The Nonsurgical Procedure That Gave This 52-Year-Old Woman the Look of a Full Facelift

When Stacey Garson turned 52, she decided to refresh her look. Although Garson had been a fan of fillers for many years, she wanted a longer-lasting solution without having to go under the knife. Garson reached out to New York plastic surgeon, Paul Lorenc, MD, who recommended an ideal in-between: a new generation of the thread lift called Silhouette InstaLift.

Silhouette InstaLift is a minimally invasive procedure that puts dissolvable sutures with tiny cones under the skin in order to reposition and physically lift areas of the face. The procedure, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour and a half (depending on the areas treated), gives an immediate result, but as the material dissolves, it stimulates the body’s own collagen production for a plump and refreshed effect that some patients see last a year or more.

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“Stacey was the perfect candidate for the Silhouette InstaLift, knowing she didn’t want surgery,” says Dr. Lorenc. “It is a quick fix, but is more than just an injectable. The procedure elevated and volumized her entire face and plumped up her thinning skin, especially on her neck. With time, collagen will continue to build up to plump the skin even more, creating a more youthful and natural appearance.”

“I watched a lot of videos on YouTube before the procedure, and honestly they were scary,” admits Garson. “But I really wanted to do this because it wasn’t a facelift and the downtime was minimal. I was very concerned about being down for too long. I didn’t want my husband to see me looking swollen and bruised for weeks.”

During the consultation, Dr. Lorenc advised Garson that swelling from the procedure could last two to three days, but the majority of swelling would go down in 48 hours. “Recovery is fairly easy,” says Dr. Lorenc. “We prescribe an antibiotic to protect against infection and recommend Tylenol Extra Strength for any discomfort. For three days post procedure, the patient should refrain from strenuous activity and keep their head elevated to reduce swelling. Seven days after, the patient can resume their everyday activities versus the multiple weeks of recovery recommended for a traditional surgery.”

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“The day of the procedure I was very nervous, but at the same time I very excited to be getting a little work that would give me a refreshed look,” recalls Garson. “The nurse came in and gave me a Valium, and I was off to the race! The procedure was so easy I didn’t feel a thing. I stayed in the office to recover for about 30 minutes and my friend took me home. It was so much easier than I thought it would be.”

Although the Silhouette InstaLift is commonly dubbed a “lunchtime procedure,” Dr. Lorenc explains that it’s not quite that low-key. “Yes, this is not a surgery, but this is also not quick like Botox or traditional fillers. The patient is numbed using lidocaine before placing the sutures in and out of the skin (resembling what it looks like performing stitches). Every single movement in the procedure is meticulous to ensure the placement is anatomically correct. Leading up to the procedure, patients are told to refrain from using aspirin, herbal supplements or vitamin E to reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising, which can lead to excess swelling. Although normal swelling will occur for two to four days, many patients schedule the procedure for a Friday, taking the weekend to recover, and will cover any bruising with makeup on Monday.”

“As soon as it was done, I could see results right away, which I was not expecting!” says Garson. “The quality and texture of my skin was improved, and I looked lifted and refreshed. Granted, I was a bit swollen and had marker on my face, but I was able to see past that. Once I got home and the numbing wore off, I started to feel a bit of tightness, which was expected. I was told to sleep with two pillows and rest in a propped-up position, and to move laterally with my entire body—not my neck—in order to minimize swelling and prevent from disrupting the sutures.”

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“The recovery was a bit hairy; I didn’t expect to look so swollen," Garson continues. "I called and spoke with the doctor’s office and sent selfies each day. At first I thought, 'Why did I do this to myself? I look like a monster!' But the swelling went down very quickly, and in 48 hours I could see what I saw immediately following the procedure: a straight jawline, a nice neck and better skin quality. As the days passed, it improved more and more and I became happier and happier. At about day five I was thrilled, but they kept telling me it was going to get so much better—I just could not imagine that, but it did!!"

Dr. Lorenc explains: "Results depend on each patient, but Stacey specifically showed visible results after just four weeks. Many patients will see an immediate lift post procedure due to swelling, but the true results occur once the collagen starts to rebuild, after at least four weeks. Even after six to nine months, my patients tell me they are still receiving compliments from friends and family about their skin."

To see the procedure performed live on Garson, check out the video below:

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