What is a thread lift?

A thread lift, or facial threading (also known as the “lunchtime lift”) is a minimally invasive procedure that can performed in the office while you are awake.  Thread lifts have been around since the early 1990’s and their popularity has waxed and waned over the years.  New materials and techniques have once again brought facial threading back into the spotlight as an option for facial rejuvenation. 

During a thread lift, large, barbed sutures are placed under the skin.  The barbs are designed to catch and hold the tissue to provide a subtle tightening effect.   There is a potential secondary benefit in that as the threads dissolve, the tissue heals potentially producing some collagen.  This may add some volume. 

How long does a thread lift last?

Much like fillers and injectables, the results from the thread are very temporary. At most they will last one to two years. The advantage then is, if you don’t like them, they will dissolve in your body will absorb the sutures the disadvantages. If you did like the result, you would need to have another thread lift procedure to get that result again in the year or two.

Who is the best candidate for a thread lift?

A thread is really best for the following people:

  • with very early signs of aging in their late 30s to early 40s
  • don’t want a noticeable result
  • Don’t want to have cosmetic surgery
  • Don’t have time for any of downtime or recovery time
  • Have already had a facelift and just want to touch up a small area

Is a thread that worth it?

This question really depends on what you’re hoping to get out of the procedure. If you’re looking for something that’s relatively quick with low risk and minimal downtime, it may be a good option.  The results tend to be quite subtle and temporary. So it’s important to factor that in when you’re considering this procedure.

What are the potential complications of a thread lift?

The most common complications are puckering / lumpiness at the site of the suture placement and bleeding / bruising immediately after the procedure. Less common would be allergic reactions to the suture or infection.  There are some rare, but serious complications if the threads damage nerves or the product gland in the face. Fortunately, these are very rare.

What’s better a thread lift or a mini facelift?

For patients who are looking for a less invasive or less expensive alternative, a thread lift may be an option.  The main downside of a thread lift is that threads can only give about 25-30% of the improvement of a facelift.  Also the results typically only last one to two years as opposed to the 12-15 years you will get from your facelift. Still, for people with only mild to moderate signs of facial aging or for people that cannot afford the 2-3 weeks of recovery time for a facelift, threads may be an option.  While we at Tucson Plastic Surgery do not offer threads, there are several capable, competent providers in Tucson and Southern Arizona that do. 

In our experience, a mini facelift is still the better option. In that procedure, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons can address the true cause of facial aging by addressing the important layers of the face that have relaxed overtime. They can also add volume by using the patient’s own fat and restoring what nature has taken away. The total surgery time is only a couple of hours and the recovery time is only a couple of weeks. With that investment, we can ensure the patients really get natural, authentic results that they’re happy with and that last them a time.

Silvia Kurtovic, MD & Raman Mahabir, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

At Tucson Plastic Surgery, we have a patient-centric approach that sets us apart from the rest. We take the time to really get to know you and your aesthetic goals during one-on-one conversations which help us to fully understand your motivations.

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