A new solution for an old problem

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Working in the aesthetics field we get similar requests from patient’s day in and day out.  They’ll point out a few things they know they can get seen to quickly and easily: a frown line, some crows feet, a few smokers lines.  Then they’ll move on to complaining about their nasolabial folds (the line that runs from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth), saying they feel it has become deeper, or sagged in the past few years.  And then they’ll start pointing at their jowls, where occasionally there is some real help needed, and occasionally there is just tiniest foreshadowing of what’s to come.  But they can see it, and they know it’s not getting any better from here.  “Basically,” they’ll say, “what I want is this:” and they’ll put their thumbs on the angle of their jaws, and their index fingers onto their cheek bone where it meets their hairline and they’ll pull backwards.  Not hard, just one or 2 centimetres, but it’s enough to make a significant difference.  “That’s all I want!” They’ll say.

In the past the solutions to this problem were either to recommend a surgical lifting procedure, or to contour their jaw line using fillers.  The first option is fantastic, it usually has a great outcome and patients are happy for many years to come that they did it, but it requires going under the knife which means there is always downtime, it is never “cheap” and there is always extra anxiety on the part of the patient.  The second option is quick to do and requires very little downtime (there may be some bruising and swelling) but the results are often just shy of amazing, and will require ongoing work which can eventually lead to a thickened appearance of the jaw or to strange little bulges where there were none before.

The loss of definition along the jaw with the subsequent development of jowls is caused by multiple factors in the aging process: loss of volume in facial fat pads, facial muscles and eventually bone, loss of elasticity in skin and underlying ligaments, and sagging in all of these structures.  Addressing volume loss is easily done with fillers, maintaining elasticity in the skin is best done with a good skincare regime started as early as possible, and in years gone by there have been remarkably ambitious attempts to address the problem of sagging using fillers too.  However, filling to counteract gravity has rarely had great aesthetic outcomes.  Yes, the patient who was once deflated and sagging is now smooth, but at the expense of the subtle contours of their face.  They unfortunately end up looking just a little bit more like a shiny round grape than they used to.

The bright side of all of this is that we now have a minimally invasive solution to this problem that so many of our patients will inevitably face!

Silhouette Soft is the newest technology in in-office scar free skin lifting.  Made in the United States and widely used in Europe, this system allows patients to have a 30-minute procedure with minimal downtime that will lift skin and reposition existing volume, as well as regenerate lost collagen, delivering gradual and natural looking results.

Silhouette Soft consists of a thread with a needle on either end and tiny knots and cones running in the same direction as the needle closest to them, with a blank space of thread in the centre.  The patient’s needs are identified and a path is set where the threads will be most effective.  Local anaesthetic is injected at each entry and exit point decided on.  A puncture wound is then made using a needle at the determined entry point, and both needles are inserted, one at a time, through this single small puncture.  The threads are guided by the needle to be positioned underneath the skin, and the needles emerge at the predetermined exit points and are cut off, leaving the threads with their knots and cones underneath the skin.  Voila!

Because a single thread will have cones that point in opposite directions, the cones will act almost as barbs: pulling on a thread from one side will create lift at the opposite end of the thread because the wide end of the cones will grip onto tissue pulling it back, while the knots stop the cones from slipping further forward.  This means that skin and underlying fat can be repositioned, and that the effect is lasting.

What’s more is that Silhouette Soft threads are made from a substance that stimulates collagen, leading to improved skin texture, elasticity and strength in the months following the insertion of a Silhouette Soft thread.  The thread dissolves completely over time, meaning that the patient will not have a permanent foreign body in his or her face that could cause problems further down the line when the positive effects of having the thread in place will have worn off due to ongoing aging.

Silhouette Soft does not replace a traditional surgical lifting technique, but it fills the gap for those patients who are not ready for surgery because their “sagging” does not yet warrant aggressive lifting, or because they have already had surgery 15 years ago and don’t feel the need for another full lift but would like to feel a little less haggard, or for those patients who are afraid of the way surgery will look or feel, or who are afraid of the anaesthetic effects, or for those who don’t have time for downtime, or for patients who cannot justify the cost of surgery.  Silhouette Soft can also be used as a preventative measure, for patients who do not yet display typical signs of aging but who have seen the way their mother and grandmother aged, and know that they too will start to lose definition in the next 5 or 10 years and would like to hold that process off for as long as possible.

Both Dr Cara Duminy & Dr Francois Duminy were recently invited to attend the Silhouette Soft World Experts Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, where new and old Silhouette Soft techniques were shared and discussed amongst doctors using this product from across Europe, Aisa and America.  At the meeting they not only learned the latest techniques coming out of the Northern Hemisphere, but were also inspired to come up with some new protocols of their own when it comes to Silhouette Soft treatments and Silhouette Soft in combination with other rejuvenating modalities which they are excited to share with their patients.

To book a consultation to discuss the Silhouette Soft treatment with either Dr Cara or Dr Francois Duminy you can call (021) 6833048 extension 1.

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