associated with general anesthesia.
What kind of care is required after the procedure?
Following a Contour ThreadLift™ procedure, there are some practical instructions and care that must be followed to avoid traumatizing or dislodging the threads from their supportive locations in the deep fat of the face and neck. Some of these instructions include avoidance of forceful facial rubbing or trauma, sleeping on your back, minimal facial animations, and avoidance of excessive mouth opening. After 3 weeks, there are no more restrictions.
When can I return to work and activities?
Depending upon your job and your tolerance for some minor bruising and swelling, you may be able to return to work in 2-3 days following the procedure. Most patients look good with makeup after one week.
How many treatments will I need?
Usually only one procedure is needed to achieve the desired lifting effect.
How long do the results last?
Physicians' experiences have shown that duration varies, depending on the age of the patient at the time of the procedure, the degree of sagging, and the number of threads used.
What are the possible side effects?
The Contour Threadlift™ is a simple procedure to perform. Complications are rare and will be less likely with an experienced, fully trained surgeon.
Can this procedure be combined with other cosmetic procedures?
The Contour Threadlift™ is a stand-alone procedure. However, it is not uncommon to have this procedure combined with botulinum toxin to reduce facial muscle activity, dermal fillers to enhance volume, or peels and laser therapy to improve skin texture. Liposuction of the neck and jowls, and chin augmentation, are some of the other procedures that can be done in conjunction with a Contour Threadlift™.
Are the threads permanent?
Contour Threads™ are non-absorbable, and they will not dissolve over time.
What is the difference between Contour Threads™ and other threads?
Contour Threads™ are the first non-absorbable barbed sutures cleared for marketing by the FDA. They are anchored or fixated to stationary fascia or tissue points. Other barbed sutures "float" in tissue and are inserted using a hollow cannula. Contour Threads are made of clear polypropylene and will not be visible in light or thin-skinned patients.
What areas can be treated?
Contour Threads™ are used to:
•Lift sagging eyebrows
•Adjust asymmetric eyebrows
•Reposition sagging cheeks
•Lift drooping soft tissue of the mid and lower face and neck
•Smooth out premature skin aging
How long does it take to perform?
The Contour Threadlift™ is most commonly performed under local anesthesia, and the procedure usually takes less than 30 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on the number of threads used. Patients are able to go home soon after the procedure.
Are there any other treatments that may enhance or preserve the effect?
Many physicians offer non-invasive outpatient treatments that enhance or protect the effect. These adjunctive procedures include botulinum toxin, dermal fillers, laser and light therapy, chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
Will I still be able to have a conventional facelift or a brow-lift at another time?
Developed by a board certified plastic surgeon, the unique design of Contour Threads™ allows a traditional facelift or brow-lift procedure when you are ready.
How much of a lifting effect can I expect?
The exact placement of the threads will vary from patient to patient. Results will vary depending on the extent of sagging and the degree of lifting desired, as well as the technique of the physician and the number of threads used in each area treated. Many patients can achieve a 50% improvement after one treatment session.
Who is a good candidate for a Contour ThreadLift?
In general, the best candidates for a Contour ThreadLift™ include both women and men who want a more dramatic and long lasting effect than fillers or botulinum toxin can provide, but do not want a full face lift or brow-lift procedure.
How do I know if I am a good candidate?
Ideal candidates are women and men in the thirties through sixties with moderate drooping of the soft tissues of the brow, face and neck. Patients must have realistic expectations. They should not be too heavy or too thin, and should be medically well and not be taking blood thinning medication.
Who is NOT a good candidate?
• Patients with a very thin, fragile, slack aging skin
• Patients who want a dramatic transformation
• Very heavy, jowly faces
• Too thin faces with very little facial fat