Threads have been used in surgery since 1964 and were adapted for the aesthetic market by a company called Aptos as early as 1999. The initial threads that were manufactured were permanent, with various adaptations initiated to make them more efficacious.
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Around 2005-2006 there was a resurgence of interest in cosmetic threads when a product called Contour threads hit the U.S. market. Unfortunately, there were a lot of issues with these threads and they were eventually taken off the market.
Despite these issues, the need for a product that had the ability to tug and pull on the skin was still present leading to the development of a product and procedure called the Silhouette Lift. This product and procedure were revolutionary in that it involved the placement permanent thin threads that had a series of cones and knots spaced along the thread. These cones and knots provided the lifting action and were bioavailable and converted into collagen over the course of 10 days to several weeks.
Over time, the company recognized that improvements could be made, leading to the development of the Silhouette InstaLift with its bidirectional cones and knots, which allow for a greater pulling action. The threads, the cones and the knots are composed of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) which is biodegradable and biocompatible and converted into both type II and type III collagen.
While this is a fantastic treatment, there are times when there is a need for more targeted pulling or lifting action, or simply for the placement of threads that are converted to collagen without creating volume. This is where polydioxanone (PDO) threads (threads used in the NovaThreads treatment) shine. There are several thread designs in this family, all with different properties. Some are used for volumizing, others to offer subtle lift, and others are smoothing without offering additional volume.
What can I expect during the treatment?
The beauty of these threads is that they are placed in the skin as part of a simple office visit, much the same way that dermal fillers are placed. A small amount of numbing may be placed at the injection entrance site and the needle and thread are introduced into the area to be treated. The needle is removed leaving the thread behind, then the skin is massaged into place. That’s it!
What are the risks?
The risks are very similar to those of all other injectables including mild discomfort, bruising and inadequate or partial laxity correction. Much less common, but still possible is a dimpling or buckling of the skin, or extrusion of the thread.
How do I prepare for the NovaThreads treatment?
Just like all injectable treatments refrain from consuming all products that may increase your risk of bruising for 7-10 days prior. This includes aspirin or ibuprofen containing medications, alcohol and high dose fish oil.
What do I need to do after the NovaThreads treatment?
While there is very little in the way of downtime, there may be situations where you may be asked to refrain from certain activities to maximize on the likelihood of obtaining the best results. The main request is that you don’t massage or manipulate the treated area for 7-10 days. Additional restrictions may be specific to the area treated.
For example, if you have had an extensive treatment, you may be asked to refrain from excessive movements or animation in the face, and you may be asked to avoid other cosmetic treatments like facials, Venus Legacy or laser treatments for up to 2 weeks. Body treatments may require you to refrain from exercising the underlying muscles for 2-4 weeks.