Why Isn't the Contour Thread Lift Available Any More?

I had the contour thread lift about 3 yrs ago, and just heard that procedure is no longer done. What's happening? I was at my dermetologist yesterday and they said "Oh, lots of problems with the threads," and that class action lawsuits had been filed. I would like to be brought up to date on this action and reasons for it.

Doctor Answers 5

Decrease in popularity of thread lifts

Contour thread lifts generated much enthusiasm and were likely used in individuals who were likely better candidates for traditional surgery.

Disappointing results occurred as a consuquence of unrealistic expectations, pain, visibility, palpability, infection, etc. Given the relatively high cost of the threads, its poularity began to wane and surgeons ceased to recommend it.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Where did threadlifts go?

Thread lifts (contour lift) use permanent sutures that are placed under the skin. The names change based on marketing but the anatomical principle is the same. The results are temporary because they do not access the prime issue with ageing: Descent of the structures that contain muscles (fascia). In a facelift, the main fascial system is elevated and sutured to another fascial system which provides longer-lasting results because this is the strength layer.  While people are a bit anxious about getting a facelift, it has lasted for more than 30 years because is addresses the anatomy of ageing not the marketing hype of the time.  In the thread lift only the skin is elevated and as we all know, skin is elastic and over time sags.  The procedure can cost anywhere from $3-$6000 depending on your geographic locale.  As I mentioned, the sutures are permanent and if placed to superficial can cause irritation to the skin.  Good technique is always critical to the success of any surgical procedure. See a board certified plastic surgeon to assess what is best for you.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Contour Thread Lift: Price to Result Mismatch

A basic concept in Facial Plastic Surgery is that the procedure should match the indications it is designed to correct.  Thread lifting involves use of a barbed permanent suture which is used to re-contour the face without adequate soft tissue mobilization.  It sounds great but doesn't work very well or for very long in real life.  Unfortunately, many patients who had indications for a Facelift received "thread lifts" and noticed minimal results with poor longevity.  The procedure was relatively expensive for the result it provided, causing what I describe as a "price to result mismatch".  The Contour Thread product has since been pulled from the market for a variety of reasons.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Contour threads aren't available, but Silhouette threads are...

The company that produced Contour Threads did not find it profitable, so they discontinued production.  However, other companies manufacture similar threads, Silhouette being one of them.  Most of the problems you may read about occur when the threads are not placed properly.  If your procedure was done well by an experienced surgeon, you should have a nice long result without any problems.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Contour threads weren't profitable for the manufacturer

Contour threads were a reasonable alternative to facelift for a segment of the population.  However, the manufacturer was sold and then stopped marketing them.  This might have resulted from litigation because the threads were available to any physician who was willing to purchase them, not board certified plastic surgeons but I was told that they also weren't profitable. 

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.