June 17, 2016

Silhouette InstaLift™ :  Nonsurgical Facelift

The 21st Century Face Lift—No Surgery Required

We’ve all been there: staring in the mirror, holding our skin back with our fingers to get a glimpse of the way our face looked in our youth.

Now, there’s Silhouette InstaLift (also known as Silhouette Soft outside of the United States) to transform sagging skin without surgery or long recovery times. In less than an hour, you can benefit from an instant mini-facelift that’s safe, effective and long-lasting—with very little downtime.

Cosmetic medicine technology has made tremendous advancements. However, the missing link remained addressing sagging skin without surgery. Skin tightening treatments have gotten better at firming skin, but still do not produce the desired lift we all want. And many of us are wary of going under the knife. Finally, Silhouette InstaLift is our nonsurgical solution for droopy skin.

As always, staying at the forefront of technological advances, Serenity MedSpa is one of the first to offer the Silhouette IntaLift to patients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What is Silhouette InstaLift?

Silhouette InstaLift is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that uses advanced suspension technology to instantly lift the deeper layers of your skin to re-contour your face and neck. It also helps to address volume loss through long-term collagen production.

Before and After Photos*


What is in Silhouette InstaLift?

Silhouette InstaLift thread is made from Polyglycolide/L-lactide (PLGA). PLGA is a well-known polymer and the same synthetic lactic acid used in Sculptra®, an injectable filler that promotes collagen growth. PLGA has a long history of use as absorbable suture in surgery and in orthopedic pins. The breakdown process of this biopolymer has been extensively studied and has been deemed safe and well-tolerated in the body.

U.S. scientists developed the Silhouette InstaLift suture design using reconstructive and aesthetic surgical expertise. The fully absorbable suture provides an excellent anchoring point in the subcutaneous tissue, allowing it to effectively lift sagging skin.

How does Silhoutte Instalift work?

One Treatment – Two Actions

Lift + Regenerate


Only Silhouette InstaLift combines lifting and regeneration in a two-stage action never achieved before, allowing you to look your absolute best. Silhouette InstaLift is the facelift that keeps on working long past the initial treatment!

  1. Immediate Lifting Effect

You will see an immediate lifting action as soon as Silhouette InstaLift is inserted underneath the skin. Once the thread is in place, the doctor applies slight pressure to the treated area to lift and smooth the skin’s surface.

  1. Gradual Regenerating Effect

The sutures trigger increased production of collagen over the next few months, helping to gradually restore the depleted facial volume lost with age. The final result is a firmer, plumper and more youthful looking face.

New collagen production creates a solid support of the soft tissue, preventing the sutures from moving.

The before and after images below show 3D pictures in clay of the loss (blue) and gain (yellow) of volume in the patient’s face thanks to the Silhouette InstaLift treatment.

Watch the video below for more information.

What are the benefits of Silhouette Instalift?

There are many benefits to choosing the Silhouette InstaLift to achieve your facial rejuvenation goals.

  • Achieves excellent results for men and women between the ages of 35 and 70
  • Easily re-contour your face to restore a more youthful and natural appearance
  • Progressive restoration of body’s own lost collagen
  • Corrects drooping of the mid and lower face
  • Smoothing affect on aging skin
  • Minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment
  • No general anesthesia required
  • Short recovery and minimal downtime
  • Much less swelling, bruising, and discomfort than a traditional facelift
  • Immediate lifting results
  • Additional lifting effects achieved over time with collagen production
  • Long-lasting lifting solution
  • Entirely absorbable material, leaving no scarring

Who is a good candidate for Silhouette Instalift Treatment?

When women are asked what they consider their two main signs of facial ageing, the answer is invariably sagging and loss of skin tone and the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and creases. This phenomenon, which worsens with age and the menopause, is due to the loss of collagen, the protein found in all structures of the body, especially the skin, and which ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of tissue. With age, collagen diminishes and the skin becomes less firm. The face also loses fat (becoming more skeletal looking), becoming hollow on the sides, while heaviness accumulates under the chin and on the lower cheeks.

Silhouette InstaLift is the ideal minimally-invasive solution for many men and women who are interested in refreshing their appearance without major surgery. It offers a new and unique technology to lift sagging facial skin and naturally restore depleted facial volume.

The best Silhouette InstaLift candidates are in good physical condition and have normal skin thickness and mild to moderate skin laxity without heavy folds or jowls.

This procedure is also an excellent option for younger men and women who wish to delay the signs of aging or achieve subtle rejuvenation results in the brow, cheek, jowls or neck.

Extremely thin patients with decreased skin thickness may not be great candidates, as the sutures reside in the fat layer, making proper placement more challenging.

