Gold Thread Lift: 24K Facelift
Published on December 15th, 2010 by Martha Collins
Since ancient times, gold has been recognized for its luxurious and beautifying properties for the skin: it was a daily part of Egyptian skin care and anti-aging methods. It has been said that Cleopatra slept in a gold mask almost every night. In ancient Rome, gold products were applied for the treatment of a wide variety of skin problems. In ancient Chinese medicine, gold products were seen as keys to youthfulness and smooth skin tone; a queen from the Chiang dynasty used a gold massager everyday. Recent western super-luxury anti-wrinkle cosmetics contain gold dust, and claim its rejuvenation property is worth $500 a jar. And an opulent spa in Malibu, California pampers you with a 24 carat facial for $500. No doubt, gold thread facelift is alluring in part because of the precious properties of the metal.
Gold Thread Facelift Procedure:
This technique involves implantation into the sub dermal skin line by threading a web of thin gold filament (24 carat gold, less than 0.1 mm in diameter) into your skin and underlying soft tissues. It begins with your surgeon covering your face in cream to numb it before injecting you with a local anaesthetic. Then your surgeon will weave the gold thread web to hold the facial tissues in place and prevent sagging of the skin. This facelift procedure is completed in a single treatment that can last from 60 minutes to a few hours.
After the procedure, prepare to see that your face will be quite appallingly bruised, with black eyes coming on and prick marks all over the face. These bruises should subside by the 2nd and 3rd week after surgery.
The gold thread is meant to stimulate an increase in production of collagen and fibroblasts in response to the presence of a foreign substance. Collagen is formed around the implanted threads. In the theory, new tissue formation is stimulated and increased metabolism and blood flow occurs in the treated areas, which results in skin rejuvenation. The gold thread facelift takes a few months to show the results, as the gold mesh stimulates the body’s own production of collagen, which in turn plumps up the skin naturally. Over five to ten years, the fine gold sutures gradually become fragmented as they are broken down naturally. The effect of rejuvenation can last to 8 to 12 years depending on your body type, age, initial state of the skin and your way of life.
Gold Thread Lift History:
The gold thread facelift procedure was first commercialized in Europe in the late 1970s. The many brand-names for the gold thread lift procedure are: Gold Filament, Gold Lift – UK & USA; Remaillage – France; Gold Reinforcement – Russia; Happylift – Korea, and Gold Silk – China. Each of these brand variants has its own specific procedure, based on years of development from practice, & trial and error. Another difference across procedures can from the additional use of other suture barbed-threads from suppliers such as APTOS®-Threads (tiny spiked threads made from a special bio-compatible material) along with pure gold thread. Each brand variant also offers a different pattern of threading the web of gold filament and other substance into the face.
There are a few gold thread suppliers in the world. You need to make sure the clinics you plan to undergo the gold thread lift use thread that is FDA approved and fully compliant with US FDA Quality Systems Regulations. Contact us if you have any questions.
Keys to Consider:
Importantly, you need to make sure that the doctor who will perform the procedure for you is board certified, well-trained, and has performed the gold thread lift procedure for a period of time. This is because even though this procedure is promoted and marketed as minimally invasive, non-incision, and non-surgical, it is a complex procedure to interweave threads under the skin with the use of a special needle. Surgeons must be skilful not to pierce the tissues apart and not to damage large vessels and nerves. A surgeon commented, ‘If you are stitching a surface wound you can see what you are doing, but when you are stitching beneath the skin, you are virtually doing it “blind” which, if you are in the wrong hands, could be hazardous.’
Top doctors in this method are scattered worldwide but for the most part they are in Europe (where the thread lift originated) and Asia (where various cultures hold gold in high esteem). Please contact us for information about top doctors who offer this procedure.
Gold Thread Lift can be performed on cheeks, forehead, eyes, mouth and neck, and other areas including hands, cleavage, arms, stomach, and hips.
Prices vary, from a starting price of around US$3,000 in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore to a few thousand Euros in Voronezh, Russia, to a few thousands pounds in South-East London.
Risk and Complications:
One patient reported that a couple of days after the procedure, she was shocked to look in the mirror and see two gold threads popping out of her forehead. A quick visit to her facelift doctor was able to remedy this, as the doctor clipped a centimeter off the end of each thread and the rest of the threads did stay inside.
Complications such as these are not uncommon with the gold thread facelift, but if the procedure is done properly it should only happen during the first week or so after the procedure, and is easily rectifiable. It can simply be the result of the body rejecting the gold threads, which it sees as a foreign object, but as gold is something that is generally not harmful to the body, this shouldn’t keep on happening.
Also, a medical journal paper published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (The ‘‘Golden Thread Lift’’: Radiologic Findings) cites a case study of a 48-year-old patient who reported intense pain in her face.
“Within 10 years she had undergone three ‘‘golden thread lift’’ suspension procedures, the last one 2 years previously. Skull radiographs showed complete fragmentation of all the implants into small pieces, and a total loss in their vector orientation. None of these fragments were oriented straight, as would be expected for them to function as a suspension vector for facial lift. They are unevenly distributed and oriented within the facial and cervical soft tissue. A complete surgical removal of all these foreign bodies was also impossible, although a later attempt might be made to remove some of them in open face-lift.
Although adverse chemical or immunologic tissue reactions are very unlikely with an inert implant material such as gold, such foreign bodies may become infected. In the reported case, just the fragmentation and migration of the implant material resulted in very disturbing pain. Because these procedures are administered commonly for relatively young patients and complete surgical removal is virtually impossible, these residuals may remain for decades, with symptoms worsening through time.”