What is a Thread Face Lift ?

Doctor Answers 24

What's a Thread Lift

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Thread Lift for Facelift is a technique using special barbed sutures to pull on the facial tissues, usually without incisions.

The technique has been largely abandoned because the results were inconsistent, didn't last, and because of complications.

I recommend you not consider this technique.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Thread lifts

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Suspension lifts such as Threadlifts, Contour lifts, Featherlift, Silhouette lift, are fairly ineffective and very short lasting.  Not the best value for the money spent.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

What's a thread face lift?

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A thread face lift uses sutures or barbed threads to lift the muscle and tissue layers instead of dissecting, lifting, trimming and tightening them as is typically done in any viable and useful version of a Face Lift, IMHO. IMHO, these are more hype than effective face lifts as are some other marketed versions like the stem cell fat lifts that are nothing more than fat transfers IMO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

A Threadlift is a non-invasive type of cheeklift...

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A threadlift is a great way to reverse the effects of gravity over time on the cheeks.  As time goes by, the cheeks gradually fall to create a more sullen look.  The threadlift utilizes a small incision in the hairline to place long sutures that grab the cheek tissue and lift it back up.  This can be done under local anesthesia and the recovery is about 5 days.  It is important to have a specialist that performs a lot of them to know where exactly to place the threads.  But if done correctly it is a great way to lift sagging cheeks in a natural way.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Beware of the Threadlift-recurrent laxity and occaisional deformity a problem

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The Threadlift invoved using permanet sutures (Thread) which were barbed and placed through the skin and fixated higher up on the Temple to pull loose facial skin in an upwatrd direction.

Some companies have stopped making the Threadlift "threads" because of common complications.

Many proponents of the Threadlift have reported failure or recurrent facial sagging after the procedure. In addition, complications such as deforming unequal pulling of the face have been reported.

This is a "blind" procedure in that the Threads are p[laced through the skin without direct visualization of important structures such as nerves and blood vessels which can be injured.

Thread lift? Worth it?

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A "thread lift", "lunch lift", or "lifestyle lift" all rely in "barbed-wire" sutures, or threads placed in the skin to resuspend the sagging face. It is promoted as "non-surgical" with minimal cost and minimal downtime.

Here are my concerns: 

  • You need 3-12 "threads" placed on each side of your face to have noticeable results. 
  • These threads are usually permanent, placed in the deep layers of skin
  • These threads are known to and will WEAR OUT.
  • They will wear out at unpredictable rates.
    • Example: You have 12 threads placed on either side of your face.
    • 6 months later 1 thread has failed on the right side, while 9 threads have failed on the left
      • You will have sagging on one side of your face!
  • A facelift after a threadlift will be more complicated with a higher risk of skin injury. 

Thread lift

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A thread lift usually encompasses a limited incision proceudre that passes barbed sutures through the soft tissues to lift the soft tisue mounds of the face. They so far have not impressed me because they do not seem to last very long.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Thread lifts - Not a good solution

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In short, a thread facelift is done by making very small incisions, through which barbed sutures are placed.  As the sutures are pulled through the tissues, the barbs catch the tissues.  The sutures are then tightened and the tissues and skin are elevated.  This procedure was heavily marketed as an alternative to a facelift but has been nearly discarded as the results are very short lived and there were problems with the threads breaking and being visible.  A facelift is still the "gold standard" for rejuvenating the face and neck.

Thread face lift

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A thread facelift involves taking barbwire sutures and tucking skin with those sutures in an attempt to tighten jowls and the neck area. This type of facelift gives temporary results as it is only tightening skin and not addressing any muscles in the face and neck. It also does not address any fat removal of the neck.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews


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A thread lift is a technique using barbed sutures to lift the face in lieu of the more traditional facelift surgery. It has been done intermittently over the past 20 years, but very few surgeons in the United States do this procedure because of frequent complications and  the the fact that results are short-lived.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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.