In general, good candidates for Silhouette InstaLift have the following characteristics:

  • Sagging skin around the face or jawline
  • Loss of volume or structure in the face
  • A desire to avoid invasive surgery, either due to medical reasons or personal preference
  • A desire to avoid general anesthesia
  • Realistic expectations about what this procedure can accomplish

Which areas can be treated with the Silhouette Instalift?

This technique leaves no scars and can be successfully used for all areas of the face and neck resulting in a fresher, younger appearance.


How much lift can I expect from the Silhouette Instalift Procedure?

Your level of lift will depend on your level of skin laxity and the number and location of sutures.

Dr. Lisa Kang has received advanced Silhouette InstaLift training in Seoul, South Korea, and can answer all your questions about the procedure and expectations from the treatment during your consultation.

What do I need to do to prepare for the Silhouette Instalift procedure?

Be sure to inform us of any cosmetic or surgical treatment you have already received and of any medicines you are currently taking.

We recommend stopping all blood thinning supplements, such as fish oil, at least 2 weeks prior to the InstaLift treatment, and avoiding alcohol for at least one week before the procedure. Taking arnica supplements before and after the procedure also help to minimize bruising and swelling.

How is Silhouette Instalift Procedure performed?

Silhouette InstaLift is a simple and convenient 30-45 minute in-office procedure. The entire procedure is done using only local lidocaine injections. A simple needle is used to insert the threads, which heal without scarring. No incisions are necessary.

First, the area of the treatment is cleaned. Then, the doctor marks the treatment areas according to each patient’s skin laxity.

The insertion and exit points of the Silhouette InstaLift will be injected with lidocaine. Then, a puncture will be made with a needle where the Silhouette InstaLift suture will be inserted into the subcutaneous tissue (fat layer). Since there are no significant nerves or vessels in this layer, there will be minimal discomfort and bruising.

Once the suture has been inserted, the doctor performs slight compression of the tissue to reshape the skin by hand to obtain the desired lifting effect. The non-inserted ends of the suture are cut off. One or more sutures may be applied, depending on the patient and treatment area.

After injecting local anesthetic, the doctor inserts the suture into the fat layer just beneath the skin.

The suture is inserted using a fine needle and is held in place with absorbable “cones” placed in opposite directions.


Watch the video below for more information.

Is the Silhouette InstaLift procedure painful?

There is minimal discomfort involved with the Silhouette InstaLift procedure. Both the entry and exit points of the suture are numbed with lidocaine and the sutures are placed in the fat layer, which lacks nerves. The patient may feel slight tugging or pulling as the sutures are situated into place, but there is no significant discomfort or pain. For added comfort, we use the Zimmer Cooling machine during the procedure at Serenity MedSpa.

What is the downtime after the Silhouette InstaLift treatment?

Another major benefit of the Silhouette non-surgical facelift is the lack of any major downtime. Following the procedure, you may be slightly swollen and bruised. This should resolve within a few days or up to a couple of weeks in rarer cases.

The following steps can be taken to minimize the bruising:

  • Patients taking blood thinning medications such as aspirin should confirm with their primary care physicians whether they can stop the medication before the procedure.
  • Stop taking blood thinning supplements and medications such as fish oil, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin and Alleve for 2 weeks before and 1 week after the procedure.
  • If you need to take medication for pain relief, take Tylenol (acetaminophen).
  • Avoid alcohol for at least one week before the procedure
  • Use arnica supplements before and after the treatment.

These are by no means a guarantee that you will not bruise, but will help. Swelling can be managed by keeping the head elevated at all times, including when sleeping, and by icing the affected area regularly.

What is the post-treatment care after the Silhouette InstaLift procedure?

  • Apply cold packs immediately after the procedure and for the next three days. Cold packs should be wrapped to avoid direct contact with the skin and insertion points.
  • Refrain from applying make-up for as long as possible (minimum 24 hours).
  • Sleep face up, in an elevated position on pillows (3-5 nights) to minimize swelling.
  • Wash and dry face gently without rubbing or massaging (5 days).
  • Avoid excessive face and neck movements (2 weeks)
  • Refrain from eating hard or chewy foods and chewing gum (1 week).  
  • Avoid over-exposure to direct sunlight and do not use tanning beds (2 weeks).
  • Avoid sports, in particular high impact sports e.g. running (1-2 weeks).
  • Avoid saunas or hot yoga (2 weeks).
  • Avoid dental surgery (2 weeks).
  • Avoid face and neck massages and face and neck aesthetic treatments (4 weeks).

Do the results of Silhouette InstaLift look natural?

Yes. This procedure naturally lifts the face where fillers and neuromodulators (BOTOX®) cannot. The results help to recreate the youthful V-shape to the face, particularly along the cheeks and jawline.

