Want to lift and tighten sagging skin or regain your youthful contours, but not quite ready for a facelift? A thread lift might be the nonsurgical answer you’re looking for. It’s an in-office procedure that uses medical threads stitched into place to lift the skin and boost the production of collagen, which can increase firmness and fullness. A thread lift can be used instead of filler injections or in addition to filler injections and other cosmetic procedures.
What Is a Thread Lift?
With age, skin becomes thinner and weaker and less able to resist the downward pull of gravity. In addition, the body produces less collagen, a protein that supports the skin. As a result, areas of the face tend to sag.
In a thread lift, sutures, or threads, are inserted under the skin with a small needle to “anchor” loose skin in place, pulling it back to appear tighter or lifted. The threads also prompt the body to produce collagen as part of the healing response.
Water’s Edge Dermatology providers use a flexible, absorbable medical thread called polydioxanone (PDO) or Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) threads. Different types of PDO threads — smooth, twisted or barbed — perform different functions, and the provider may use one or a combination of all three.
Thread lift recovery time is minimal, and you’ll see a difference in the treated areas right away. Over time, you’ll also see the benefits of increased collagen production, including improvements in the tone and firmness of the skin.
Though the results of a thread lift are less dramatic than those of a facelift, a thread lift poses fewer risks and costs considerably less.
What Signs of Aging Can a Thread Lift Improve?
A thread lift can help address:
- Drooping eyelids
- Sagging cheeks
- Marionette lines
- Looseness of the neck skin
- Lines in the neck area (necklace lines)
- Wrinkled décolletage (upper chest)
In addition to the face and neck, a thread lift can also be used on other parts of the body, including the knees, breasts, backs of the arms and buttocks. Threads also can be used to treat acne scars, stretch marks and surgical scars.
Thread Lift Candidates
People in their 30s to mid-50s with mild skin sagging are the ideal candidates for a thread lift. Older people with more skin sagging will have better results with a surgical facelift. If surgery is not an option for medical reasons such as such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, a thread lift can still yield visible improvements.
What to Expect During and After a Thread Lift
A thread lift is performed under local anesthesia and typically takes 15 to 45 minutes depending on how many threads are inserted. You can drive yourself home afterward.
The treated areas may be slightly red, swollen and sore immediately after the procedure, but prescription pain medication isn’t usually needed. During recovery, you should avoid rubbing your face, even when you wash it or apply skin care products. You may also be advised to sleep on your back.
How Long Does a Thread Lift Last?
The results of a thread lift can last one to three years, at which point the procedure can be repeated.
Thread Lift Before and After Photos
Performed by: Dr. Bebe Pajo