The Silhouette InstaLift, touted as the “30-minute lunchtime facelift” and FDA-approved in April 2015 for use in the mid-face, this minimally invasive approach uses absorbable sutures with tiny bi-directional cones to lift and suspend the deeper layers of the skin. The suture and cone material are both made of glycolide/L-lactide (PLGA). An added bonus: as the small cones slowly dissolve over time, the tissue heals around them, stimulating collagen production, making the skin firmer and thicker. Even better: the results can be seen instantly.
What it is:
A local anesthetic is injected into the insertion points on the cheeks, and then the needle with attached suture is threaded under the skin to the exit point. Once the cones are in place, the needles are snipped off the sutures, and procedure is complete. The downtime is minimal – there may be some bruising and swelling, but you really can go back to work immediately after the treatment.
Watch this video on the process: https://youtu.be/0y7kuKhxZUA
What it does:
Simply put, the dissolvable sutures with bi-directional cones to hold the skin in an elevated position, will lift, project, and redrape the skin to contour the face. As the sutures are absorbed, they stimulate collagen growth, which helps to reflate a youthful cheek and lift sagging jowls. The InstaLift offers an entirely new solution to an old problem—excess sagging skin. Instead of turning away patients who are dissatisfied with fillers and may need a facelift, I can now reposition excess skin while also creating volumetric projection.
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How long does it take to do the procedure?
It takes approximately half an hour, depending on how many threads you are putting in. Two sets of three threads takes on average 30-45 minutes, including prep time.
How painful is it?
The procedure is done under local anesthesia so patients feel little to no pain—similar to getting fillers, in the physician’s office.
What about recovery? Are there any side effects patients should be aware of?
- According to Thermi, the company that created the InstaLift, edema or bruising may occur after the treatment. Sometimes, a slight depression or skin irregularity may also appear at the insertion points. These typically disappear a few days after treatment.
- Apply cold packs immediately after procedure if required (should be wrapped to avoid direct contact with skin and insertion points).
Acetaminophen may be taken in case of pain (2-3 days).
- Refrain from applying make-up for as long as possible. Make-up may be gently applied after a minimum of 24 hours.
- Sleep face-up, elevated on pillows for 3-5 nights.
- Do not rub face aggressively when washing, shaving, and drying face for 5 days; be gentle.
- Avoid excessive neck and facial movements for 2 weeks.
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and UV light for 2 weeks.
- Do not use saunas for 3 weeks.
- Avoid dental surgery for 3 weeks.
- Avoid facial or face-down massages and facial aesthetic treatments for 4 weeks.
- Avoid participating in high impact sports (example: running) for 2 weeks.
In Europe, over 350,000 sutures have been used with a very low complication rate (less than 1%), with no major complications reported at all. The Silhouette sutures are well designed from years of planning, do not require over-correction, dissolve without issue and have an excellent safety profile.
What is the difference between Silhouette Instalift and Novathreads?
Silhouette InstaLift is made up of absorbable PLGA sutures and cones consisting of 82% of L-Lactic Acid and 18% of Glycolic Acid. NovaThread is made of PDO (Polydioxanone) absorbable (4 – 6 months) material. Silhouette InstaLift uses the unmatched holding and lifting power of bi-directional cones while NovaThread utilizes a barbed suture design, offering less lifting and holding capacity and therefore may require many more sutures for the desired effect. Silhouette InstaLift requires placement of 3 – 5 sutures per side while the NovaThread technique often involves over 10 sutures in a “web” on each side of the face. Silhouette InstaLift generates type I collagen.
What to Expect:
The Silhouette InstaLift is a temporary improvement to the area where the thread is placed; however it doesn’t help with volumizing the face and tightening it for an extended period. It does have complications, the biggest one being symmetry. Results from Silhouette InstaLift last 12 to 18 months while the traditional facelift results last ten years.recommend additional follow-up care. Most patients experience mild redness and swelling immediately following the treatment. These side effects are temporary and typically resolve in several hours. Over the course of a few days, the treated sun spots and freckles will become darker and flake off as they heal, revealing a new, even complexion. Although you may experience mild redness and swelling for a few hours following the treatment, you can expect to return to your regular activities immediately following the treatment