Does Silhouette InstaLift procedure leave scars?

Typically the skin heals without scarring. The insertion and exit points of the threads are made by a small needle point. Any resulting discoloration will heal and fade quickly usually within a week.

Dr. Lisa Kang has advanced training from Seoul, South Korea and will use techniques to minimize any visible scars or dimpling.

How long will my Silhouette InstaLift results last?

There is an appreciable lifting effect immediately following the placement of the InstaLift sutures and the results continue to improve for approximately three to six months following treatment. These results from the Silhouette InstaLift can last for up to two years.

In addition to physically lifting and contouring the treatment areas, the sutures stimulate fibroblast cells to produce more collagen. Although the threads eventually dissolve, the produced collagen gives the skin more support and produces longer-lasting effects.

How many treatments will I need?

Silhouette InstaLift is a one-time treatment. However, more threads can be inserted at a later time to achieve even more lifting if desired.

Is Silhouette InstaLift FDA cleared?

Silhouette InstaLift was FDA approved In April 2015.

Is Silhouette InstaLift safe?

Yes. When performed by a highly skilled doctor who has undergone specific training, application of Silhouette InstaLift is very safe with very minimal side effects. Silhouette InstaLift is made in the United States and is subject to numerous controls. The technology was based on six years of experience in suture suspension in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. The most respected plastic surgeons have praised Silhouette InstaLift’s special design and the excellent results they have achieved.

Three years after its launch in 2013, more than 130,000 treatments have been performed in over 60 countries.

What are the possible side effects of Silhouette InstaLift?

Side effects are few and typically mild in nature. There may be mild soreness in the treatment area for a few days following InstaLift. Mild swelling and bruising is possible. A very mild puckering may be present at the site of suture placement but resolves over several days. Individuals with an allergy to PLLA or PLGA should avoid InstaLift or an inflammatory reaction may occur.

Can Silhouette InstaLift Be Combined With Other Procedures?

Yes, Silhouette InstaLift may be used in conjunction with other laser or energy based devices, or as a complement to facial fillers and BOTOX® for a more comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation. Dr. Lisa Kang will create a customized treatment plan during your initial consultation.

How does Silhouette InstaLift procedure compare to noninvasive skin tightening treatments such as Ultherapy or Exilis Ultra?

Silhouette InstaLift stands apart from non-surgical skin tightening procedures. With this treatment, the lifting results are immediately visible and more noticeable over time than skin tightening treatments.

How does the Silhouette InstaLift compare to the traditional surgical facelift?

The primary difference between Silhouette InstaLift and the surgical facelift is that it does not require general anesthesia. There is also minimal downtime compared to surgery. Most patients return to their normal activities within 48 hours. Because there are no incisions, there is less risk of noticeable bruising.

Another difference between a surgical facelift and Silhouette InstaLift is that the volume loss is not addressed with the surgical facelift. A facelift ONLY tightens the skin, but does not address the underlying volume loss. Now, skin tightening and volume restoration can both be addressed in the same quick, non-invasive procedure with minimal downtime!

Silhouette InstaLift is not meant to replace traditional surgical facelift nor will it give the same lifting result compared to a surgical facelift. Silhouette InstaLift is for those who desire less dramatic yet noticeable, natural results with minimal downtime.

What is the difference between Silhouette Instalift and the older thread lifts?

The older thread lifts used permanent threads and experienced a brief heyday and quick demise in the United States around 2000. In the older thread lifting, barbed sutures were sewn into the face. The threads were difficult to remove and susceptible to breakage, and patients were prone to infection as well as irregular or ropy contours in the skin. In the worst cases the blue thread was visible beneath fine, pale skin, and there was visible tugging or pulling where the sutures were attached. Due to its many complications, it did not gain wide acceptance among doctors or patients.

The concept of a minimally invasive procedure that gives instant lift without the expense and downtime of a surgical facelift is now making a big comeback with safer and more effective absorbable threads. Additionally, before the sutures get fully absorbed, they stimulate collagen renewal and help to restore volume, creating a natural and long-lasting result.

Silhouette InstaLift is an entirely new technology. Rather than temporarily moving the surface of the skin with hooks and barbs, InstaLift instantly repositions the underlying layers of the skin with its patented bi-directional cones.

How much does Silhouette InstaLift treatment cost?

The cost depends on the number of areas that are treated. Please call to find out our latest special on Silhouette InstaLift procedure. At Serenity MedSpa, the Silhouette InstaLift is only performed by Dr. Lisa Kang to ensure the best results.

To learn if you are a good candidate Silhouette InstaLift, call today to schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Lisa Kang.

Call 415-781-9200 or email Info@SerenityMedSpa.com.

*Results May Vary
126 Post St, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108