Facial thread lifting has been around for more than 30 years. Some of the most common options were silhouette soft thread lifts, PDO thread lifts, etc. However, there’s a new kid on the block in thread lifting. PCL threads. Most surgeons recommend it more. In 2018, China approved this facial thread lift.
PCL threads play similar roles to the other types of threads. They are non-invasive, restore volume, and smooth out the appearance of those pesky loose facial folds. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, thread lifting results with PCL threads can last anywhere from 18 months to 2 years.
If you’re looking for a natural, low-risk way to rejuvenate your facial appearance without going under the knife, thread lifts may be a good option. In some cases, PCL threads achieve an incredible look but with some risk of complications.
So, here we’ll discuss some side effects. But first, let’s find out what entails skin lifting and thread lifting.
Evolution of Thread lifting from Aptos to PCL Threads
Thread lifting development procedure is now in the third decade ever since Sulamanidze suggested the first lifting using short, barbed threads using Aptos.
Afterward, there was thread lengthening using what was called Woffles or Waptos in 2002. Waptos was used as a seal suspension hook to raise facial soft tissues to the deep temporal fascia. And these techniques used polypropylene threads. Polypropylene is nonabsorbable and nondegradable. As a result, it leaves your skin vulnerable to high risk of relocation, squeezing out, and eventually they become visible under the facial skin.
However, today, it’s fortunate that there are thread-lifting treatments that have gained international attention. These materials are from biocompatible and biodegradable materials.
The good thing with these absorbable threads is that they allow immediate lifting of the skin through mechanical procedures. Also, they encourage the production of new collagen. How? The threads disintegrate via hydrolysis about six months later to produce collagen and hyaluronic acid. It makes the skin more nourished, rejuvenated, and firm.
These biodegradable thread materials are Polydioxanone (PDO), Poly-L-lactic acids (PLLA), and Polycaprolactone (PCL). PDO was the first biodegradable thread.
1. PDO Threads and Types
The PDO threads are biocompatible polydioxanone. Polydioxanone is a biodegradable material that will break down in the body. The threads are placed under the skin to lift it and constrict sagging skin tissue. The threads are presented in the inner skin levels, and which result in:
- Lifting the skin up mechanically.
- Cell rejuvenation through stimulation of the collagen and neovascularization for enhanced skin texture and flexibility.
- Tightening of the skin by fat tissue contraction.
PDO threads vanish about six months later through hydrolysis. Cell rejuvenation allows for facial contours to only last between three to six months. This leads to production of new collagen and fresh blood vessels improving skin microcirculation.
Furthermore, the PDO threads cause fatty tissue to constrict, resulting in a compressed skin and facial slimming effect.
PDO threads are diverse and confusing. But are mainly divided into:
- non-barbed- monofilament and braided threads.
- barbed threads
- unilateral vs. bilateral,
- cutting barb vs. molding barbs,
- uni-directional vs bi-directional vs z type.
Due to differences in quality, tensile strength, efficiency, and treatment cost, PDO threads are numerous and constantly varying.
2. PLLA Threads
PLLA, or PLA as you’d find it commonly abbreviated, came after PDO threads. They are also an invention from biocompatible polymers obtained from lactic acid. Lactic acid is common in most treatments, for instance, in orthopedic pins and sutures.
So, PLA threads:
- are resorbable,
- restore collagen for long,
- use cones to hook the skin tissue,
- boost the volume of saggy areas, thus a remedy for restoring shape to the facial skin resulting in skin lifting.
3. PCL Threads
Today PCL thread, as mentioned before, is the best. Though it’s the latest invention, it’s bi-absorbable, is a monofilament suspension thread, and is an original synthetic. It regenerates collagen longer than its predecessors, PDO and PLLA.
- Highly flexible.
- Has less pain and discomfort
- Decomposes into CO2 and H2O.
- Absorbed within one to one and a half years.
- Has continued stability and is more efficient.
- It has little residual monomer and high-level molecular heaviness to withstand tensile energy.
Types of PCL
There are two types of modern products of PCL barbed thread lifts.
1. Barb II Anchor
Barb II anchor is a modern progression of the barb series created by the sculpting method. Apparently, it’s a very stimulating thread that has bi-directional cogs. It, therefore, fits for severe drooping on the cheek jawline. It utilizes about six to ten threads and lasts between one and one year and a half.
2. Anchor Max
Anchor max is also a product of press sculpting. It’s a recent lasting thread creation with vital bi-directional cogs that boosts the lifting power and expands its effect. Anchor max fits thick, seriously sagging skin on the jawline and double chin. It’s very efficient as it is strong and hence enhances the flexibility of the skin. Mostly 4 to 6 threads are used and may last about two years.
Thread Lifting Procedure with PCL Threads
Thread lifting is a non-surgical skin lifting procedure used to tighten the skin and make a face look younger. This procedure is typically used on individuals who have lost skin elasticity, have deep wrinkles, or have sagging skin. It also helps to correct drooping eyelids.
In a thread lift procedure, the doctor uses tiny surgical threads made of either Polycaprolactone (PCL) or Polydioxanone (PDO) threads following facial contours. But here, our focus is on PCL threads though typically, the procedure is almost similar.
