The Latest Lift: Silhouette Instalift is the new scalpel-free facelift

The latest in lifts is a 40-minute, youth-enhancing procedure that suspends the face with absorbable sutures. Everyone in cosmetic surgery is looking for that lift that involves no cutting and little downtime. Technology on lifting via skin-tightening energy devices and cheek fillers is ever advancing. These modalities aren’t going anywhere, but now, what was once old is new again with the use of sterile sutures to suspend the face. The Silhouette lnstalift® was FDA approved in April 2015-became available in late 2016-and is a powerful, safe addition to the armamentarium against sagging jowls.

This is not your momma’s thread lift. In the past, proline threads were used that had barbs and knots and stayed permanently under the skin. The safety and comfort profile of the newer absorbable lnstalift® sutures is greatly improved.

After assessment of each patient’s goals and determination that the patient is a good candidate, the clinical assessment begins. Vectors for lift are mapped to target and lift problem areas. A local anesthetic is used to numb entry points for the suture, and then, it is threaded upward toward the ear and then downward toward the areas in need of lifting. The excess portions of the suture are then trimmed. The skin is lifted mechanically by the suture, which is anchored to the tissue with tiny (also absorbable) cones. An average of three to four sutures are placed per side of the face. There may be minimal bruising but return to work can be the next morning.

For years, Hollywood A-listers have been flying to France to have a procedure called Silhouette Soft® performed. This is the same technology and procedure and is now available in the U.S. The dissolvable sutures with bi-directional cones hold the skin in an elevated position, lift project, and re-drape the skin to contour the face. As the sutures are absorbed, they stimulate collagen, which helps to rejuvenate the cheek and lift, ahem, sagging. The material that the suture is made of is poly-L lactic acid, the same as is used in the injectable Sculptra®, which is known to induce collagenesis.

In the weeks following the Silhouette lnstalift® procedure, there is a gradual increase in facial volume and shapeliness. It is appealing to the same type of patient that would come in for fillers, since it is a relatively simple, quick procedure with little to no downtime and results that last 12 to 18 months. With fully natural-looking results, this procedure is predicted to become as popular as Botox®.

A patient we recently treated said: “Two weeks ago, Dr. Guanche performed the Silhouette lnstalift (procedure), and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I just turned 49 and was starting to see genetic signs of aging in my lower face. Dr. G suggested the lnstalift. I am so glad I listened!!! Immediately after the procedure, I could see the difference … and it just keeps getting better! I loved that there was minimal downtime and I could go out in public right away.”

Silhouette lnstalift® is a new tool in our quest toward youth and beauty. Many are not ready for a full facelift for budgetary reasons, because they don’t have the down­time, or because they are simply afraid. This new technique provides a lift and beautifully complements other youth-enhancing injectables.

By Anna D Gauanche, MD, FAAD
Board Certified Dermatologist

The statements in this article are for genera/ informational purposes only and do not sub­stitute for individual medical advice.