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Contour threads

Contour threads are used in cosmetic/plastic surgery to vertically lift facial tissues that have dropped ("ptosed") or become sunken with age. The "ptosis" or descent of facial tissues with aging is a universal phenomenon to which much cosmetic facial surgery is directed.

Additional recommended knowledge

Strands of 2/0 Prolene monofilament thread, with little notches cut into their sides, are placed in the subcutaneous plane under the ptosed facial skin. These are anchored under secure points in fronto-occipitalis and temporalis tissues. Dropped or "ptosed" facial skin is then elevated onto the barbed threads, and stay elevated because of the barbs. Thus the patient gets a "facelift", without any scalpel work and without any removal of skin.

In the rare event that an individual patient is unhappy with the results, the threads can be readily removed and the patient's face thence returns to its position prior to treatment. Thus, Contour threads have negligible permanent "biological cost", as the effect is reversible. Effects last for a number of years, quoted as 2–5 years, after which time the positive effect is gradually lost and the patient's face returns to its state prior to treatment. Nonetheless, this is 2–5 years better than the situation that would have pertained had Contour threads not been put in place.

What Happens In Theatre

A thick, hollow needle, inserts a thread into the fat layer just under the skin, starting near the cheekbone. One end of the thread is then tied to deeper, firmer internal structures in the face. The other end of the thread travels under the skin about four inches. When the surgeon withdraws the needle, barbs on the sutures deposit themselves in the drooping parts of the face. The thread is gently pulled which pulls the loose flesh up, closer to where it once was and then fixes the thread down.

This is not a permanent treatment and hence costs less than a full facelift. Most surgeons recommend that only a full facelift will provide the desired results.

Risks & Complications

Minor bruising and swelling, infection, and the threads popping out of the skin. The face must be kept immobile for several days after the procedure so the threads won’t be dislodged.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Contour_threads". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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