The Aptos thread lift, also called the Feather lift or Russian thread lift was created in 1999 by the Russian plastic surgeon Dr. Marlen Sulamanidze.
The term “aptos” comes from the word antiptosis which means reversal of falling tissues. The feather lift is a facial procedure (rhytidectomy) which uses threads of polypropylene to help lift the skin face without invasive surgery.
This method may improve the appearance of the crow´s feet, laugh lines, and neck and jaw lines. This procedure has been largely used by men and women when a gentle lifting and a short recovery period are desired.
Changes occur from the effects of gravity and age; a significant weight loss, some diseases as well as some medications may affect the structure and appearance of your face.
This procedure improves the appearance of the facial features without undergoing a major face lift and through minimal incisions.
During your consultation, Dr. Espinosa will evaluate your face and discuss your goals and the probable outcome. This alternative procedure is best suited to patients with mild to moderate laxity of facial tissues. It the ideal technique to raise the brow area, eyebrows, nasolabial folds, as well as to improve the cheeks and neck. For those patients who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and for older people especially, a thread lift may be a good alternative as this procedure is minimally invasive.
Other thread lift candidates include those who have had blepharoptosis or drooping of an upper eyelid as a consequence of facial paralysis.
A careful evaluation of your facial features should be done by both you and your physician before you make plans for surgery. As your natural facial expressions must be preserved, any change to the facial features must be carefully considered.
Many people, who see a facial plastic surgeon to ask about a specific operation, finally find out they need a different procedure from the one they are asking for. It is through the computer imaging study that patients come to understand what really they need.
Thread lift is a technique that may be combined with other procedures to improve the appearance of facial skin. Most thread lift candidates (men and women) are individuals above 35 years of age. However, people that have lost a lot of weight or those persons who suffer from premature aging may consider having a thread lift before 35.
Dr. Espinosa believes that it is better to have a few small procedures to look great at a younger age, versus waiting until patient is much older to have a much larger procedure. The results are subtle but quite beautiful, with no visible scars and through a minimally invasive procedure.
Your physician will evaluate the characteristics of your skin. Good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Patients who have a lot of lax skin may consider facelift surgery. Dr. Espinosa will recommend the best alternative for you.
How a thread lift is performed?
Dr. Espinosa accurately analyzes your face before surgery. He evaluates general state of health, and may order some type of lab tests as well as x-ray studies.
During the procedure, your face is marked for the placement of the threads. Usually an oral medication, along with local anesthesia, is all that is required. In the case of a brow lift, the incision is made in the scalp.
Then the surgeon inserts a threaded needle in the scalp, in the subcutaneous fat tissue, to lift and suspend the tissues. Once inserted under the skin, the thread, which is provided with microscopic barbs, will form a permanent support structure for the tissue of the face, by lifting and contouring it.
How are the aptos threads?
Polypropylene threads have been used in other surgical applications for many years. Unlike conventional thread products, which are smooth, these propylene threads have fine cogs or barbs made along the full length. During the procedure, threads are inserted strategically to achieve the desired tissue support and remain anchored in their new position. Aptos threads material is highly biocompatible with human body tissue, non-allergic, and resists the face’s big muscular tension.
Also, aptos threads have been shown not to be rejected by the body.
Propylene threads for thread lift may be unidirectional or bidirectional. Contour threads are unidirectional and fixed in the area of initial access, whereas Aptos threads are bidirectional. Some aptos threads are provided with serially arranged inclined-notched protrusions in the form of conical barbs having flexible and elastic sharpened ends.
Depending on your face characteristics, your physician will decide what kind of procedure is best for you. The aptos threads are implanted into the subcutaneous fat tissue, not into the muscle. The tissue is slightly caught in the barbs, and the tissue is suspended and lifted. During the first weeks the body develops a natural tissue reaction forming fibrous tissue around the threads which holds and lifts the skin in its new position. This reaction stimulates elastin and collagen production. This method leaves no scars and provides stable rejuvenation effect.
What can I expect after the procedure?
As thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure, you will have a much shorter recovery time than with a traditional surgical face lift. Your surgeon will provide complete postoperative instructions that you must follow to reduce the risk of complications during recovery. Patients should not talk for the first four days. During this time, facial movement must be limited as well as sun exposure. As threads are inserted through a minimal incision, there is very little bleeding at the puncture sites.
Patients may experience some swelling and bruising. Usually these symptoms subside within the first weeks. In the same manner, some sensitivity in the thread lift treated area is possible, but any temporary discomfort can be controlled with pain medication. As days go by, you will feel better.
Thread lift must be performed by a board certified experienced facial plastic surgeon, who recognizes the locations of facial nerves. In this way, there is no risk of injury to a facial nerve.
During the procedure, your surgeon will follow the pre-marked incision lines made during the preparation phase, so risk of asymmetry is substantially reduced. As tissues adapt to its new position, some temporary minor difference may be observed, as a result of swelling. This effect may easily be resolved by 15 days. As a rule, you will be given an oral antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication for the first days after surgery.
