Is sagging skin bringing you down? Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common signs of aging, yet also the most difficult to hide. Until recent years, the only viable option was a surgical facelift – both expensive and slightly terrifying! Finally, there’s a far less daunting and effective method that doesn’t involve going under the knife, and literally takes less than an hour. Face-threading is the latest non-surgical technique that is literally everywhere in Hollywood – it gives instant results with minimal downtime, and no scars! What’s not to love????
In this blog, our own Dr. Shaw gives us the low down on how thread lifts work to tighten sagging jowls and drooping cheeks. The rise of noninvasive procedures has shifted our aesthetic culture and patients are now seeking less invasive, less painful, less expensive procedures with shorter recovery times.
Similar to a surgical facelift, a thread lift addresses loose, crepey skin and can reverse signs of aging to help patients look like a more revitalized version of themselves. The procedure lifts and tightens saggy skin for a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
Minimal downtime is also a particularly appealing advantage to patients who are unable or unwilling to take time off to heal from a facelift. This nonsurgical option avoids the downtime and permanency of a traditional facelift…..win win!
While a series of skin resurfacing treatments can help restore some degree of firmness, but once loose skin is present only surgery would truly remove it-until now! While injectables and skin resurfacing work until a surgical facelift becomes necessary, not all patients want to have surgery.
If you are not ready for surgery to tighten skin, you’ll be happy to know that thread lifts can fill in the gap between noninvasive facial rejuvenation and traditional facelifts.
What is a Thread Lift?
A thread lift is a nonsurgical FDA-approved procedure designed to counteract skin laxity on the face, neck, and jowls – available in various sizes, lengths, and diameters – can be used almost anywhere. The sutures dissolve over time and do not need any anchoring, making it a very easy, fast in-office procedure. Their popularity has soared because of their “lunchtime’ appeal and their ease of use.
Conceptually, the thread-lift is the suspension of falling facial soft tissue via a thread subcutaneously inserted in the skin. First, a small amount of local anesthesia is placed for comfort. Next, the suture thread is inserted via a cannula into the skin through a needle puncture. The thread is essentially “hooked” to the skin and, with a minimal amount of tightening, the skin is lifted and the suture is cut at the insertion point. The sutures dissolve and, over time, produce collagen which forms a natural scaffold, lifting the skin and holding it in position.
Thread lifts came onto the market in the late 1990’s but were difficult to use and the technology just wasn’t as good as what we have now.
Thread lifts are extremely versatile and can be used to:
- Create a brow lift
- Improve eyelid heaviness
- Lift the mid face, sometimes referred to as the “ponytail lift”
- Create a more almond shaped eye
- Sharpen the jawline
- Improve jowling and sagging of the skin
- Tighten the neck
The “pony tail lift”, which lifts the tips of the eyebrows and the area around the corner of the eyes, creating that exotic look you’re probably seeing all over your social media feeds. For the right face this can produce really beautiful results.
And let’s not forget about our lips! Threads can also be used for the lips to create a “lip flip” and to smooth out those fine lines around the mouth. By boosting collagen production in the lips, they will leave them with more definition and a lovely smooth texture.
Your results from a thread lift will be instantly apparent (one reason why this is often referred to as InstaLift), and your results will improve 4-6 weeks after treatment as collagen is formed. There is continual improvement for 3-4 months after the procedure. Another very cool thing about the thread lift is that due to collagenesis the quality of your skin improves and your own body ends up being the agent that maintains the result of your thread life to 12-18 months following treatment.
So, although your body will naturally metabolize the threads after about 6-9 months, your result will be maintained for many months beyond that.
Why a Thread Lift and not Filler?
You may be wondering why get a thread lift and not filler? After all, dermal fillers also fill in where volume may have been lost and can also stimulate the production of collagen. This is true, but filler, well, fills and threads lift.
We find that the thread lift can be a great alternative for patients who don’t want or need filler but desires a lifted look. Do you look in the mirror after you’ve put your hair into a high ponytail and think that looks really nice? Well, then, you’re probably a good candidate for a thread lift.
The versatility of the threads allows us to pretty much treat any area of the face such as, the cheeks, jowls, neck, eyebrows, jaw line, areas under the eyes and around the nose, crow’s feet, and marionette lines. They can be used almost anywhere we use filler, but remember instead of filling, they lift the skin.
However, threads do complement other cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers. Working together, they exert a synergistic effect to give a natural, refreshed appearance. When used in combination with Kybella to decrease the size of the jowl, dermal filler to restore volume loss, neuromodulators to soften fine lines and PDO sutures to lift lax tissue, the results can be impressive. Over time and with repeated treatments, these modalities promote your own natural healing processes to build scaffolding and collagen for a longer-lasting, natural-looking you.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for a Thread Lift?
The ideal thread lift candidate is usually in his or her late thirties to early sixties (yes, this is for the guys too). Thread lifts have more subtle results compared to traditional facelifts, therefore, the procedure is not indicated for severe laxity and volume loss. So, if you are looking for gradual improvement, minimal down time and mild lifting, this could be the right treatment for you! It is especially well-suited to women and men seeking facial rejuvenation without incisions, scarring, general anesthesia, or a lengthy recovery.
Thread-lifts are one of our most popular services and can last for 12-18 months.
Is the Thread Lift Painful?
We use a local anesthetic to ensure that the treatment is extremely comfortable. Patients describe the sensation as being a bit strange, but comfortable and the procedure is extremely quick.
What is the recovery for a Thread lIft like?
Similar to fillers that provide a “liquid face-lift,” the downtime is minimal. They are low risk, thanks to how noninvasive they are. There is virtually no risk of significant scarring, severe bruising is rare on the face, but more common on the forehead. Tenderness and soreness, particularly in or near the hairline or jawline, is common and can last up to 2 weeks. Patients should refrain from heavy exercise and opening their mouth wide with chewing for 5-7 days (such as eating a large apple). Minor dimpling on the skin can occur and usually resolves on its own.
In rare cases, patients may experience irritation, infection or their sutures becoming visible under their skin. If this occurs, however, the sutures can be removed and the patient’s face will return to its prior state.
How Much Does a Thread Lift Cost?
It depends on how many areas are treated and how many threads are needed, but likely somewhere between $2100 and $4000.
If you have questions or are interested in a PDO Thread Lift, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaw or our Nurse Practitioner Whitney for more information to see if this is right for you! Also, check out Dr. Shaw’s video @ https://youtu.be/qT9Zsspxoik for more information!