Difference Between Silhouette Lift and Contour Thread Lift?

Has anyone had experience using the new Thread lift product, Silhouette Lift? If so, how does it differ from Contour Lift. Looking for an alternative to a full blown Facelift.

Doctor Answers 11

Instalift (Silhouette lift)

Thank you for your question.  The Silhouette Instalift is a minimally invasive solution that delivers a great option to patients for whom a facelift surgery is not their preferred approach. There have been several different suture lifts in the past that may have been pulled off the market because due to complications.  The Instalift differs in that the material is resorbable and the suture material actually stimulates collagen as well.  One of the main materials used in the Instalift is the main active ingredient in Sculptra which is commonly used by advanced injectors for facial rejuvenation for collagen stimulation.  In addition, Instalift uses bi-directional cones to reposition the subdermal tissue and facial skin to a more lifted and youthful position.  Over time the implanted sutures and cones also stimulate your own collagen for natural and long lasting results. Please contact a Silhouette certified physician for a consultation.  Best of luck!


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

The InstaLift uses an absorbable suture with cones that improves safety and efficacy

Since we, with three or four others, began thread lifting of the cheeks in the mid- 90's, early 2000's, the procedure has undergone multiple revisions. The contour thread lift used barbed sutures of prolene (permanent sutures) that could cause various abnormalities of skin texture and had a failure rate. The InstaLift is the latest thread lift of absorbable material and represents a quantum leap forward in safety and efficacy.  The cones that attach to the threads catch the tissue and hold it in place long enough (before dissolving) for the body's own scar tissue to provide a longer term "lift".  The insertion device is simple and only rarely causes bruising of significance.  The patient can do it over a "lunch time" and drive home.  There are only three small blebs of local used for each thread that is placed, with the patient sitting up in a "dental" type of chair.  Our patients have been happy with the results performed (off label) in the neck and jowls, as well as the FDA approved mid-face.  The procedure, unlike filler "camouflage" actually re-positions structure. For the patient who is not ready or too young to commit to a facelift, the procedure provides a 1-2 year improvement.

Gregory S. Keller, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Get a face lift with out surgery

Silhouette Instalift is a minimally invasive solution for patients that don't want face lift surgery. The threads used in the Silhouette Instalift are made from the same  absorbable sutures that are used everyday in surgeries all over the world.This material will also activate collagen stimulation. Make sure you locate a doctor that has experience with Silhouette Instalift. Good Luck!

Douglas J. Key, MD
Portland Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Difference Between Silhouette Lift and Contour Thread Lift & any ThreadLift?

The Silhouette Lift minor surgery to enhance the face/neck has been in Europe since 2009. There are worlds apart from the old 'Gold Reinforcement Lifts', ThreadLifts, Contour Lifts. The Silhouette sutures are of two varieties. 1. Prolene with cones of Poly Lactic Acid (Sculptra - PLLA). or 2. Total PLLA sutures and cones. There are two options to techniques, the Silhouette Lift using the #1 sutures or the Silhouette Soft (in Europe) or the Silhouette Insta (in USA) Lifts, using the #2 sutures. Results will never replace true facelifting with incisions and skin excision. But this easy alternative that over time stimulates collagen formation and deposition is a nice alternative. For more information contact any certified Silhouette doctor. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Silhouette lift

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, as with Contour Threads. 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. It 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 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. The results of a face and neck lift, although more expensive, can provide spectacular results and is much longer lasting.

I recommend consulting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss you options.

Best regards, Andrew Lyos, MD, FACS

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

The silhouette lift is a stronger suture with cones...

The silhouette lift is a stronger suture with cones along the lenght of it rather that spikes which the contour threads have. The silhouette threads hold better and probably longer . Both are easy to put in under local anesthesia and are a good alternative to a full blown expensive facelift. Most patients like the silhouette lift better.

Sincerely, Dr Hansen

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Difference between threadlifts

The main difference between the different types of thread lifts is the material used for the thread or suture, and the type of fixation used to embrace and support the tissue. 

Thread lifting has a long history with both very beautiful results and happy patients mixed with poor results and dissatisfaction. Most of the latter stems from the use of permanent sutures and poor technique.

Most modern thread lifting utilizes absorbable sutures, which have many major benefits. These threads not only lift and support, but provide volume as they go away, creating a lift and fill effect. The risk of dimpling, an issue with the old thread lifts, is zero here as these are not providing a permanent pull. 

These modern thread lifts are best thought of like a filler. They will do their job for a year or two and then will need to be touched up, but the results in the meantime are beautiful.

Choosing your physician wisely here is key, as knowledge of normal facelift anatomy, tissue movement and technique is a highly valuable skill when placing these absorbable lifting threads.

To ensure you are receiving the highest level of care, seek out a modernly trained, new-school dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties. Membership in organizations like the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery help to identify a highly trained surgeon.

Cameron Chesnut
#realself500 Physician

Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Silhouette Instalift is new and different

Although the goal is the same, Silhouette Instalift  and Contour Thread Lifts differ in significant ways. Most important, silhouette are disposable suture, not permanent threads.  The suture gradually dissolves.  That is a good thing because over time, our needs change and it will not interfere with procedures years later. Second, instead of 'hooks' grabbing into the skin to hold the threads in place, the silhouette sutures use cones which catch the skin with less trauma.  Finally, silhouette sutures are made of a relateive of Sculptra, the biostimulating filler. So as the silhouette suture gradually reabsorbs, it stimulates collagen like Sculptra leaving the skin not only lifted but also in better shape than before.

I hope this answer was helpful.  Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Cone sutures better than Barb sutures for facial rejuvenation

Repositioning skin and soft tissue with sutures is the fundamental concept of surgical rejuvenation of the face.  Suspention sutures are able to accomplish this at the skin/soft tissue junction.  The "cones" of Sillouette Instalift provides a greater surface area to anchor and suspend the skin.  The "barbs" of the non-disolveable Contour Thread Lift are not as efficient.  This is a reasonalbe option for facial rejuvenation.  It will not take the place of a facelift.  Complementary rejuvenation treastments of facial fillers, skin resurfacing and wrinkle relaxers can provide a great non-surgical option.

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Difference between Silhouette Lift and Contour Thread Lift

Thank you for your question. The Silhouette InstaLift™ is a minimally invasive procedure that is able to target the deeper layers of skin on a patient’s face and neck. This new target area makes the procedure stand out from existing procedures that only treat the surface or outer layers of the skin. InstaLift has absorbable lift sutures that tighten the skin and stimulate collagen as they dissolve over time. Results will continue to improve for up to several months after surgery. I wouldn’t recommend a Contour Thread Lift as it has many disadvantages. For more information, I recommend getting a in person consultation with a board-certified dermatologist.


Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 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.