Thread lift

A thread lift utilises sutures to lift and reposition the skin on the face. It is a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift.

Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Dr. Gavin Chan

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
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Quick Facts

  • A thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure using suture material to lift and reposition sagging skin on the face.
  • It helps to restore the contour of the cheeks and lifts nasolabial folds, and jowls.
  • Thread lifts help to re-establish a natural and youthful facial shape and improve skin quality

What is a thread lift?

A thread lift uses a thread placed just under the skin to lift and reposition the skin. The term ‘thread lift’ can be used interchangeably with ‘suture lift’ or ‘stitch lift’. The treatment is not new, but has gained popularity over the past few years with the development of new absorbable threads. Plastic surgeons Des Fernandes, Greg Ruff and Nicanor Isse all independently pioneered this the thread lift in the nineties. The original methods used non-resorbable suture material to lift the face. The newer threads are resorbable and have barbs or cones along its length that help to pull back the skin when the thread is retracted and positioned. Three commonly used threads are; PLLA or poly L-lactic acid sutures, PDO or polydioxanone sutures, and PCA or polycaprolactone sutures. All are resorbable. The immediate effect of a thread lift is the lifting of the skin and soft tissues of the face.  In the longer term, the sutures are resorbed and new collagen production is stimulated, helping to improve the quality and thickness of the skin. Furthermore, the fibrosis the threads cause helps to further lift and tighten the skin in the long term.

Who is a suitable candidate for a thread lift?

Suitable candidates are those who require lifting of the skin and soft tissues and do not want a surgical facelift. Both men and women and suitable for the procedure.  It is suited to those requiring improvement in the facial shape and contours, lifting of the cheeks or jowls, and improvement in the definition of the jawline. It may also help to improve nasolabial folds or marionette lines (mouth corner folds).

Thread lifts may be suited to those who are not ready for a facelift, or those who would prefer to avoid facelift surgery altogether. Although a thread lift does not create as much change as a facelift, this may be advantageous to those who prefer to look ‘refreshed’ rather than have significantly noticeable or dramatic changes.

How is a thread lift performed?

A thread lift can be performed in the clinic setting without the need for a general anaesthetic. Injections of local anaesthetic are placed in the patient’s face along the lines where the threads will be placed. Silhouette threads are a brand of threads that are attached to a long needle. This needle is passed through the face in the vector of the desired retraction. The needle is then cut from the threads and the end of the thread retracts back under the skin. Mint threads are a brand of threads that are inserted via the use of a blunt cannula containing the thread. The time it takes to perform the procedure may vary depending on the number of threads used, but usually takes from 1 to 2 hours.

What is the recovery or downtime from a thread lift?

Usually, it is possible to resume most of your daily activities immediately. Vigorous exercise and swimming are to be avoided for a few days and make-up is to be avoided in the first 24 hours.

It is common to experience swelling, bruising and some dimpling on your skin in the first week after threads. There may be a feeling of tightness in the face, especially on opening and closing of the mouth. Tenderness of the face is common, but not usually pain.

How long do the results last?

Immediate results are seen post-procedure, with gradual improvements over 6 weeks to 6 months as the collagen-stimulating properties of the threads are realised.  The results last between 12-18 months, although this varies with different individuals and other ongoing ageing factors such as genetics and environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and weight.

Why choose us to do your thread lift?

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, Dr. Aliaa Yusof is our thread lift expert and has performed a large number of thread lifts. We have both the Silhouette threads and Mint threads available to you.

Dr. Aliaa Yusof combines both her technical and aesthetic skills to help provide you with the best outcomes for your thread lift.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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