Thread lifting – findings from South Korea

This month I spent some exciting days in the Korean capital Seoul, where I took part in a workshop on thread lifting and was also able to gain fascinating insights into a country where cosmetics and plastic surgery are subject to incredible dynamics. With many interesting impressions and a few insights into areas of application for thread lifting, I have now returned home safe and sound.

Cosmetics and aesthetic medicine in South Korea

Korea is the world’s lone leader when it comes to people’s enthusiasm for an optimized appearance and perfect skin. That’s why there are probably nowhere else as many beauty salons, perfumeries and skin care centers as here. But plastic surgery is also booming like nowhere else in the world: according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), more than 980,000 aesthetic treatments were carried out in South Korea in 2014 – in Germany, the figure was around 530,000 in the same year. South Korea is correspondingly open-minded when it comes to trends and innovative treatment techniques. The so-called thread lift is particularly popular at the moment.

The thread lift – history and background

It must first be made clear that thread lifting is by no means a new method of aesthetic medicine. About 20 years ago, when I completed part of my training as a facial surgeon in Los Angeles, thread lifting was already being used there. Since then, the techniques and materials used have naturally evolved. Currently, the widespread desire for the gentlest and most gentle aesthetic treatments possible is probably giving thread lifting a boost, so that the technique is also being offered by more and more practitioners in Germany and Switzerland.

The latest tricks in the application of thread lifting

During my stay in Seoul, I had the opportunity to participate in several surgeries with my esteemed colleague Dr. Young Jin Park as part of a workshop and to observe and learn his technique of thread lifting. Dr. Young Jin runs the prestigious Kangnam Plastic Surgery Center in central Seoul and has extensive experience with thread lifting. Knowing his approach is certainly very instructive for all surgeons who want to get to grips with this technique.

Thread lifting as a substitute for a facelift?

I bring back interesting insights from my journey and assume that the methods of thread lifting can be meaningfully integrated into my concept of complete facial rejuvenation. They are a particularly good option for patients for whom a short healing phase after treatment is important. However, I am still of the opinion that thread lifts are not a full replacement for a surgical facelift. In particular, it must be borne in mind that the treatment results only last for a limited time, so the thread lift must be repeated after approx. 12 months. In addition, this method is particularly suitable for younger patients who still have good skin elasticity. In the hands of an experienced facial surgeon, thread lifting is therefore an exciting option, but its use should be weighed up very carefully.