Silhouette Soft Thread Lift vs Surgical Facelift – a comparison

Female patient before and after Silhouette Soft thread lift - female patient

Are you feeling it’s time to think about a facelift? With so many choices available, you may be unsure whether a surgical or non-surgical option would be best for you.

While the surgical facelift has plenty of famous fans, most celebs never admit to surgery. So if a star has a particularly great facelift, we’re unlikely to ever know – much less be able to find their surgeon!

But perhaps because non-surgical treatments carry less stigma, EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth recently went public about her Silhouette Soft thread lift ahead of her 60th birthday. And we have to say, she looks amazing.

So we’re delighted to report that we’ll be introducing the Silhouette Soft lift to our clinics shortly. Watch this space for details!

In the meantime, let’s see how the two options – traditional surgical facelift and the Silhouette Soft thread lift – stack up side by side. First of all, Mel Recchia our Clinical Lead gives a comparison of non-surgical vs surgical treatments:

When you come along for your consultation we will discuss your needs and your requirements and we will look at all the various options and this will include non-surgical options as well as surgical options because sometimes the non-surgical options may not actually be enough for the outcome that you want so it might be that we need to discuss the surgical facelifts as well which could be mini facelift or neck and facelifts but we will talk about that and look at the best options for you  and make sure that we’re advising you for whatever’s going to give you the most satisfaction. Some people prefer to go for the non-surgical options if they’re going to get a good results because obviously the surgical option does have a few more things to consider. You would generally have to have a general anaesthetic, you probably have more downtime, time off work, there’s always the scar situation to think about so sometimes having a non-surgical option can avoid those other issues and may also prolong the need for the surgical options.

How do they work?

A surgical facelift, though a complex procedure, works on a simple principle. Under general anaesthetic, the skin and underlying fat of the face and neck are surgically lifted, repositioned and tightened, with any excess skin removed to restore taut, youthful contours to the face.

After a short period of recovery, results will be visible right away and are likely to remain for several years, gradually ‘wearing off’ as the ageing process continues.

Female patient showing improvement to lower face sagging after treatment with Silhouette Soft thread lift
Improvement to sagging in lower face after Silhouette Soft lift

The Silhouette Soft Thread Lift, on the other hand, works in two distinct ways. Firstly, just like a surgical facelift, it has an immediate lifting action on the face, which you’ll notice straight after treatment (see photo above).

Under local anaesthetic, dissolvable sutures are carefully threaded underneath the skin in several key points. Once securely in place, the sutures are used to internally lift and re-anchor skin that’s migrated slowly southwards over time.

So far, so similar. But uniquely, the Silhouette Soft lift also has a regenerative action that continues to work long after your initial treatment.

The poly-L-lactic acid sutures are gradually reabsorbed by your skin over time, which helps to progressively restore your own lost collagen. This extends the anti-ageing action of the treatment, gradually replacing lost volume in saggy areas and restoring youthful shapeliness naturally.

So results can appear more pronounced over time, rather than less. This is a particular advantage it has over most other anti-ageing procedures – including the surgical facelift.

Which areas can they treat?

Though there’s lots of different names for them, essentially there are two main types of surgical facelift.

A mini facelift (also known as a lower, MACS or SMAS facelift), targets the mid and lower face, tightening up the cheeks, chin, jowls and neck. A traditional full facelift improves all these areas as well as lifting and smoothing the brow.

The Silhouette Soft lift is more flexible and gives a completely tailor-made result. Because it’s performed entirely with sutures that can be placed wherever needed, the procedure can precisely target the specific areas of the face that will give you the best result. But the treatment is particularly effective at lifting sagging cheeks and jowls.

Female patient in profile before and after Silhouette Soft lift
Female patient with improved jawline before and after Silhouette Soft lift

How invasive are they?

A surgical facelift requires incisions, and this unfortunately means scars. These days, most surgeons are able to conceal scars quite well in natural creases in front of or behind the ear, and along the hairline, but it’s something you need to bear in mind. As a serious surgical procedure, it’s carried out under general anaesthetic, so you’ll be asleep for around 4 hours and need to stay in hospital for 1-2 nights afterwards.

Silhouette Soft is a non-invasive procedure that requires no incisions, only small entry and exit points for the sutures – so it leaves no permanent scars. It’s carried out under local anaesthetic with you conscious throughout, and takes only around 30 minutes. As an outpatient procedure you’ll be free to go home straight afterwards.

What results can you expect?

It’s fair to say that as a much more invasive procedure, the results from a full surgical facelift will usually be more dramatic than those from a Silhouette Soft lift. Because it allows a surgeon to remove and redrape skin and fat, the tightening effect can be much more pronounced than the Silhouette Soft lift.

Male patient with improved lower face jowls after Silhouette Soft lift - front view
Male patient after Silhouette Soft lift
Male patient with lower face jowls before Silhouette Soft lift - front view
Male patient before Silhouette Soft lift

The best option for you really depends what you’re looking for. Some people prefer a more subtle result that’s very noticeable to them but unlikely to be too obvious to others.

In this case, the Silhouette Soft lift would be a fantastic option. Some are looking for a dramatically younger appearance, which would be best achieved with a surgical facelift. Only you will know what’s right for you.

Female patient before and after Silhouette Soft thread lift

How much downtime is involved?

Facelift is a serious surgery, and as such requires some time to recover. After a full facelift, you can expect to be tightly bandaged for up to 5 days, and experience bruising and swelling that usually subsides within 2-3 weeks. You should be able to return to work and normal activities after around 3-6 weeks.

Downtime after Silhouette Soft is minimal. You may experience some very slight bruising or swelling in the days after your procedure, and some mild tension in any areas that have been lifted. You’ll be given plenty of advice to ensure your recovery is as quick and easy as possible.

How long do the results last?

As with any treatment, this depends largely on your genetics and lifestyle as well as the skill of your surgeon or practitioner. Typically, the results from a surgical facelift tend to last in the region of 5-10 years, and for Silhouette Soft improvements will last for around 12-18 months, after which time the treatment can be repeated.

Find out more about Silhouette Soft

The Silhouette Soft thread lift is coming soon to Aurora Skin Clinics, and we’ll provide details on booking as soon as we can. For more information on the treatment in the meantime, please feel free to contact the team on 01844 318825 or email Alternatively, fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch.