Silhouette Soft Thread Lift
Silhouette Soft is a revolution in the world of Aesthetic Medicine. Suspension sutures with cones have been used for the last 10 years. The evolution of such sutures in the last 5 years means that we can now use them in a medical office or clinic without the need of an operating theatre.
More than 200,000 procedures have been performed worldwide proving both simplicity and efficacy. Since I (Dr. Roberto Pizzamiglio) first developed the Silhouette Soft suture until their realization in 2011 through to the latest evolution, it has indeed become the standard alternative or midway treatment for those who are not quite ready for the surgical face lift.
What is Silhouette Soft?
Silhouette Soft is a non-surgical procedure used to lift and support facial tissue especially around the lower face (jowls or jawline), mid face (nasolabial folds), neck (turkey neck) and eyebrow lift. Other than its capacity to lift, Silhouette Soft can also help with collagen formation. It is carried out in clinic under local anaesthetic (small injections) in approximately 30 minutes with very little down time afterwards. The thread sutures are inserted using a small needle and there is no incision. It has also been called the ‘Lunch Time Lift’.
What is it made of?
The sutures are made of Poly Lactic Acid (PLLA). They will dissolve within 12-18 months. The sutures are unique because they have a series of cones arranged in two opposite directions. These bidirectional cones help to fix the thread sutures and anchors onto the soft tissue to prevent slippage. Whilst the suture has a good tensile strength to lift the sagging tissues, the anchoring of the cones onto the soft tissue and the eventual breaking down process of the thread helps to stimulate collagen formation. Hence not just lifting but also encouraging collagen formation.
Who can have Silhouette Soft?
The ageing process affects us from our late 20s. Our body stops producing collagen from about mid 20s. Depending on the skin type, adipose tissue thickness and soft tissue laxity, the ideal candidate varies from mid 30s to 60s. The younger group is more so for prevention and stalling the effects of time, gravity and ageing as Silhouette Soft helps with collagen formation. In very general terms, the effect of the Silhouette Soft sutures can be simulated using your fingers to ‘lift’ the side of your mid or lower face as shown in the diagram. Suitability, number of sutures and vectors, risks are all things that will be discussed in the consultation.
How long will it last?
The longevity of the threads is dependent on the patient’s skin, soft tissue and adipose tissue as well as their lifestyle. In general terms, the sutures should last approximately 12-18 months.
Can I have any other treatments?
Silhouette Soft threads work well on their own and can also be used in combination with other aesthetic treatments too depending on the patient’s need. Combination treatment with fillers and Botox is common; ideal in patients needing not just a lift but also some volume and wrinkle smoothing.
What is the downtime?
This again is very much dependent on the patient’s lifestyle, skin and soft tissue. In most people, bruising is very minor (if any). The area where the threads are inserted would be red immediately after and would settle in a day or so. Patients do take an Arnica tablet and are advised to avoid alcohol to minimize bruising. We do encourage patients to avoid contact sports and high impact activities such as gym, running for approximately 1 week. We also advice against excessive and exaggerated facial movements in the first week. Like Botox treatment, we recommend avoiding facial, steam, sauna and Jacuzzi for the first 2 weeks. Finally, we also encourage patient to sleep on their back and not sideways for the first week to avoid rubbing the area. Patients may feel an ache for the first few days and sometimes bruising and swelling. Simple painkillers like Paracetamol are helpful and can be taken just after the procedure every 6 hours for a few days if felt necessary.
What else can we do with Silhouette Soft?
Doctors who are trained and experienced are able to perform more advanced treatments such as neck, eyebrow, nasal valve collapse (nasal valve lift), non-surgical rhinoplasty (nose lift), arm lift, belly button lift and knee lift.
In conclusion, Silhouette Soft is a great treatment and a viable alternative for those who are not wanting or not ready for more invasive procedures such as a surgical face lift, or even as a preventative measure with mild tissue laxity (sagging) in patients in their late 30s to 40s.