In most patients, the results are quite important. A thread lift can minimize forehead wrinkles and nasolabial folds as well as reposition sagging cheeks and neck. It can be a good choice for young patients with minimal signs of aging and who need just subtle changes. The look is very natural and soft.
Does a thread lift procedure replace a facelift surgery?
No. The thread lifting procedure does not replace facelift surgery and does not give the same long term results, but is a less invasive alternative that can be performed under local anesthesia. Thread lifting works on superficial tissues while in a facelift surgery facial muscles are repositioned and the sagging skin or fat is removed. Whereas thread lift is considered a facial plastic procedure, the facelift is a major surgery which requires longer time in surgery room.
The thread lift procedure is a facial rejuvenation alternative through which is possible to achieve excellent results. This method leaves no scars, it is less invasive and less expensive than traditional facelift surgeries, and recovery time is much shorter. In any case, it is your facial plastic surgeon who will guide you to select the procedure which will provide the best results in your face. As every person is unique, the physician must design a different procedure according to his/her age range, skin conditions, bone structure, skin elasticity, degree of sagging, and wrinkles. Through computer simulation, the physician and the patient work together on designing a specific facial surgical procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions - Feather Lift
What kind of anesthesia will be used during the aptos thread lift?
One benefit of the thread lift is that the facial plastic surgeon uses local anesthesia. When this procedure is performed in conjunction with other procedures, it might be necessary general anesthesia. The patient is carefully monitored, controlled and treated by the surgeon, and anesthesiologist, during and after the procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
The thread lift procedure may take 30-60 minutes and is usually performed under local anesthesia
How long do the results last?
Duration varies greatly among patients. In elective procedures, no guarantees can be made with regard to results. Patient´s age, skin type, lifestyle, and skin care, as well as general health can all affect any final outcome. Results continue to improve after surgery and may last from 8 to 18 months or more, depending on the natural condition of the patient.
What can I expect from thread lift?
Thread lift procedure is mainly used to lift the forehead area, sagging eyebrows, nasolabial folds (laugh lines), or aging cheek and neck tissues. Healing from thread lift depends very much upon skin type and genetic background of the patient. During the time of your consultation, your physician will analyze the relative amount of lift that thread lift can achieve. The result is a refreshed, rejuvenated and natural look.
Dr. Espinosa´s special instructions:
Instructions before surgery:
Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.
Stop smoking at least one month before your surgery.
Inform your surgeon about drug allergies, medical treatments, and current medications.
Always have realistic expectations about the results of surgery.
Instructions after surgery:
Before you leave the medical center, make sure you have your surgeon’s prescription, medical certification, and date of your first post-operative visit to the office.
Your diet has no restrictions.
Although patients refer minimal pain, they are discharged with post-operative analgesia. If you have severe pain, inform Dr. Espinosa immediately.
Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.
Keep head elevated during your recovery. Sleep on your back with your head elevated at least for the first 8 days. It is necessary to sleep strictly on your back so as to
prevent swelling on one side or any complication. Sleep on two pillows to keep head elevated or use a wedge-shaped foam pillow. You must sleep face up.
You should be able to read or watch television after surgery.
Do not wear any facial makeup or eye makeup for the first two weeks.
Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex. Do not carry or lift heavy objects for 3 weeks.
Light aerobic exercise is allowed just 3 weeks following surgery. Return to normal aerobic exercise after 6 weeks.
Although, Dr. Espinosa will observe your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.
Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the area of surgery. You must avoid any activity that increases risk of hitting.
Excessive exposure to sun in the first 3 weeks after surgery may result in prolonged facial swelling and injury to the skin.
Thereafter, you should always protect your skin with a strong sun-screen.
Exposure to sun should be limited for the first 2-3 months or skin discoloration may occur.
You must be protected under an umbrella or a hat. Try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.
You can resume gradually your normal daily activities in about 15 days, as long as, you do not expose to drastic changes in
temperature. Avoid prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures.
It is normal to feel sensations of tightness and itching during the first days of recovery.
These symptoms will subside within the first weeks.
You may gently shampoo your hair 72 hours after surgery, avoiding any strong rubbing or combing trauma to the
incision in the hair and around ear. Do not blow dry at least 5 days after surgery.
Postpone any planned permanent or hair coloring for 4 weeks following surgery.
Time for removing remaining sutures may vary, depending on the type of procedure
and the skin conditions. Your surgeon will decide the right moment to remove your sutures.
Your forehead will be slightly numb for several weeks. Sensation will return as healing progresses.
The information provided here is not a substitute for a consultation. Please, do not hesitate to communicate with us if you are concerned
about something you consider significant. Your post-operative appointment is really important. Remember, the success of your surgery depends
very much upon post-operative care. It is crucial that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.