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No Long-lasting Results from Thread-Lifts, Study Says

Posted: May 20, 2009

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However, at follow-up, which ranged from 12 to 31 months and averaged 21 months, the thread-lift-only group scored lowest, with average improvement scores ranging from 0.2 to 0.5. For the patients who had thread-lifts plus other procedures, scores ranged from 0.5 to 1.4, while for the group that only had traditional procedures, scores ranged from 1.5 to 2.3.

Thread-lifts don't produce lasting results, Abraham and her colleagues say, because they don't change the shift in facial volumes that occurs with aging. Also, they add, excess skin left over after facial tightening is left in place. The results seen a month after thread-lifting were likely due to swelling and inflammation, they say.

Complications with thread-lifts seen in the study included visible knots and dimpling of the skin. Three patients had to have a thread removed. The investigators conclude that thread-lifts carry a high risk of complications, while extensive scarring may make it difficult to remove the threads, which is problematic because studies have found up to 20% of patients need a repeat surgery.

"Given these findings, as well as the measurable risk of adverse events and patient discomfort, we cannot justify further use of this procedure for facial rejuvenation," Abraham and her colleagues conclude.

Source: Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, May/June, 2009.