Breakthroughs in Plastic Surgery

Cheap Facelifts Are No Bargain

Cheap Facelifts Are No Bargain

Cheap Facelifts Are No Bargain

If real life teaches us anything, it’s that you get what you pay for. Nowhere is that bit of common sense more evident than in the world of plastic surgery.

A type of cheap facelift procedure called a thread-lift has recently been singled out as an example of a waste of time and money.

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The thread-lift procedure, which makes use of implanted metal barbed threads, may be less costly than standard facelift procedures, but it doesn’t work well and cannot be recommended.

That’s according to a team of state researchers and independent assessors in New York in a study published in the current issue of The Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. The study, which admittedly only surveyed 33 patients, compared the results of three procedures:

1) Thread-lifts alone

2) Non-surgical facelift procedures, including fat injections and chemical peels

3) Thread-lift surgery plus non-surgical procedures.

One month into the survey, patients from all three groups showed noticeable improvement. But when the researchers came back to examine the patients’ faces a second time 12 to 31 months later, only the patients who had undergone the nonsurgical treatments – with or without thread-lifts – showed lasting improvement.

The patients who underwent the thread-lift operation alone showed no long-lasting improvement.

The authors concluded that any improvement in skin tightness in thread-lift patients was caused not by the barbed threads but by plain old swelling. As the swelling decreased, so did the tightness, leaving the patient with a face full of “fishhooks,” a lighter wallet and nothing to show for it.

The researchers concluded that, given these findings, as well as the risk of adverse events and patient discomfort, use of this procedure for facial rejuvenation simply could not be justified.

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