Barbed Suture Face Lift

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A new technique for face lifting has been in the news. The technique, often called by the trademarked names Featherlift and Threadlift, use a special type of suture that has small barbs and prickles on it. The sutures are inserted to the skin under light anesthesia or local injection and they are then pulled to give a facelift type correction. The barbs are supposed to catch the skin so it can’t fall away from the lift and hold it in place. While the concept is interesting, I have found the results to be poor at best.

Let me state from the outset that I do not do this procedure because the logic behind it is faulty and the results of published cases show little improvement in my opinion. When patients have extra skin, there is no magic that can make the situation better without getting rid of the extra skin and facelifts are still the gold standard of treatment. In those patients with early jowls, barbed suture lifts can improve the look temporarily by swelling the area and providing a short-term lift. Over a few months, however, the results are disappointing.

If you are considering this surgery, I suggest you look carefully at the surgeon’s before/after photos. Take note if other procedures were also done that may be causing the improvement and look just how far after the surgery the photos were taken. Anyone can look better a month after surgery due to just swelling. The question is, “How well does it work a year after the procedure?