While wrinkles, age spots, and lost volume could be addressed with injectable and laser treatments, there had not been a non-surgical option until recent years that could address sagging in the deeper layers of skin at the mid-face besides a facelift. But today, a non-surgical, minimally invasive option is available in Silhouette InstaLift™. Dallas-based dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner explains how InstaLift™ can quite literally “lift” the sagging tissues in the mid-face and gradually boost volume in the area over time.
In the 90s, there was a previous “thread lift” procedure developed that seems similar to the InstaLift™ on its face, but had some key drawbacks. After its initial development, overcrowded seminars were the only means of training that physicians could get in the procedure, leading to poor technique and critical mistakes. The FDA later banned this old string lift in 2007, and physicians turned their backs on it.
Silhouette InstaLift™, however, is a much-improved technology that received FDA approval in 2015, and the procedure can only be performed by licensed practitioners such as Dr. Turner.
InstaLift™ involves the use of high-quality absorbable sutures or stitches made from biodegradable polymers (similar to those already used safely in other medical devices and procedures). The sutures can also be lifted in two directions to provide improvements from a variety of angles, and do not require as much pulling as the old threads to achieve noticeable results.
Doctors use an ultra-fine needle to create dot-like holes in the cheek area by the nose. From there, the absorbable sutures are threaded up towards the ears and down towards the nasolabial folds to form a “V” shape underneath the skin. Because the InstaLift™ “threads” used have bidirectional cones, they can attach to the skin on their own – thus eliminating the need for any hooks or additional anchorage to other parts of the face.
Once the threads are in place, the “lift” in the mid-face should be apparent immediately after the treatment, though some temporary swelling may be present. Of course, this physical pull may fade as the sutures gradually absorb over time, but the self-attachments induce small, controlled micro injuries to the skin, thus tricking the body to produce more collagen in order to regenerate itself. The results can last for between 12 to 24 months after the treatment session.
While InstaLift™ is relatively straightforward, patients should ensure that the provider they choose to perform this procedure has the relevant training and experience required, as well as a keen understanding of how facial tissues are supposed to function and react when such changes are applied.
Additionally, Dr. Turner also notes that if a patient has extremely thin soft facial tissue, the internal sutures can be felt or even seen easily before it is absorbed. In such cases, different treatment approaches should be considered.
InstaLift™ provides the mechanical lift that the skin needs to support itself initially, and the collagen boost to firm it up longer term. For many patients, this is all that is required for them to achieve youthful, refreshed results. But for some, it will only address lax, sagging skin and a limited amount of volume boost, which may not be enough for patients with severe deflation.
In combination with volumizing effects from dermal fillers (typically, patients who suffer from lax, sagging skin also suffer from volume loss as well), the InstaLift™ is a very effective option for patients who are looking for visible rejuvenation in the face, and do not want to face the risks, discomfort, lengthy recovery, and expense of surgery.
Dr. Turner is currently the only dermatologist who performs the InstaLift™ procedure in Dallas, and would be happy to educate patients further and determine if it may be appropriate for them. To request a consultation, contact her office online or by phone at 214.373.7546.