Many cosmetic patients want to lift their face, neck, cheeks, and eyes. However, some patients are averse to or not appropriate candidates for facial surgery. Alternative options such as wrinkles relaxers and facial fillers can improve one’s appearance without surgery, but these don’t really lift skin like surgery does. Patients’ desire for less downtime after plastic surgery has some plastic surgeons and dermatologists using threads or sutures to lift the skin without surgery. But do threads work?
What is a thread lift?
Thread lift procedures are an alternative to facelift surgery, which may provide a temporary solution to improving one’s appearance. The idea is to “lift” the tissue with barbed sutures in a minimally invasive fashion. Tissue is lifted, but no excess skin or fat is removed.
Thread-type lifts are most suited to patients with mild aging changes, not for the heavy “turkey” neck. The procedure typically takes less than an hour and is performed in the office via local anesthesia. The results may last up to a year or so. Thread lifts are not a replacement for surgery.
Thread lifts were initially popular several years ago, but lost popularity as the procedure overpromised and under delivered. The original thread lifts were taken off the market by the FDA and are no longer available in the US. More recently, newer types of thread lifts have become available that offer some improvements over the older thread lifts. There are many branded lifts out there, which only adds to patient confusion.
What are the available thread lifts?
Suspension or thread lifts in the US include:
- Silhouette Lift®
These thread lifts use suture materials that gradually dissolve, which may also stimulate collagen production as they dissolve. Costs range from $4500 and above.
Who is an ideal candidate for a non-surgical thread lift?
People who have
- thin or medium skin thickness
- mild skin laxity
- mild signs of facial aging
- little time for recovery after surgery
Where can a thread lift be performed?
What is the difference between a thread lift and a liquid facelift?
These are two completely separate treatments. A liquid facelift adds volume with facial fillers or fat to rejuvenate the face. We reviewed liquid facelift in a previous blog post. Thread lift uses sutures to suspend and lift facial tissue in a higher position.
Is a thread lift worth it?
This is a difficult question to answer, as each patient is unique in terms of facial anatomy and personal preferences. Plastic surgeons, especially those who specialize in facelift surgery, have reported generally more patient satisfaction with a surgical facelift or neck lift as compared to a non-surgical thread lift. Some plastic surgeons and patients believe thread lifts are not worth it.
As with all plastic surgery, however, a consultation is required with a board-certified surgeon who can provide appropriate options. For some patients, however, a thread lift procedure may be the “best” option for them.
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