You may have heard that the latest breakthrough in the quest to look forever young is the thread lift. During the minimally invasive procedure, one or more hypodermic needles loaded with absorbable sutures (think dissolvable stiches) are inserted into the cheek. The sutures are then pulled like threads, to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles. The threads are left in place and dissolve naturally within three to six months.
To understand how this all works, let's take a trip back to high school chem lab for a second. Depending on your preference, there are two types of threads that can be used: The lighter version, Nova Threads, are made of polydiaxanone, a synthetic absorbable material often used in surgeries. With this one, the sutures and its effects fade after about four to six months.
Then there's the heftier option, Silhouette, which lasts longer because it's a combo of polylactic acid (the same ingredient used for Sculptra filler injections) and the surgical sutures in the light version. Once inserted, the solid form of Sculptra acts as an injectable that tells skin to create and grow more collagen. "These new collagen cells are what is going to hold your lifted look for 12 to 18 months," Dr. Dennis Gross, MD, explained to POPSUGAR. Silhouette takes up to two years to dissolve.
Both thread types serve a slightly different purpose, depending on your desired results. While Nova Threads don't last as long as Silhouette, it's a good starting point if you want to do a test run to see how this type of lift will look. And as with any other cosmetic surgery procedure, it comes with its share of perks and pitfalls. That's why we asked three docs who have all done the procedure everything you need to know before you decide to try this new antiaging technique.