I figure I'd post a review myself of my procedure after seeing the extensive review ChrisFox wrote about this procedure. I chatted with him and his helpfulness was pretty evident very much the same as he's been in his review. Turned out he lived in the same apartment condo I was living in at the time (I've since moved elsewhere) so that helped grounding the review to 'someone real'.
Anyway, I had a lower bleph paid and scheduled for with a clinic in Bangkok as well to address my lower eye bags, but I was feeling like my naso labial folds were adding to my age, and I wanted to address that too. I had considered a mid-face mini-lift which there were no guarantees of results, not to mention fairly invasive, but this procedure seemed like would be worth the try, given that is dissolvable threads, cost and being pretty non invasive. So based on Chris' review, I decided 'why not?' and went to the same clinic. I went in, talked to the doc, and came back the next day and did the threads, initially 10 that pulled up my jaw line and everything a bit more up.
Different people have different reactions to surgery or big needles being inserted under your skin. Let's just say that whereas I wasn't disfigured right after, I certainly felt slightly conscious that my face felt swollen (extra fluid where the anesthetic injections went in), so I would not necessarily be walking around as Chris did, and even taking the subway back felt slightly too exposed for me. When I got back home, I looked in the mirror and some of the swelling had subsided, I noticed some folding where the skin was pulled up/back (like a slight wrinkled shirt), right below the ear, and that got me slightly concerned. To be completely honest I wasn't sure I was really satisfied, but anyone who's done any work knows results take some time to settle. I went to the doc the next day and he relaxed me by telling me that the excess skin will naturally settle after a couple weeks. Also, when the skin got pulled up, it pulled up some of the fat pockets, and as a result, it looked like I had been punched under the eye/cheekbone area. Wasn't too happy about that at the time, but it eventually subsided a bit. Now for the actual result that I was looking for, my jawline definitely got more defined, and my folds got reduced, and I do feel like I look younger.
Fast forward about 3 weeks, I kept thinking I wanted my folds to go even softer, so I went back and discussed this with the doc. Now, Chris actually did 20 threads (I believe) right away. I had done 10 only (I wasn't sure I wanted 20 needles sticking in my face, and I wanted to see what I could get with 10 only). So the doc said that with 10 threads, he focuses more on pulling the overall jaw line and cheeks up, and with 10 more he can focus on more specific trouble areas. So, back to being needles I went, this time he run more threads towards my cheek.
Another service the clinic provides is LLD (not sure it exists in the US, I tried to research this but found nothing), but it's supposed to be a more powerful concoction to melt fat than Mesofat (which I believe has been FDA approved to dissolve chin fat), so he used some of that on my bulging fat pockets on my cheek area. (I'm not going to argue being FDA approved in Thailand...) so I had that done to melt some of the fat on the cheek pockets - I had some concerns about losing cheek fat (since it can result in hollow cheeks) but I think it dissolves very subtly and there's no risk of that. I also did some LLD on my chin and jaw line, to improve on the results of the thread lift. Supposed to take a couple of weeks to see the results, honestly the jury is still out on that one.
Let's jump to the results: I am pretty happy with them (so far), and my jaw line is sharper and my folds reduced. The pictures I've included are probably not the best representation of this, so you'll have to trust me that I feel much less self conscious about the folds. The jaw line from the front looks sharp, but from my profile side, I still have a weak jaw and actually pulling up the skin made this worse, tho this is not the fault of the procedure, so I'm actually looking at jaw implants to remedy this (the never ending struggle..hah). One side benefit to all this, is that when the skin on the cheeks got pulled up, the bags under the eyes got tightened a bit. I had scheduled and paid for the lower bleph, so I decided to have another consultation with the doc who was going to perform it, and see how the thread lift would affect his work. He basically told me that I didn't really need it anymore, and was kind enough to refund me the money, so that was $1000 bucks saved (which ended up going to the second round of thread lift and LLD anyway).
A couple of things I was concerned about:
1) no you do not feel the threads under your skin. However, the edge when they insert the threads, once they lock it in, they clip it with a sharp scissors, and the expectation is that the thread tip will simply recess under the skin. I've had some issues with thinking I was feeling one of the thread tips sticking out of my skin, but I went to the doc and he said to just massage it so as to help the thread sink in. I suppose if it actually stuck out, he'd just press the scissors flush against the skin and clip it, tho I don't know if that's true.
2) I do have excess fat in one of the cheeks, so the folds I had described earlier were a bit more prominent. This could affect your perception of your face, because whereas before you had a (sagging) but smooth flat skin, you now have lifted, but potentially with some depressions on it (which you can see when looking in the mirror as the light hits your face and it creates very very mild shadows).
3) although you do not feel the threads under your skin, I believe you can feel the aforementioned fat slightly bunched up under your skin. It doesn't bother me, as visually you can't tell, but I suppose if someone touched you on the face, they could notice some areas of tougher/softer tissue.
4) After the first procedure, I believe one thread snapped, as I heard a 'snap' sound under my skin. When I heard this, also one of the bumpy sections I felt (on both sides), I stopped feeling it on the side the thread broke (I assume since there was no tension pulling the skin up associated to that thread). I was worried that it would create unevenness, but didn't notice anything major.
5) The first time I had the procedure, I was swollen and things took some time to settle; oddly, the second time I did it, the healing process/time was much shorter. I did not experience any my face looks weird feelings. Whereas the first time I had to be really gentle washing my face, the second time around it was much faster to where I could wash very normally my face; having said that, I still try to be gentle about it, and wouldn't try to do forceful scrubbing motions downwards on my cheek; I think that's a natural reasonable restriction.
I wanted to make sure to include the little 'off things' that can go with this surgery. Would I do it again? at this point, at about 2 months past, certainly is something that I will keep on my options to keep things 'lifted up'. I suppose how long this lasts would be a factor in how seriously I'll consider the procedure again. I hear this is supposed to stimulate collagen production so hopefully as the threads dissolve it doesn't all go back crashing down. I'll update this review should things change, but for now, that's where it's at. Thanks for reading!