Fox Eye Thread Lift Cosmetic Procedures: Risks, Benefits

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  • Some patients going in for “fox eye” cosmetic procedures say they are being left with pain, scarring, and asymmetrical results.
  • “Fox eye” thread lift procedures use barbed sutures to pull the skin towards the corner of the eye.
  • The procedures is non-surgical and results last about six months. The average cost in the US is $2,050.

Plastic surgery patients are going under the knife to achieve Bella Hadid’s pulled back, feline-shaped “fox eyes” — and some are being left with temporarily lopsided faces.

TikTok user Jessie Carr said a “fox eye” thread lift procedure gave her uneven eyebrows, left her swollen for weeks, and popped a blood vessel during the procedure.

 

Another TikTok user, Chloe Dayan, shared her story of being left with indented temples and no results after getting a dissolvable polydioxanone (PDO) thread lift.

“It was the most painful thing I’ve done in my entire life, and I’ve done a thing or two,” Dayan said on TikTok. “I had a stupid thread showing in my face for months.”

 

Plastic surgeons told the Daily Mail some patients going in for “fox eye” cosmetic procedures are being left with pain, scarring, and asymmetrical results.

The “fox eye” thread lift, also called the “cat-eye” lift, have increased in popularity over the years due to the rise of celebrities like Hadid, who have such feline features, surgeons told the Mail. But the thread lift has risks if performed by a non-board-certified plastic surgeon.

“The care you get is often dictated by the door you walk into,” said Dr. Alan Matarasso, a Manhattan-based plastic surgeon and the former president of American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “You need to go to a board certified plastic surgeon who can offer the entire array of choices.”

How does a “fox eye” lift work?

Matarasso said the “fox eye” procedure is not a face lift, which involves cutting into the side of the face, the jowl, and the neck and pulling excess skin towards the hairline.

The “fox eye” procedure is non-surgical, and involves using a barbed, dissoluble suture thread to pull the skin up and out. After a plastic surgeon inserts the thread, the barbs catch onto the underside of the skin. The doctor will then pull the threads towards the corner of the eye, and the barbs will keep the skin in place.

The “fox eye” procedure is more similar in technique to an eyelid operation than a face lift, Matarasso said.

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a semi-permanent option in which a surgeon cuts into the skin and removes excess fat in the upper and lower lids to decrease the appearance of sagging and puffiness. Matarasso said patients getting blepharoplasty do not wish to change the shape of their eyes, but rather remove the appearance of aging.

The “fox eye” thread lift, on the other hand, does involve changing the shape of a patient’s eye and brow for about six months before the threads dissolve, Matarasso said.

Maintaining the results of a “fox eye” thread lift can be costly: the average cost for thread lifts in the US is $2,050, according to Healthline.

What do prospective patients need to know before getting a “fox eye” thread lift?

Matarasso said a downside to the thread lift is asymmetry between the two sides, sometimes due to barbs not catching to the skin and pulling it. The barbs are meant to catch to the underside of the skin internally, and the technique to doing so is “surgeon dependent,” Matarasso added. 

Dr. Sanjay Grover, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Newport Beach, California, said there is a “rare” risk a thread lift could damage the temporal branch of the facial nerve, which helps with raising the forehead and closing the eye.

Grover added that, depending on where the sutures are placed and their thickness, some thread could be visible on a patient’s face until it dissolves, or patients might feel them on their face. Matarasso said visible threads can sometimes be manipulated into a better position by a surgeon after the fact.

“My perspective may be skewed because the people I see are the failures,” Grover said. “I’ll see people who may have had it done elsewhere and then want to do something more permanent with surgery, but not as extreme.”

But because sutures dissolve and the procedure is non-surgical, Matarasso said the appearance will fade for patients who did not like the results of the “fox eye” lift.

Even though “fox eye” procedures aren’t surgical and can be performed in medical spas, Grover recommends patients see a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon who is familiar with brow lift procedures and can provide the best assessment on which one would provide the natural-looking results.



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