A thread lift is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure designed to lift and tighten sagging skin on the face and neck using special threads. It’s often considered a less invasive alternative to traditional facelift or neck lift surgeries. The procedure involves inserting thin, dissolvable threads under the skin to lift and reposition the tissue, creating a more youthful and lifted appearance.
Here’s how a thread lift generally works:
- Consultation: The process begins with a consultation with a qualified medical professional, such as a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. They will assess your facial and neck anatomy, discuss your goals, and determine if you’re a suitable candidate for a thread lift.
- Local Anesthesia: Thread lift procedures are usually performed under local anesthesia. This means that the treatment area will be numbed to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
- Thread Insertion: Small incisions are made in the targeted areas, and thin threads with small barbs or cones attached to them are inserted under the skin. These threads are strategically placed to lift and support the tissues, improving the contours of the face and neck.
- Tissue Lifting: As the threads are inserted and then gently pulled, they lift the underlying tissues to create a more youthful appearance. The barbs or cones on the threads anchor the tissue in place.
- Thread Dissolution: Over time, the threads naturally dissolve within the body. As they dissolve, the body’s own collagen production is stimulated around the threads. This collagen formation helps maintain the lifting effect even after the threads are gone.
- Recovery: Recovery after a thread lift is generally quicker and less involved compared to traditional surgical procedures. Some swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort are common after the procedure, but these typically subside within a few days to a week.
- Results: The results of a thread lift can be seen immediately, although they may continue to improve as the collagen production continues over the following weeks. The lifting effect can last for several months to a year, depending on the individual and the type of threads used.
It’s important to note that while a thread lift offers less downtime and a quicker recovery than surgical options, the results are often more subtle and temporary. Additionally, not everyone is an ideal candidate for a thread lift, especially those with significant skin laxity. Consultation with a qualified medical professional is crucial to determine whether a thread lift is the right option for your goals and concerns.
What is a thread lift cost?
The cost of a thread lift can vary widely depending on several factors, including the geographic location of the clinic, the experience and reputation of the medical professional performing the procedure, the type of threads used, the number of threads required, and the specific areas being treated. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, I can provide you with a general idea of the cost range, but keep in mind that prices may have changed since then.
In the United States, a thread lift can cost anywhere from approximately $1,500 to $4,500 or more per treatment area. It’s important to note that most thread lift procedures require multiple threads to achieve the desired results, and this can influence the total cost.
Factors that can influence the cost of a thread lift include:
- Geographic Location: Prices tend to be higher in metropolitan areas with a higher cost of living.
- Clinic Reputation and Medical Professional Expertise: Experienced and reputable medical professionals might charge higher fees due to their skill and track record.
- Type of Threads: Different types of threads are available, and the cost can vary based on the quality and type of threads used.
- Number of Threads: The more threads required for your treatment, the higher the cost may be.
- Combination Procedures: Some patients opt for a thread lift in combination with other procedures, which can impact the overall cost.
- Additional Fees: The quoted cost might not include additional fees like facility fees, anesthesia fees, post-procedure care, and follow-up appointments.
- Market Competition: In areas with more clinics offering thread lift procedures, prices might be more competitive.
Before making a decision, it’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or qualified medical professional who can provide you with a personalized assessment and an accurate cost estimate based on your specific needs and goals. During the consultation, they can also explain what is included in the quoted cost and any potential additional expenses you should be aware of.
What is the disadvantage of thread lift?
While thread lifts offer certain advantages as a minimally invasive alternative to surgical procedures, there are also several disadvantages and considerations to be aware of. It’s important to thoroughly understand both the potential benefits and drawbacks before deciding if a thread lift is the right option for you. Here are some disadvantages of thread lifts:
- Temporary Results: The results of a thread lift are generally not as long-lasting as those of surgical procedures. The lifting effect achieved by the threads typically lasts several months to a year, and the threads themselves dissolve over time.
- Subtle Results: Thread lifts provide a more subtle improvement compared to surgical procedures like facelifts. They are better suited for individuals with mild to moderate sagging and may not be effective for individuals with significant skin laxity.
- Limited Lift: Thread lifts can provide a moderate lift, but they may not achieve the same level of lift and tightness as traditional surgical procedures.