First, the doctor numbs the skin using local anesthesia. After that, they inject the PCL thread using cannulas—blunt tip needles—into the various layers of the skin. Following the insertion, the threads fasten the skin raising it as extra threads are removed. They introduce a collagen formation that offers support, stiffens the skin, and hinders it from drooping.
The process continues even after threads have been resorbed due to the fibrotic reaction. And the thread breakdown releases small molecules that eventually provoke the production of collagen and Hyaluronic acid by the skin.
The threads provide a platform where new healthy cells attach, creating a firm, tight and younger look. As a result, you now gain a more nourished, refreshed, and firm skin that lasts longer.
What to Expect?
The procedure takes 15 to close to half an hour but varies with the area being treated. Besides, there’s some discomfort for the duration of the process. However, recently, the pain has gradually reduced from improved techniques available.
Moreover, PCL threads tend to last longer than other threads. According to the patient’s age, the thread will last two to three years. And interestingly, the continuous improvement of PCL threads has resulted in a thread with little monomer residue compared to the prior ones.
However, perfect outcomes necessitate a follow-up procedure. Remember, a thread lift can be used on all face areas but is most used on the lower eyelids.
So, there’s no ache in trying it out!
What are some Side Effects of PCL Threads? Is it Safe?
Up until now, there has been little research done to find out the complications of general facial thread lifting. In fact, PCL threads have been in the market for only a few years, and hence the side effects have not been well studied. Meanwhile, the procedure is quite like PDOs, so most of its side effects are familiar.
However, PCL threads are remarkably safe. They have few side effects, especially when you compare them to fillers such as dermal fillers. Dermal fillers are injections of medical-grade hyaluronic acid that rejuvenates the skin and fills the wrinkles and folds.
Dermal filling is done by cosmetic dermatologists. Although they create a more youthful appearance as well as help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, they have their downside. They can cause sensations on the skin that include burning, itching, numbness, pain, and hypersensitivity. Worst of all is skin death and blindness.
Okay, back to PCL threads. PCL threads require needle insertions and not surgery. Also, they are absorbed in merely about a year. For that reason, most of its side effects are linked to infections and thread breakages. But a good practitioner can lessen the impact.
Moreover, there could be slight swelling and a tightness sensation. And mild skin dimpling may happen and calms down a few days after.
Some more related side effects are:
- Visible threads
- Irregularity in the contours
- Thread extrusion
Serious Side Effects
The technique of insertion and the kind of threads largely contribute to the side effects. They may result in surface slumps, migration of the thread and swelling, facial unevenness, persistent ache, and persistent dimpling.
Remember, the creation of these threads varies. Also, the level of experience of your doctor determines the amount of side effects you may experience.
And not to forget that serious side effects such as nerve injury, development of nodules, and salivary ducts harm are possible. But don’t fret. They seldom happen. So, to avoid such and other side effects, it’s good to seek intimate face anatomical knowledge from an expert plastic surgeon. It is paramount for excellent facelift surgery.
Are the Side Effects Controllable?
Most if not all side effects are controllable. But in severe cases such as migration and extrusion, it may necessitate you to seek for removal of the threads. For instance, PDO unidirectional barb threads, if not careful, may not hook well. It may lead to removal as the appropriate remedy. Therefore, do not suffer silently.
Are there Ways to Avoid Some Side Effects?
To avoid most of the side effects, the treatment and your goal for thread lifting should be considered. For facial skin lifting, avoid PDO monofilament threads. Why? The placing is light, smooth, and has no barbs. Even though they’ll result in a regenerative and firming effect that visibly enhances the skin quality, they may not result in complete tissue lifting.
Why use Barbed threads
For successful visible lifts, barbed threads are the best. But what are barbed threads?
Barbed threads could be one-directional or bi-directional. Barbs are efficient in ensuring threads remain firm. However, they trigger scratches in the skin tissue for activation to generate collagen for skin repair.
Barbed threads act as cogs to clip the skin and build pressure in the thread that lifts and halts the facial area. Then collagen forms across the threads and their barbs for improved final results.
So, which barbed threads are the best for lifting? Previously, PDO barbed threads were considered the best. Nonetheless, with the invention of PCL threads, they are now the most preferred. PCL barbed threads have 3D engraving skills to shape the fishbone barbs. They are stronger and have high longevity than the conventional feather-type barbed thread.
As we age, you might start noticing your skin beginning to sag and wrinkles forming. An alternative to cosmetic surgery may be trying out the recent PCL thread lifting. From the discussion, thread lifting is a non-invasive procedure performed by aesthetic surgeons. They connect tissue with threads to lift and tighten skin. Besides, technology is quickly advancing and is becoming better with every invention.
There are, however, some mild to serious side effects. They include bruising, abrasion, and swelling to grave ones like extrusion. The mild side effects generally disappear within a few days. The severe side effects are rare, and a good plastic surgeon can avoid them. So, when done appropriately, PCL thread lifts are the best alternative and can last for long.
As PCL threads distributors, we’ll ensure that not only will you get quality threads certified under all health requirements, but also give you enough support to give you the best experience using them. Don’t know where to start? Reach out to us through phone or email and we’ll get in touch with you. This is your home of exceptional PCL threads.