Introducing the Non-Surgical Face Lift
- Posted on: May 27 2017
Chances are, if you’re over the age of 21, you’ve looked in the mirror, placed your fingertips at the top of your cheekbones and gently pushed your skin up and back towards your hairline. It’s not much of a lift, but it’s just enough to smooth out that slight skin laxity that no amount of expert makeup application or contouring can conceal.
Short of a traditional face lift – which can seem prohibitively invasive and expensive – there haven’t been many great options for creating that kind of subtle lift. Until now. A recently FDA-approved “non-surgical” procedure called “Silhouette Instalift” is newly available in the U.S., and promises to remake the way we think about anti-aging.
“This is really the only in-office procedure that is focused on lifting,” said NDDA’s Dr. Flora Kim. “Fillers can help minimize the appearance of lines, create volume and generate some lift depending on the injection technique, but there’s really nothing that can replace tacking skin up with a suture.”
That may sound oddly simple, but, warns Dr. Kim, the process requires the finesse and expertise of someone with surgical experience.
Here’s how it works:
The Instalift product is a dissolvable suture. To create lift, the physician carefully places one to three sutures under the skin to lift the mid-plane of the face on each side.
The suture itself is studded with bi-directional cones which hoist sagging skin when positioned correctly and keep the tissue suspended.
The procedure takes only about one hour, and the results can be seen immediately, but the real magic happens in the months following the insertion of the sutures, said NDDA’s Dr. Kim.
“The key to Silhouette Instalift is its ability to effectively stimulate collagen production over time. As this resorbable suspension suture slowly disappears, the lift is still maintained – naturally, by your own [new] collagen.”
The idea of inserting a foreign object under the skin may sound unsettlingly like the “thread-lifts” that were available in the early 2000’s, and had a multitude of problems. But, said Dr. Kim, they really shouldn’t be thought of as the same kind of procedure at all.
While the idea is generally the same – using a surgical technique to lift the skin – the materials and approach are completely different.
“Silhouette Instalift is not a ‘thread,’ it is a medical grade, FDA approved, resorbable suture,” said Dr. Kim. “And many of these ‘thread lifts’ out there are unfortunately performed by non-medical personnel or physicians with no surgical experience. Instalift was developed for experts in plastic surgery, ENT (facial plastics) and dermatology. It’s important to accentuate how essential it is that the practitioner has that experience. There is a lot more technical skill necessary for Instalift.”
The procedure, besides having minimal downtime, also has a much more accessible price tag than a traditional facelift – on par with a year’s worth of interventional measures like fillers – making it an attractive new option.
Nevertheless, cautioned Dr. Kim, it shouldn’t be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution. “Instalift is ideal for most anyone who has concerns about sagging skin and laxity – and at some point, that’s everyone,” she said. “But it’s important to remember that anti-aging involves several different approaches and creating lift is just one part of the equation. Combining this with other subtle, interventional measures is the best long-term approach.”
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