By Dr. Benjamin P. Caughlin MD, FACS
Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Threads and thread lifting were really hot in the early 2000s. The reason for that is they were new. People usually see new things as good and people were trying thread lifting in an almost experimental kind of way. One of the issues that gave thread lifting a bad name and made them die down is the fact they were really expensive. They were expensive for the doctor so they were even more expensive for the patient. They also had soft results. Minimal subtle changes really and expensive do not go well together in cosmetic medicine, at least I didn’t in the early 2000s. I also think a big issue was a lot of non-surgeon and nonsurgical providers were recommending the threads when the issue that needed treatment required surgical changes instead. Some patients will come in that require surgical changes and when they promised that they would get those changes by using the threads, they understandably are not happy.
Listen, I am a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, I do facial reconstruction after cancer and trauma, I do feminization surgeries for transgender people, reaffirmation surgeries, I do Botox, I do fillers, I do threads, I do necklifts, I do facelifts, I do lasers. I do a lot of things to choose the face. One of the key issues is the patient-doctor or patient-surgeon relationship. The patient has to trust a surgeon and has to be clear with their goals. If those two things are in line you’ll end up with a happy patient.
That is the goal!
With non-surgical providers, that was not possible. For example, if someone comes to see me and they pulled their cheeks up 3 cm and say “this is what I want”.
The only way you’re getting that is with a surgical neck or facelift, and I would not recommend that. I would not recommend threads to someone who wants a 3cm change. I only recommend threads to patients that want little tweaks and appreciate that the small movements would be significant in the right hands. A 1 mm change in the brow on somebody who’s 35 years old can be significant. Somebody who’s 65 with thick skin will need a centimeter of brow movement so they will need a brow lift. It is simply about making patients happy.
Another thing that has really advanced the thread surge is the fact that companies involved are out there building new threads, as well as engineers are looking at different barbs, different thicknesses, and different materials. All this competition has really allowed us to have a significant rising of new devices to develop techniques for our armamentarium.
With these new devices, we’re able to get new techniques and new changes. The fourth thing that has really made a significant change in the threading world is that our patients are now much more accepting of the non-surgical natural changes in the face. In the early 2000‘s we had one or two fillers for the face now we have almost 20 so the market is just really begging for these nonsurgical changes with minimal downtime that have a significant result. With this type of material in the right hands, we are able to create happy, satisfied patients and that really is the goal.
Many Faces of Chicago LLC
845 N. Michigan Ave. | Suite 923E | Chicago, IL 60611
Office: (312) 335-2070 | Fax: (312) 335-2074
Trauma and Reconstructive Cancer Surgery: John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County Department of Surgery / Division of Otolaryngology 1969 W Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
Gender Affirming Surgeries:Jesse Brown VAMCDivision of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryMP 111, 820 S. Damen AveChicago IL 60612
Research Affiliation:University of Illinois Health Hospital System Department of Otolaryngology Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery1740 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612