what is a silhouette lift?

is it similar to the Y lift? what kind of results are people getting?

Doctor Answers 18

Silhouette InstaLift

As a facial plastic surgeon who's passion is facial rejuvenation, I perform a wide variety of facelift procedures depending on the needs, goals, and aging pattern of each individual patient.  In my opinion and experience, The Silhouette Lift is a nonsurgical/minimally invasive tool which can be used to help patients achieve their goals by truly tightening, and lifting drooping volume and skin in the face without incisions. THIS IS NOT THE SAME THREAD LIFT THAT LOST FDA APPROVAL YEARS AGO.

Until now, the closest thing to this procedure has been the "skin-only facelift", which is a surgery that I find hard to justify performing. "Skin-only" facelifts  usually require incisions that are similar to a mini-facelift, but without any muscle tightening, so results tend to last a few months to a year. A well performed mini-lift can last 3 years, and in many cases significantly longer.  

To compare the Silhouette Lift to a true facelift of any kind would be unfair to patients and both procedures. I view it as a procedure for patients with mild to moderate looseness of the mid and lower face, without a significant amount of loose skin, who do not have the time to recover from a facelift (about 1 week), are okay with results that can last about 18-36 months, are not open to having incisions, and find that the cost (about $3500-$6000 - which is in the same range as ulthera and thermitight) is worth the benefits. The results are subtle, but visible to both my patients and me. Patients have been happy. The procedure involves injecting dissolvable sutures with "sculptra" cones under the skin to lift the cheeks and lower face. It can be combined with fillers and botox to create an overall rejuvenated appearance. Very often the recovery time is similar to that of a filler (24-48 hours if any at all).  

Although patients may get excited to hear its done under local anesthesia,  those who have become part of my practice know that I perform all of my facial plastic surgeries (including facelifts) under local anesthesia as well, which creates a level playing field when it comes to that part of it.  In the right patients, I have found that the results are worth the time, effort and resources. The procedure is a minimally invasive way of tightening the skin of the face. 

To find out if it's an appropriate procedure for you, I suggest doing your research and seeing a board certified surgeon who regularly performs a variety of different facelifts and nonsurgical facial procedures in order to truly get an unbiased recommendation. 


Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Results Aren't as Reliable as With Traditional Facelift

The Silhouette lift is simply an updated version of a thread lift. The "thread lift" was performed under local anesthetic and threads, with barbs that were used to lift sagging tissues. The results were good at first -- but didn't last. Those threads were not absorbable, which meant they were permanent. The Silhouette threads are absorbable, but the results are still not long lasting. You should really consider a more traditional procedure. There are less aggressive surgical procedures that can minimize downtime, for which you may be a great candidate. Thanks for your question.

Long-Term Results Questionable -- Be Skeptical

A silhouette lift refers to a suture, absorbable or non-absorbable, with cones placed along the suture to grab the tissue and hopefully hold the tissue up after placement. The advantages of the procedure are that the sutures do not involve incisions, and the absorbable sutures and cones dissolve with time. Of course, the real question is, "Do they work?" The short-term answer is yes, but for how long? Conceptually, they are very similar to the previous contour thread lift, which relied on barbs rather than cones to grab the tissue, but which has fallen out of favor completely due to unreliable results. One study in our institution using sophisticated 3-dimensional imaging demonstrated that the results only lasted 3 to 4 months. There is no research about the long-term results of the silhouette lift, but I am skeptical. The Y lift has been promoted by 1 surgeon, and essentially involves placement of filler in deeper tissues. There is no data to suggest that it is long lasting, either. Thanks for your questions.

