A thread lift is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that helps to correct loose and sagging skin. For many people, a thread lift is an ideal alternative to other forms of facial cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift.
What Is a Thread Lift Treatment?
A thread lift is a type of procedure whereby a cosmetic surgeon uses temporary sutures to create a visible lift in the skin. Instead of removing your loose facial skin, a plastic surgeon will suspend it by stitching up parts of it using dissolvable threads.
What Can Thread Lifts Achieve?
Thread lifts can provide a wide range of benefits. They can effectively:
- Improve the quality of your skin
- Reduce roundness
- Redefine the contour of the face
- Reduce wrinkles
- Enhance the volume of your lips
- Lift sagging skin in the cheeks, jowls, and neck
- Stimulate collagen production
Areas of the Body That Can Be Treated with a Thread Lift
Many people decide to get a thread lift treatment to improve the aesthetic appearance of their face, in areas such as the:
- Forehead (brow lift)
- Upper and lower cheeks
- Nasolabial folds
- Smoker’s lines
- Marionette lines
But many other areas of the body can be treated as well, including:
Thread lifts can also make an impact on cellulite and stretch marks.
Who’s Eligible for Thread Lifts?
The best candidates for thread lifts have loose or sagging skin that hasn’t successfully been corrected through any other treatment. Good candidates are also those who don’t want to pursue an invasive form of cosmetic surgery. When you come in for a consultation, Elaine Ver Halen, MPAS, PA-C, will determine your eligibility for treatment based on your overall health. He will take into account factors such as:
- Quality of the skin
- Health conditions
- Current medications
- Lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking
How Do Thread Lifts Work?
A beautiful, healthy-looking face tends to have a “V” shape. As people age, they lose the facial contours of this “V” shape. A thread lift treatment uses absorbable threads to create a frame that supports the skin tissue in your face, helping to maintain the “V” shape you desire.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
First, a local anesthetic is gently injected into the areas of your skin targeted for treatment. During the treatment itself, a cosmetic surgeon takes a delicate needle preloaded with the synthetic threads and inserts them into the skin.
When the plastic surgeon removes the needle, the thread is left beneath the skin. Your skin reacts to the threads by repairing itself around the suture. During this repair process, your body produces collagen, the protein that gives skin a youthful appearance. The repair process is known as “controlled healing,” and it’s a principle behind many other types of aesthetic procedures, such as chemical peels and microneedling.
A cosmetic surgeon carefully applies the threads to areas with volume loss or folds. They may also use the synthetic threads to pull and tighten loose skin. Depending on your desired results, you can combine synthetic threads with dermal fillers (injections used to fill the cheeks or lips) or injectables (such as BOTOX®). Elaine will discuss these options with you during your one-on-one consultation.
In terms of a thread lift as a standalone treatment, the procedure can last between 20 and 60 minutes, depending on the area(s) treated. The lift thread treatment is quick and painless. No sedative is needed, so you can drive yourself home afterward.
How Long Do Thread Lift Results Last?
Over the four to six months following a thread lift treatment, the threads dissolve, leaving behind no scar tissue. But you don’t have to wait this long to notice benefits. You will see noticeable results immediately after treatment, including a visible lift and/or textural improvements in your face. You will continue to enjoy these results for upwards of four months following your treatment. During this time, new collagen forms around and between threads, which furthers lifting and tightening.
What Are the Risks of a Thread Lift Treatment?
Since a thread lift is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure, the risks are generally low. Still, any procedure to the body comes with a few risks. In this case, experiencing a bit of redness, soreness, and swelling is common. In rare instances, you may experience irritation or infection, or your sutures may become visible underneath the skin. If this occurs, a cosmetic surgeon can simply remove the sutures. After doing so, your face will return to how it looked before treatment.
Thread lift treatments are not intensive, but you should still take certain precautions to help aid the healing process and get the best results:
- Don’t rub your face vigorously when washing or applying products to it for at least a week following treatment.
- When sleeping, prop your head up slightly to ensure you don’t roll over directly onto your face, which may affect the healing process.
What Are the Benefits of Lift Threads?
There are advantages to having a thread lift over a facelift:
- Greatly reduced recovery time
- No need for sedative drugs – This makes it easier for you to get on with your day following treatment. You can even drive yourself home when the procedure is finished.
- No need for round-the-clock care following treatment – Some surgical facelift patients need a caretaker for at least three days following surgery. This is not necessary with a thread lift.
- Returning to work and other activities immediately after treatment, unlike with a facelift, which may require you to take one or two weeks off work to heal
- Rare need for strong pain medication – Again, this makes it easier to return to your normal routine after treatment
- Virtually no risk of scarring, bleeding, severe bruising, or other complications
Different Types of Thread Lifts
What Are NovaThreads?
NovaThreads are synthetic, absorbable surgical sutures. They are composed of polydioxanone (PDO), a material that heart surgeons have been using for the past 60 years. Sometimes the treatment is called a “PDO thread lift.” Cosmetic surgeons use PDO threads on clients who want to temporarily enhance the appearance of particular areas of their bodies.
What Is a Silhouette InstaLift?
Silhouette InstaLift, like a treatment with NovaThreads, involves using absorbable sutures to lift facial skin, achieving a more youthful appearance in the process. But there are some important differences between these two types of thread lift. For example, when carrying out a Silhouette InstaLift, a cosmetic surgeon uses threads made from polylactic acid (PLA). This chemical has been used in orthopedic pins, rods, screws, and nails for bones—and as sutures—for many years.
Differences Between NovaThreads and Silhouette InstaLift
Here are some other differences between the two types of thread lift:
- The Silhouette InstaLift focuses more on lifting the skin than promoting collagen production (although it will also achieve the latter).
- Silhouette InstaLift threads are interspersed with tiny “cones,” which help to grab the tissue. This differs from the individual threads of NovaThreads, which can be smooth or barbed.
- A Silhouette InstaLift treatment tends to produce longer-lasting results—one to three years compared to approximately a year with NovaThreads.
- PLA threads (Silhouette InstaLift) are designed to restore the youthful appearance of the face, whereas PDO threads (NovaThreads) can be applied to other areas of the body.
- The Silhouette Instalift is more expensive than NovaThreads but still significantly cheaper than facelift surgery.
The benefits of a thread lift treatment make it ideal for people with busy lives. It’s an easy, temporary, and low-risk way to improve your appearance! Contact Ver Halen Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery in Colleyville to schedule a thread lift consultation.