Evidence of Suture Lift Durability Still Scant

Durability of Thread Lifts for Facial Rejuvenation

A systematic review of suture lifts for facial rejuvenation revealed that there remains little evidence in the medical literature to support their efficacy and durability. Authors Berend Van der Lei, MD, PhD, of the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, et al, performed a follow-up to a review article published by Villa, et al, which appeared in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (March 2008). At that time, Villa and his co-authors concluded that suture lifts had great potential to become a useful and effective procedure for nonsurgical lifting of sagged facial tissues.

For the follow-up review, Van der Lei and his co-authors searched the PubMed database using the terms “facelift,” “facelifts,” “face lift,” “face lifts.” “platysmotomy,” “platysmotomies,” “rhytidectomy,” “rhytidectomies,” “platysmaplasty,” “and “platysmaplasties” in combination with terms “barbed suture,” “thread lift,” “APTOS,” “suture suspension,” “percutaneous” and “silhouette suture.” After filtering out duplicates, articles about open procedures, review articles, case reports, letters to the editor and reports dealing with nonbarbed sutures, such as Vicryl and Prolene with Gore-Tex, they identified a total of 12 articles, which included seven additional articles since Villa’s review.

They found that all but two studies demonstrated at best a very limited durability of the lifting effect, and the companies that manufacture the thread-lift sutures sponsored the two positive studies. The authors concluded, “little or no substantial evidence has been added to the peer-reviewed literature to support or sustain the promising statement about thread-lift sutures as made by Villa, et al.”

The review was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (March 2018)

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