If Deemed a Candidate, Lite-lift™ May Be an Ideal Option

If you are deemed a candidate, Lite-lift™ may be an option for you. Patients who desire facial rejuvenation that is affordable, quick, and effective should consider the Lite-lift™. The LiteLift™ is an innovative facelift developed by board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Larry Nichter and myself which benefits many male patients. The goal of the #LiteLift is to provide a less invasive natural looking option for both men and women desiring to refresh their appearance with less downtime and risks. The LiteLift® is a “real” facelift, which does address the underlying muscle, tissue and overlying skin.
The technique requires limited incisions and takes a vertical lifting approach, in contrast to the traditional facelift, which requires extensive incisions and lifts or pulls the face towards the ears horizontally. The modern techniques used allow us to perform most LiteLift® procedures in the office under local anesthesia. Also, removing the risk of general anesthesia opens the door for more people to pursue facial surgery. All too often people do not move forward with undergoing the desires facelift surgery due to their overwhelming fear of the risks associated with general anesthesia.

This is a modified facelift that can be performed in the office with a local anesthetic and improve signs of aging around the neck, jawbone and lower face. Because the incisions are limited, there is less bruising, swelling and healing time for most patients. Many patients can be back to work in one to two weeks looking rested and more youthful.
The best candidates for #LiteLift are non-smoking patients 35-60 years old with early changes of the lower face and the neck. They also have a face and neck line beginning to sag, but whose skin has elasticity and whose bone structure is well defined. Older patients who cannot or do not wish to have a longer operation or general anesthetic can be improved with a Lite Lift™.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Not an Effective Alternative, Consider a Facelift

As many other surgeons have noted, a silhouette lift is an update on the thread lift -- a procedure that inserts suspension sutures to raise drooping tissues. While minimally invasive, results are limited and temporary at best. A facelift, by contrast, provides lasting results by reshaping the underlying tissue to restore youthful contours to the face. Please consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn more about effective solutions to your concerns. Good luck!

Marc DuPere, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Silhouette lift...great name no substance

Another branding of a useless rebirth of the threadlift.  Funny when things dont work they bring them back with new names.good names ...names that sound revolutionary.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Silhouette lift

Academically there is nothing called a silhouette lift. This sounds like a made up branding name, made up by a physician or company. The problem I have with this process is no one really knows what it means because they are determining that. Also it is a stated procedure and in good medicine we always make a diagnosis before we talk about procedures.

Thomas Romo, III, MD, FACS
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Silhouette lift

Silhouette Lift is not a facelift technique. It uses suspension sutures with small cones to hold tissues in position after they are fastened. It is deemed to be less invasive than traditional facelift, but the results are highly limited and short lasting.

Consult with 3 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

What is a Silhouette Lift or thread lift facelift?

The Silhouette Lift technique involves placing suspension sutures with small cones that act as barbs to hold the tissues in position when tightened.  It is a newer variation of the thread lift from years ago.

This is absolutely NOT a facelift.  

It is a less invasive alternative that is being marketed, and the ability of this technique to get the job done is definitely limited.

My opinion is similar to most surgeons who specialize in facelifts.  If you are a patient who has the changes that warrant a facelift (loose excess skin, sagging of the deep muscle layers in the face and neck, volume loss, sagging of the jowls, etc) then the best answer for you is a real facelift procedure.  There is absolutely nothing that will come close to the results you can achieve with that.

My preference is a deep plane facelift or a variation of an extended-SMAS facelift based on each individual patient's anatomy.  This includes a necklift and for the majority also includes a platysmaplasty.  Liposuction in the neck can be performed if needed.

David W. Rodwell III, MD
Charleston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Facelift or Silhouette Lift

Hello and thank you for using RealSelf.com.

A silhouette lift is not a facelift.  It is a procedure using threads that pull the skin but does not remove skin.  I have seen patients who have had this with irregular and temporary result.

A person who needs a facelift should remember that facial aging includes skin laxity, loss of volume and laxity to the tissues under the skin.  Facial rejuvenation should include all of these factors.  After 29 years performing facelifts, I am able to tell you silhouette lift is a gimmick.

Visit several experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss options for facial rejuvenation.  I am sure you will be able to make an informed decision before you choose which option is right for you.

Dr Spies

Robert J. Spies, MD
Paradise Valley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 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.