Can we really enjoy a more youthful appearance without going under the knife?
Ian Hallam is a comparethetreatment.com expert and leading cosmetic dentist who, as a specialist in facial aesthetics and an accredited UK trainer for Silhouette Soft, knows better than most about the subtle results that can be achieved with a natural-looking rejuvenation.
Silhouette Soft is the treatment much coveted by celebs. The non-surgical thread lift technology gently lifts the areas of sagging skin in the mid-face area, the jowls, the neck or the brow with fine sutures.
Here, Dr Hallam, of Meon Face, answers your questions about this lift and rejuvenation technique…
I'm scared of surgery – is Silhouette Soft for me?
Surgery is much more invasive and results in more after effects and downtime. Silhouette Soft is a non-surgical alternative to surgery and is much less invasive and results is much less after-effects and downtime. The procedure is comfortable and requires only just a small amount of local anaesthetic at each entry and exit point.
Do non-surgical treatments really work?
Silhouette treatment gives a noticeable lift to lax tissues in the mid-face, jowls and jawline, as well as in the neck. The results are not as dramatic as a surgical procedure but give a result that looks natural.
What's the catch?
There is no catch. Provided the treatment is assessed on a case-by-case basis – and you understand what the outcome is likely to achieve – clients are usually very happy with the results. In some cases, thread lifting is not an appropriate treatment and the treating doctor will assess the suitability of the treatment at the consultation.
How long do I have to wait to see results?
There is an immediate lift on the day of the treatment due to the Silhouette cone technology. The tiny cones incorporated into the sutures give a firm attachment to the skin, so that the skin can be lifted in the required vector to address the laxity. Subsequently, there is a gradual increase in the lifting effect due to collagen production around the cones and along the threads. The optimum results are some two to four months after the treatment.
What equates to 'mildly sagging skin'?
The ideal patient is one showing some laxity and early jowls an folds radiating down below the corner of the mouth, as well as nose-to-mouth folds. Patients with excessive laxity or very heavy jawline tissues are not suitable. The most common age group who have Silhouette Soft thread lift treatments are 45-65 years of age.
How safe is it?
Statistically, the complication rate is very low. In the last 12 months, 258,236 devices have been used and there have been only 59 adverse events, a complication rate of 0.023% – indicating that it is a very safe procedure.
Does it suit a particular age range?
Silhouette Soft can be used wherever there is skin laxity. The most common age group is 45-65, although the procedure can be carried out in younger age groups as well as clients in their 70s and 80s.
On what areas of the face is it effective?
It can be used to treat the jawline, jowls, mid-face, brow and neck
How much does it cost?
The cost depends on the area of the face to be treated and the number of sutures used. The cost starts at about £900 and normally is in the region of £1,500 to £2,000.
What does the collagen-stimulating effect achieve?
The Silhouette sutures are made of Poly-L-Lactic acid, which stimulates the fibroblasts in the subcutaneous layer below the skin to produce collagen. This collagen production around the cones and along the path of the threads results in an increase in the lifting effect, in addition to the initial lift created when the procedure is carried out.
What happens to the excess skin?
The initial lift achieved can result in some mild puckering of the skin, mainly near to the hairline in front of the ear. This is temporary and over the first week following treatment this puckering gradually softens and becomes smooth.
Is there any bruising or dimpling as a result of the treatment?
With any aesthetic treatment involving injections, it is possible to have a little bruising and some people bruise more easily than others. In the same way, this can happen with Silhouette Soft. If any bruising does occur, it normally resolves after about a week. Dimpling may occur but usually resolves after 1-2 weeks.