Reduced recovery time
One of the major roadblocks to cosmetic plastic surgery is the extended recovery period. Even if people have the money to have a little work done on their face or body, they usually cannot afford to take the time off from work. Scheduling the procedure may not be a problem, but if the plastic surgeon restricts activity for days or weeks after the procedure, it can be a deal breaker.
One exciting advance in cosmetic surgery for the overworked is the lunchtime facelift. A lunchtime facelift is a nonsurgical technique that lifts areas of the face that may have sagged or loosened with time. A lunchtime facelift has been called the weekend lift or the lunch hour lift, but doctors often refer to this procedure as a thread lift.
A lunchtime facelift is called a thread lift because the most common way to perform this procedure is through the use of small, barbed threads inserted just under and in the skin. The face is numbed with a local anesthetic and the patient is given a mild sedative. The threads are inserted under the skin, anchored to an upper region of the face, such as the forehead, and lower areas of the face are pulled up and held in place by the barbed threads.
Lunchtime facelift procedure
The threads in a lunchtime facelift are placed with a needle, so only the smallest of incisions are made in the skin. The local anesthetic that is used is similar that one that might be used in a dental procedure, so the effects wear off later in the day. The sedative, too, is mild and does not usually require that someone drive the patient home. This is highly unusual in the world of surgery, where patients are generally forbidden from driving themselves after a procedure. All combined, a lunchtime facelift gets its name from the speed of the procedure (less than an hour) and extremely fast recovery. Patients are required to keep their head upright for 24 hours after the lunchtime facelift procedure, but have few other restrictions.
The threads placed during a lunchtime facelift, which are permanent, actually stimulate the formation and growth of new collagen in the skin. Collagen is one of the main proteins that gives skin is fullness and suppleness. Collagen is also the material that is lost as we age.
There are few potential risks with lunchtime facelifts. Numbness in the area is common, but will resolve. Infection and scar tissue formation are the most serious complications but rarely occur. More often patients do not see the benefits that they expected from their lunchtime facelift. Also the threads may break or dislodge such that they will need to be replaced or reinserted.
In general, the lunchtime facelift has been a remarkable success for the patient who wants to turn back the clock while still being on the clock!