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'Thread Lift' a Low-Risk Alternative to Face Lift

In the outpatient technique, a thread under the skin pulls up sagging tissue

THURSDAY, July 27, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- A "thread lift" procedure provides many of the benefits of a face lift, without the risks or recovery time, according to an expert who outlined the procedure Thursday at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in San Diego.

"Thread lifts can be an alternative to a face lift for patients who want lifting and tightening of their cheeks, mid-face, jowls or eyebrows, but don't want to undergo major surgery," Dr. Victor A. Neel, director of dermatological surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said in a prepared statement.

"Patients find that it gives a more natural result and is very easy to tolerate, because it is done with local anesthetic in the doctor's office," Neel said.

During the procedure, the dermatologist places a special thread below the skin. The thread is used to lift sagging skin and tissue, which is anchored underneath the hairline. The procedure takes about an hour.

Potential side effects include bruising and swelling that can last for a week. Some patients have reported being able to see or feel the sutures under their skin.

A thread lift is not permanent. It lasts about two to three years.

"While this is a great option for some patients, it's not something that will work for everyone with sagging skin. Patients who are interested in thread lifts should discuss their expectations carefully with their dermatologist," Neel said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about facelift.

SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, July 27, 2006
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