The quest to look younger is now within reach without the need for drastic surgery.
These days, increased interest in and demand for rejuvenating surgeries and procedures are matched by great advancements and reﬁnements in aesthetic techniques. Surgery is the gold standard for facial rejuvenation, and conventional facelifts, established since the 1900s, have long been used to tighten the brow, cheek and jaw, as well as the neck, to reduce the appearance of sagging and wrinkles.
These procedures have come a long way and there are a wide variety of them to choose from, depending on the areas to be addressed. While people who are older or have severe laxity or signiﬁcant ageing may require more radical surgery, there has been a shift in interest to less- invasive facelift procedures. While a conventional facelift is still recommended for those with severe laxity (and can last anything between ﬁve to ten years), minimally invasive procedures (which last about half as long) may be preferred for younger patients with less severe facial ageing.
One popular facelift technique is called a thread lift, a type of facelift that uses specially designed surgical threads that are placed in different positions under the skin. These threads come in different forms, brands and materials, and are typically made of polypropylene, a material that has been used for more than 50 years for other types of surgery.
These threads are implanted via a thin needle inserted under the skin. The procedure, which can be done in the clinic under local anaesthetic, involves the threads being gently pulled in different directions to effectively lift the tissue under the skin. As the tissue is lifted, the skin follows. The process takes between 45 and 60 minutes for a full face, while the temporary side effects such as minor bruising and swelling typically dissipate within a few days. The needle holes will also disappear after a week.
Thread lifts are very effective when used in the right situations but still require a skilful surgeon who understands the surgical principles of rejuvenation. While the effects are not as long-lasting as a conventional facelift and usually last from two to four years, the acdvantage is that there is very little downtime and the procedure can be repeated. New threads can be attached or existing ones tightened to re-lift the skin when it starts to sag again.
Another non-invasive or non-surgical facelift treatment is deep collagen tightening. This radical technology uses focusable ultrasound energy and a special machine called Ulthera to deliver heat energy through ultrasound waves to areas where the collagen tissues are located. The energy waves stimulate growth and the skin becomes tighter over time. The outcome of each procedure can last for about 18 months. Although the effects are not as striking as those of other major surgical procedures, the results can be very obvious, and the advantage is that there is much less downtime.
Dr Leslie Kuek, Plastic Surgeon of Leslie Kuek Plastic Surgery advises that there are many diﬀerent types of face, neck and forehead lifts available and each has its merits. Every rejuvenative treatment plan is also diﬀerent and has to be customised and suited to each individual. Therefore, there is no one single technique that is superior to another, so it is important to discuss with your doctor the option available and which is most suited to your physiology. It is best to seek out a doctor who can provide the widest range of options so that you can be sure of an optimised treatment plan that suits your speciﬁc needs.