How Long Does the Thread Lift Last?

Doctor Answers 14

14% Satisfaction

14% is the satisfaction rate on this website from threadlifts, the lowest of any recorded category.

Comments from patients cover the gamut, from it didn't work, it didn't work long enough, facial distortion, extruding hooks, chronic pain, palpable lumps, etc. In our practice, we remove suture material from threadlifts on a weekly basis, usually while performing the facelift that patients needed initially.

Some patients do report seeing a benefit for a year, some for up to a year and a half. Some note immediate distortion and no results beyond a few months.

Why don't threadlifts accomplish the same as a facelift if they are pulling on the same tissues?

Strings placed through the tissues without any undermining tend to pull through the tissues. They do not hold up the way that undermined and fixated tissues do (i.e. during a facelift). An experienced facelift surgeon will require 20-40 sutures, placed directly in the deep tissues alone, to hold up the layer until it heals in a higher (and lifted) position. Strings are at a disadvantage because tissues are not undermined and only a few sutures are placed.

But this information is nothing new.

Patients should go into procedures with their eyes open to what the likely results are. Stringlifts do not produce facelift results.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Lifestyle lift, Thread lift....buyer beware

A thread lift or lifestyle lift is a procedure touted for fast recovery and cheaper alternative to a facelift.  If it sounds to good to be true it usually is.  The operation involves placing a barbed suture under the skin and using is to pull up and back the face or neck.  Eventually the sutures break, get infected or cause distortion and can be difficult to fix.  Surprisingly it is not that cheap either.  I do not perform these types of lifts as I have seen patients with complications but never seen a patient happy with the results.  

Chad K. Wheeler, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Not very long

The thread lift fails after 3 to 6 months.  I put in many when they first came out and I subsequently refunded many patients and gave free facelifts to many others.  It was a horrible disappointment for all.

Nasimul Huq, MD
Niagara Falls Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Not long enough!

The Threadlift was a novel idea but just didn't work in reality to justify what was a significant expense. At their best, they might have had a subtle benefit for a year but usually much less than that. For that reason, I am not aware of any real plastic surgeons who can offer proper surgeries and other treatments who still offer a Threadlift in their practices.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Thread lift - good idea, poor result

Most plastic surgeons who tried the thread lifts have now abandoned them.  Patients are generally disappointed with the outcomes and there is virtually no long term advantage.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

I couldn't agree more - choose Threadlifts with caution

Hi Cutz,

You have received very thorough and excellent advice from all the Doctors here.

I just wanted to add that in my experience I have seen more dissatisfied than happy Patients who have had threadlifts. I personally do not offer them to my Patients.

I do not wish to make a generalized statement on threadlifts but would strongly advise you to have a thorough exam and consultation with a Board Certified Physician to make sure you have explored all your options (surgical and nonsurgical).

Thank you and Happy Holidays,

Dr. Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Permanent versus absorbable threads

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

How Long Does the Thread Lift Last

It is important to maintain realistic expectations about the results of your thread lift. Given that it is non-surgical and involves no pain, recovery, or downtime, the results are relatively less long-lasting than those of a more invasive procedure. Generally speaking, results have the ability to last a few months (up to six) before they begin to taper out. Many patients opt in for additional treatments once results begin to fade, but this is by no means necessary.

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

How Long Does a Thread Lift Last?

A thread-lift lasts for several weeks to several months and has been largely abandoned as an offered procedure. The concept of facial elevation/ repositioning without tissue mobilization doesn't make anatomic sense and works very poorly in the real world

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Is a thread lift permanent?

I have never been a fan of thread lifts.  These procedures utilized threads with barbs or hooks to catch and pull up the skin.  My concern is that they outlive their usefulness  -- as tthe patiient looses more volume and has increased laxity they may become visible or cause visible ripples.  They may also interfere with later procedures - for example having to remove them during a facelift.  The thread persists far longer than the results.

I prefer the Silhouette Instalift which utilizes dissolving sutures.  The patient achieves similar results but as the sutures dissolve, new collagen is stimulated.  The skin is improved even after the physical lifting device is gone and therapeutic plans can be made without worrying about them.

I hope this answers your question. Best wishes.

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