- Risk of Complications: While thread lifts are minimally invasive, they still carry some risk of complications such as infection, bruising, swelling, asymmetry, thread migration, and thread visibility under the skin.
- Skill-Dependent: The success of a thread lift is highly dependent on the skill and experience of the medical professional performing the procedure. Choosing an experienced practitioner is crucial to achieving safe and effective results.
- Uneven Results: Achieving consistent and symmetrical results with thread lifts can be challenging. There is a possibility of uneven distribution of threads or an uneven lift in different areas.
- Discomfort and Side Effects: Discomfort, bruising, swelling, and minor pain are common side effects after a thread lift. While these symptoms are generally temporary, they can affect your daily activities during the initial recovery period.
- Cost Consideration: While thread lifts are generally less expensive than surgical options, they are not a one-time investment. Over time, repeated treatments may be needed to maintain the results.
- Not Suitable for Everyone: Thread lifts are best suited for individuals with specific concerns and skin conditions. They may not be appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions, significant skin laxity, or those seeking more dramatic results.
- Limited Areas: Thread lifts are typically used for smaller treatment areas like the midface, jawline, and neck. They may not be suitable for larger areas or for addressing issues like excess skin.
- Longevity of Practitioners: Thread lifts are a relatively newer procedure, and the longevity of practitioners and clinics performing the procedure might be a consideration in terms of follow-up care and potential maintenance.
Before deciding on a thread lift or any other cosmetic procedure, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified medical professional who can assess your individual concerns, discuss your goals, and provide personalized recommendations based on your needs and anatomy. This will help you make an informed decision about the most appropriate treatment option for you.
Do thread lifts really work?
Yes, thread lifts can work to provide temporary lifting and tightening of the skin. However, the degree of effectiveness can vary based on factors such as the type of threads used, the skill of the practitioner, the patient’s skin condition, and their expectations. Here’s what you should know about the effectiveness of thread lifts:
- Moderate Lift: Thread lifts can achieve a moderate degree of lift and improvement in facial and neck contours. They are particularly effective for addressing mild to moderate sagging and can be used to target specific areas like the cheeks, jowls, and neck.
- Immediate and Gradual Results: Patients often notice some immediate improvement right after the procedure due to the physical lifting of the tissues by the threads. However, the full effects become more apparent as the threads stimulate collagen production over the following weeks.
- Stimulation of Collagen: One of the key benefits of thread lifts is that they encourage the body’s natural collagen production around the threads. Collagen is a protein that contributes to skin’s firmness and elasticity. This collagen formation helps to extend the lifting effect even after the threads have dissolved.
- Duration of Results: The longevity of thread lift results varies from person to person and can depend on the type of threads used. Results typically last several months to a year, and some patients might choose to have maintenance treatments to prolong the effects.
- Patient Selection: The best candidates for thread lifts are individuals with mild to moderate skin laxity. Those with more significant sagging or excess skin might not achieve the desired results with a thread lift and might be better suited for surgical options like a facelift or neck lift.
- Skill of the Practitioner: The experience and skill of the practitioner performing the procedure play a significant role in the success of a thread lift. A skilled practitioner will know how to place the threads correctly to achieve balanced and natural-looking results.
- Realistic Expectations: It’s important for patients to have realistic expectations about what a thread lift can achieve. While they can provide a noticeable improvement, they won’t create the same level of lift and long-lasting results as a surgical facelift.
- Consultation: To determine whether a thread lift is a suitable option for your specific concerns and goals, it’s essential to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon or a qualified medical professional. They can assess your skin’s condition, discuss the procedure’s potential benefits and limitations, and help you make an informed decision.
In summary, thread lifts can be effective for the right candidates looking for a minimally invasive option to address mild to moderate sagging. If you’re considering a thread lift, make sure to consult with a qualified practitioner to discuss your goals and determine if the procedure aligns with your expectations.
Dr Clara Lee is specializes in aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body, and is considered one of the best facial plastic surgeons in the world. MD, FACS, is highly qualified and experienced in the field of plastic surgery and aesthetic care and has performed over 10,000 surgical procedures.
Dr. Clara Lee couples his outstanding professional credentials and ethics with a personalized approach to patient care and a keen eye for aesthetic beauty.
Specialties: plastic surgeon, plastic surgery
by Clara Lee
Reviewed by Clara Lee
approved by Dr Clara Lee