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All Sewed Up

Face-lifts without surgery? Dermatologists break out the needle and thread.

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Dermatologists keep encroaching on plastic surgeons' turf, and now they're even offering their own face-lift: "Feathering," in which (are you ready?) thread is woven under the skin and pulled up with a spinal-tap (!) needle. Tiny hooks on the thread anchor into the facial muscles to hold everything permanently in place. "The technology is easy," says Dr. Steven Victor. And you can go back to work the next day. "I was sick of collagen, but I wasn't ready to be sliced,'' says Rita, 42, who had the folds on the side of her nose threaded. "It looks natural, and all I had was a little puffiness that first night!'' The cost is $2,000 for the upper face, $1,000 for the lower. But plastic surgeon Dan Baker is skeptical: "The sutures could break through the skin in areas that you move a lot, like around the mouth. One day at lunch someone could say, 'Darling, you have cat whiskers.' "


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