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A string face lift, or thread face lift, is a non-invasive procedure that can help delay the signs of aging as they first begin to appear. String lifts can usually be done quickly and require about a week of recovery time. Plastic surgeons typically perform one by using a needle to thread barbed sutures beneath sagging facial tissues. The barbs beneath the skin form a supporting structure that lifts the tissue.
The typically thread lift candidate is between the ages of 35 and 45. The method is recommended for younger patients, because it can help delay the signs of aging. As time goes by, surgeons can usually tighten the sutures threaded beneath the skin to help maintain the results of the surgery. It is typically performed on those who are showing only the first signs of sagging skin.
Small incisions are typically used for the string face lift procedure, through which the surgeon inserts the barbed sutures. The barbs not only lift the skin, but they encourage the body to produce more collagen in specific facial areas. There are multiple techniques for performing this procedure, but they are usually performed in either an open or closed fashion. Open string lifts allow the surgeon to place the barbs beneath the skin with the help of surgical instruments. Closed string lifts require the surgeon to mold facial tissue over the barbs until they catch in the best place to improve appearance.
String face lifts are typically performed on an outpatient basis, and the procedure usually takes about one hour to perform. General anesthetic is not typically required. Patients remain awake, and they are treated during the procedure with local anesthetic and oral sedative medication. Many surgeons allow patients to give feedback when the threads are pulled back to lift the sagging skin, so the process can give many patients more control over their results.
Recovery takes about seven days. Many patients may need help with daily activities for the first 24 hours after treatment, and a soft-food diet may be required for the entire week. Oral pain relievers like acetaminophen can generally relieve the pain associated with recovery. Swelling and bruising may not completely recede for up to three weeks following the procedure.
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