The Puppet Facelift Is The Latest Plastic Surgery Trend. But What Actually Is It? And Is It Safe?

Move over Botox, there's a new face primping procedure in town.

The 'puppet facelift' is the latest plastic surgery trend to take off among women who want to reverse (or at least halt) the ageing process.

The procedure involves pulling small pieces of string through the skin to lift the cheek muscles and lower face. It's proven to be particularly popular with women over 30 years old.

The facelift - a two-hour, non-surgical treatment - typically costs £950 for the first pair of threads and £700 for each additional pair (most people have two-three pairs).

The cosmetic procedure involves numbing the neck and jowl areas, and pushing the thread (attached to a needle) through the skin with the aim to lift it up and secure it.

"This is a predictable and safe way of lifting," says Dr Sarah Tonks who carries out the procedure at the Omniya clinic, London. "It's very good for the jowls and cheeks, but not so great in the brow."

The threads remain under the skin and help to pull everything together in a way that is supposedly less 'wind tunnel' and more natural.

Results are visible immediately, although, says Dr Tonks, "you don't look your best for a couple of weeks".

"The threads seem to relax over a week period and then retighten further as collagen is produced around them," she adds.

After effects include bruising or swelling to the face, and patients are advised not to smile for a week until the threads have settled. During this time, they will become fixed in place by the body's scar tissue.

All being well, the treatment should last for up to two years.

Carole Brennan, 57, (pictured above) underwent the puppet facelift due to a fear of surgical procedures. After becoming increasingly unhappy with the sagging of skin on her face and around her eyes, Brennan decided enough was enough.

"I felt like my face was ageing me, but I didn’t feel a facelift was the right option for me. The idea of scalpels and invasive surgery made me shudder, but the idea of threads sounded perfect for me," she told the Daily Mail.

"Before the treatment I looked like I was in my 60s or worse, but now I’ve had people say I don’t look a day over 45. My confidence has never been higher, and I feel like a new woman - this treatment turned back the clock ten years for me."

Consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS council member, Ash Mosahebi, tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle that the procedure is not without its faults.

"The benefits are that the procedure is quick and much cheaper than surgical alternatives, but it is mostly performed by non-plastic surgeons," he says.

"There can be many complications including dimpling, contour deformity, visibility of the threads, infection and threads coming through the skin - leaving permanent and visible scars and defects.

"The results are minimal and could almost be called a waste of money. Mostly these types of treatments are performed by poorly-qualified practitioners."

He adds that patients might find non-surgical treatments such as Botox or dermal fillers give better results, "as long as they are being treated by a properly-qualified practitioner".

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