Thread Lift As an Alternative to Full Facelift?

I have heard that a "thread lift" is alternative to a "full" facelift. What is this? Is it less extensive and expensive? Less scarring? I am 49 but with minimal sagging. I'd just like a little lift. Is there such a thing?

Doctor Answers (5)

Thread LIft is more like a Marionette LIft!

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Thread lifts like contour threat lift and now Silhouette lift impress you with their relative simplicity. The concenpt of placing sutures subcutaneously (under the skin) with a little local anesthesia and ... wa lah,  your look ten  years younger. The  problem is they don't hold and they can create dimples and irregularites over time. These procedures can use 4-6 per side, reminicent of a marionette. No one wants to be a marrionette, because as you know when the strings get loose the puppet falls to the grownd. Not such a good thing when talking about your face.  There is another procedure, not to be confused with threadlifts called malar suspension lifts which perhaps have a little better rational. These suture based procedures are suspending the malar fat pad which is different from the skin, and relies on only one or two sutures per side to achieve a lifting effect. It has very specific indications for malar descent contributing to prominent nasalfacial grooves.  Conventional facelifts are the gold standard for facial rejuvenation but it is not for everybody.  An individualized treatment approach is allways recommended weighing the pros and cons of each approach.


Albany Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Thread Lift vs. Face Lift

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The thread lift lifts a different area of the fact. It lifts a small amount more in the cheek area. It is an alternative to a full face lift and it is in fact cheaper than a full face lift.

Elliot M. Heller, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Is a threadlift an alternative to a full facelift?...

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A Threadlift and a Facelift treat separate areas of the face, so one procedure cannot substitute for another.  The threadlift focuses more on the cheek area and nasal folds, giving a subtle lift to the midface.  A full Facelift primarily lifts the sagging skin in the neck  and jawline.  A threadlift is a relatively minor procedure that can be done under a local injection in about one hour with a smaller incision.  A full Facelift is a more detailed, time consuming procedure that is done under general anesthesia.  The results are more dramatic and can last up to ten years where a threadlift can give results lasting up to five years.  The recovery time for a threadlift is minimal, about 7 days, with some slight swelling and bruising.  A Facelift has a recovery time of about 10 days.  If you have minimal sagging along the jawline, a mini facelift may work well for you.  Consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to see what would be the best procedure for your needs. 

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

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Silhouette lift can provide improvement in jowls and nasolabial folds

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We have many options available for facial rejuvenation. Your choice depends on a number of factors, including your goals, recover time, medical history, and budget. The thread lifts provides moderate improvement of the jowl and lower portion of the nasolabial folds. The Silhouette lift is a new, improved version of the threat lift. The suture itself is stronger and works with bioabsorbable cones rather than barbs which has reduced complications due to contour irregularities, failure, and asymmetry. The technique has been refined over the past several years, initially in Europe and now in the United States. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia. It works best for those with jowl and nasolabial folds, but can provide improvement in the neck. The threads can be re tightened for further lifting if needed. Silhouette lift can be combined with fillers and Botox for facial wrinkles, eyelid lifts, liposuction of the neck for an overall facial improvement. The results of the procedure can last up to 3-4 years. This may be the best option for those with early signs of aging and not ready for a cheek and neck lift. The procedure is affordable making it an excellent option. These advantages have to be compared to the temporary improvement provided.

I do not recommend a mini face lift or any of the branded mini face lifts as the results age short-lived and not worth the costs. This procedure does not last very long as only a limited amount of skin is removed and there is no correction of the muscles.

The results of a face and neck lift with muscle (SMAS and platysma) correction, although more expensive, can provide spectacular results and is much longer lasting than a mini face lift or thread lift


I recommend consulting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has experience with thread lifts, mini face lifts, and face and neck lifts to discuss you options.


Best regards, Andrew Lyos, MD, FACS

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Thread lifting as an alternative to face lifts

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Thread lifts are NOT an alternative to a full facelift. They may be an alternative to a mini face lift. However, the early reports of thread lifting and the initial excitement has clearly subsided and many of the original products such as the contour threads are no longer available. The threads are passed through the face with needles or very small incisions (typically within the hairline) and with the far end possessing barbs, or other "snagging" like devices to grab the skin/fascia whereas the near end is secured to a deep facial structure to achieve the lifting. It does have less scarring but it is not necessarily less expensive. There has been great discussion of absorbable vs permanent sutures as well as various methods of fixation. At present there are no great options for thread lifting and it is not a viable alternative to a facelift, in my opinion.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.