There are many non-surgical options to restore fullness and correct skin laxity that happens in the face as we age. From hyaluronic acid fillers to laser treatments, there’s a procedure for everyone and the newest addition to these options now offers a way to instantly lift sagging facial skin. Silhouette Instalift is an absorbable suture lift procedure, performed in the office offering no discomfort with the use of local numbing in the areas of placement.
Silhouette Instalift is made to completely absorb
The absorbable sutures are composed of two well-known sugar components that are used in other dermatologic procedures and products such as chemical peels, absorbable sutures and Sculptra – glycolic acid and lactic acid.
How Instalift works
After local numbing is placed, the bi-directional Instalift sutures are placed from an entry point on the mid-cheek and mid-jawline or neck. One direction of the suture exits near the midline of the face, close to the nasal labial fold, marionette line or near the middle of the jawline, while the other end of the suture exits near the hairline, lateral jawline or behind the ear. The sutures have unique bi-directional cones threaded through them – Dr. Palm most commonly uses an 8-cone suture, meaning there are four cones in each direction. When placed by Dr. Palm, the Instalift sutures lift the sagging tissues in the cheek, lower face, jawline and neck, creating an instantly noticeable lift. The cones and sutures are made of a mix of polyglycolactic acid, which the body naturally breaks down and builds collagen in its place – contributing to increasing results three and six months after the procedure.
What to expect during the procedure
The Silhouette Instalift absorbable suture procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes. It is virtually painless due to local numbing as well as placement of the sutures in the fat compartment, an area of the skin and face that is largely devoid of any nerves that sense pain. There is little-to-no downtime, a very small chance of bruising and slight possibility of soreness for a few days following the procedure. The majority of Instalift patients resume daily activities the day following the procedure.
At Art of Skin MD, patient comfort is always a priority. For this reason, if patients elect to do so, we can provide an oral anti-anxiety medication to help with relaxation during the procedure. In these cases, patients are required to have transportation to and from our office.
Slight restrictions immediately following the Instalift procedure
In general, Dr. Palm recommends patients take it easy when it comes to facial activity following a Silhouette Instalift procedure. For about a week, patients should refrain from chewing gum, overly chewy or tough foods and should avoid wide smiling. Additionally, Dr. Palm asks that patients refrain from activities that place the head upside down, such as downward dog (yoga), pilates, acrobatic yoga or high-intensity workouts such as kickboxing or step classes for one week.
Refraining from these activities is important as the Instalift procedure requires what Dr. Palm refers to as a quiet plane of tissue to allow the sutures to integrate into the tissue and continue to provide lift. Disrupting this process may allow the suture cones to come loose, decreasing the desired skin lifting effect of Instalift.
Combining Instalift with other procedures
Dr. Palm truly enjoys the artistry and facial balance that is possible with injectable fillers in the cheeks and jawline, but says that at some point, fillers can only provide a certain level of structural support. Especially for a female face, restraint is important as the lower 1/3 of the face can become masculine if it becomes too “heavy.” An ideal female face is oval- or heart-shaped, and overfilling the lower part of the face can create an unattractive bulkiness. Combining injectable fillers with a skin-lifting procedure such as Instalift restores desirable facial contours and proportions.
Instalift also works beautifully when combined with other skin-tightening technologies. For a synergistic effect, Dr. Palm will sometimes first complete Ultherapy, an ultrasound-based skin tightening technology, on the face, followed 2-4 weeks later by the Instalift procedure. This combination allows skin heating technology to be combined with suture suspension, providing greater skin-lifting results 3-9 months following the procedures. At Art of Skin MD, we use a proprietary combination of pain-reduction strategies during Ultherapy, making a procedure that was once uncomfortable virtually painless.
Another treatment Dr. Palm recommends combining with Instalift is using a botulinum toxin type A (Botox, Dysport or Xeomin) to help enhance Instalift’s results in the lower face and neck. Although neuromodulators such as Botox have traditionally been thought of as helping the upper face wrinkles, there are many artistic applications of these injectables in the lower face and neck areas. It may be placed on the jawline and neck to help lift the lower face, a process called the Nefertiti lift, named after the Egyptian queen known for her elegant, beautiful neckline.
Silhouette Instalift produces results
Instalift is FDA-cleared for 12 months of duration. Typically, patients see continued improvement in the skin-lifting effect following the procedure for 6-9 months. Although individual results vary, for many patients, the duration may last as long as 12-18 months.
Patients may undergo what Dr. Palm refers to as booster treatments following the initial Instalift procedure. During the typical initial procedure, 2-4 sutures are placed per side of the face. Some patients then come back 3-6 months later to have one or two additional sutures placed to enhance their results. Aging is a dynamic process, and it requires continued skin tightening therapy to produce dramatic results.
Although Instalift is not a substitute for a surgical procedure such as a facelift or necklift, it is a satisfying procedure and new innovation for nonsurgical skin tightening. Patients with relatively good skin tone who are experiencing mild to moderate skin sagging in the lower face and neck can experience demonstrative and satisfying results in re-sculpting the jawline, cheeks and lower face. For more information, call our office at 858-792-SKIN (7546) to schedule your consultation.