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Why are barbed sutures no longer used in face-lift surgery?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
Barbed sutures are little strands of plastic that are studded with little fishhook-like barbs that are embedded into tissue. When they were lifted, the cheek, the jowl, the brows and the bands in the neck also were lifted. And this was all done in an hour under local anesthesia in the office.

Sounds incredible, doesn't it? If only it worked. The problem was that many of these barbed sutures slipped. Imagine waking up in the morning with one side of your face lifted and the other side droopy? Within a few months, very few people actually saw a benefit from these things and 10% of people actually could feel the barbs through the skin. This required an operation to remove them. Nowadays, it's hard to find a doc who does these things, since the main company yanked them from the market.

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