Non-surgical Facelift alternative uses feather-like threads to tighten skin

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Oprah calls it the "threadlift" on her show.

No matter how old or young you feel, your face may show times you’d rather forget. Maybe you’re not ready for plastic surgery, or not interested in changing too much…maybe you just want to look on the outside the way you feel on the inside.

“Featherlift” is an innovative new non-surgical cosmetic procedure that gives lift to the face with threads. It is widely popular in Europe and South America, and rapidly gaining attention in the United States. Dr. Marlen Sulamanidze, a cosmetic surgeon in Moscow, developed the procedure in 1999. Dr. Sulamanidze revamped an older, less effective procedure where gold threads were woven into the facial tissue in a basket weave pattern. He used plastic non-absorbable sutures called prolene, and this led to the development of the Aptos thread.

The Featherlift procedure is performed with the patient awake but under local anesthesia. The Aptos threads are carefully inserted into the subcutaneous layer of the skin using a small needle. The placement of the threads depends on the area needing to be lifted. As few as three threads will noticeably lift the cheeks, and two more carefully placed threads will pull back the jowls. The neck and upper brow can also be treated using Featherlift. The effect of the treatment will continue to improve over several months as the collagen in the skin collects around the newly placed threads.

The threads used in this procedure are called Aptos threads. Its name is derived from the Latin words for not drooping, which are anti-ptosis. These fine polypropylene threads have small barbs or “cogs” cut into the length of the thread in the same direction. These cogs provide lift and contour by forming a permanent support structure for the facial tissue.

Featherlift leaves no scars, takes a minimal amount of time (usually just 30 minutes to an hour), and usually only requires ice following treatment. It is a procedure that is typically suited towards younger and middle-aged patients. Results are usually achieved with only one treatment. Side effects can include some minor swelling and bruising.

Complications are very rare, but can include a small pucker at the entrance of the thread, or the thread can protrude slightly from the skin. If such side effects occur, they are easily treatable by trimming the excess thread or massaging the skin.

Featherlift, Aptos Threads, and Wire Scalpel are manufactured in California by K.M.I. (Kolster Methods, Inc.). Upon FDA approval, expected in the near future, distribution will be made available to trained surgeons.

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