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Aesthetics Practice Today

Lift Sagging Skin Non-Surgically

Published November 17, 2016 10:08 AM by Mina Grasso
One of the biggest challenges we face in the aesthetic arena is the lack of downtime for those with demanding schedules with family, work, and social engagements. Most patients that we see in our clinic are not quite ready for a surgical approach due to various reasons. Some of these reasons may include high cost of surgery, fear of surgery or anesthesia, young patients not ready for a surgical facelift, or older patients who are not surgical candidates.

The Silhouette Instalift, newly cleared by the FDA, is an exciting option for lifting sagging skin with minimal to no downtime. Instalift has been a popular and safe and effective procedure performed in Europe for many years. 

The Silhouette Instalift procedure involves insertion of resorbable sutures with bidirectional biodegradable cones. Local anesthetic is injected into the insertion and exit sites. A series of threads are placed parallel to each other along a vector starting from the nasal labial folds and jowls approximately a centimeter apart along the cheeks towards the ears. Three to five threads can be used per side. Suspension sutures may contain a series of 8, 12, or 16 cones. This office procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes to perform.

Once the Silhouette Instalift suspension sutures are implanted, the skin is gently advanced over the cones. The cones engage with the subcutaneous tissue and create a mechanical fixation with traction and acts as an anchor resulting in immediate lifting of the skin. Collagen production is stimulated and subsequent encapsulation of the suture in collagen takes place. This creates a biological fixation of the tissue, which maintains the lift. Collagen is produced over time and patients experience a gradual and natural improvement in volume and shape of the cheeks, midface, and jowls. The sutures dissolve over time.

Silhouette Instalift is made from Polyglycolide/L-lactide (PLGA - 18%), a well-known biomedical copolymer that is generally well tolerated in the body. It has a long history of use as a resorbable suture, and its breakdown process has been extensively studied. Silhouette Instalift combines the regenerative benefits of the cones, which are made up of a synthetic material called poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA - 82%), which is also used as Sculptra. Sculptra is used as a biostimulator of collagen to provide long-lasting volume and contour in addition to the lift resulting in firmer and more youthful skin. Sculptra has been used over a decade for volume replacement in aesthetics and was first approved for treatment of lipoatrophy. We have had much success in use of Sculptra alone with high patient satisfaction. 

Setting realistic patient expectations for what Silhouette Instalift can deliver results in increased patient satisfaction. Although temporary, the Silhouette Instalift may provide benefits up to 18 months or more and may appeal to patients looking to get a non-surgical facelift and look refreshed, without surgical scars or downtime.

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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