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A stitch and line reverses time

From: Selected Treats,

01
October
2010
A stitch and line reverses time

This week it was revealed that days spent at a desk in front of a computer can cause a condition dubbed ‘computer face’; wrinkles from squinting and exaggerated jowls from leaning forward to look at the screen. With millions of us employed in office jobs across the nation, this news is bound to strike fear into the hearts of those who pride themselves on holding onto their youthful glow.

There are bizarre looking exercises that supposedly help keep the facial muscles caught slacking in check, but what if the damage has already been done? Typically, the solution for the appearance of a sagging jaw line is a face or neck lift- fairly drastic and much derided cosmetic procedures that have the added danger of resulting in a ‘wind-tunnel’ stretched skin effect.

If you’re worried about skin that seems to be heading southwards, but don’t like the idea or the conspicuousness of a full-on facelift, a new solution may have hit the UK just in time. The thread facelift (or suture facelift) is a less invasive form of surgery that is designed to lift the muscles and skin as one from within, without the removal of any facial tissues. Better still, it can be performed through the tiniest of incisions that will forever remain hidden under your hairline and has a recovery period of mere days.

The key to the mini-op (which it is rumoured has been carried out on stars such as Madonna) is a simple, non-degradable thread lined with microscopic cone-shaped hooks. Under a local anaesthetic (or if you’re brave, without any at all), incisions millimetres long are made behind the ears, before a needle containing the barbed thread is inserted under the skin of the cheeks. The tiny hooks latch onto the offending saggy areas and the surgeon then pulls upwards, realigning the fat and muscle structure and recapturing the definition of the jaw line.

The ends of the thread are then stitched to the robust tissue behind the ear to hold the lift in place... and that’s it. This simplicity has earned the treatment the name the ‘one stitch facelift’, and means that there is very little bruising and tenderness following the operation or tell-tell scarring in the long term. In fact, positive results can be seen immediately after its completion and stitches are usually removed within a week.

Sound too good to be true? Well, there are some downsides. The effect is not permanent, with results lasting approximately five years before the tissue begins to slacken slightly as the ageing process continues. Complications are rare, but sometimes threads can come loose, effect facial symmetry or cause infection, requiring further surgery. However, if you are unhappy with the results they can easily be reversed (unlike a regular facelift); the threads are simply cut and your face will gradually return to its pre-procedure state.

Thread facelifts typically cost around £2,000 and are not recommended for those with thinning skin, but if you take the plunge and decide that the only turkey neck around this Christmas is going to be the one on the table, do let Wahanda know how things pan out!

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Alison is a freelance journalist, blogger and life-long Londoner. A subject matter magpie and self-confessed make up junkie, if it's new, a little bit different and promises great things, she'll be onto it in a flash.

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