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Thread Lift: Procedure, Results and Side Effects

Thread Lift: Procedure, Results and Side Effects

by Azka Munir · September 2, 2021

Do you want to tighten your face without going for a facelift? A thread lift can be a minimally invasive feasible option.

This procedure uses a dissolvable thread or suture that pulls up your skin to make your face firmer and tighter.

The result is subtle but still noticeable.

This article discusses this procedure, its aftercare and its side effects. Keep reading to learn more about it.


Thread Lift Procedure

As you age, your skin loses its elasticity.

Treating skin laxity is possible through a facelift procedure and skin resurfacing treatments.

However, if you do not want to go under the knife, then a thread lift is just the right procedure in between the two to make your skin firmer.

thread lift procedure

Before you begin the procedure, your doctor will tell you to cut down on substances that can cause bleeding and bruising.

These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Aspirin
  • Green Tea
  • Smoking or Tobacco products
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Ibuprofen

In this procedure, your doctor uses sutures or thread to lift the skin by stitching it at certain points.

When skin becomes loose, the only option to make it taut is to remove the loose skin.

However, in this procedure, they can simply suspend it to give an effect of the skin being pulled back taut with a slight lift.

This treatment works well on the face and breasts.

Plus, it has another benefit.

As this process is minimally invasive it does trigger the body’s healing response.

Hence, your body starts sending collagen to the treatment area.

Collagen is effective in wound healing, smoothening the skin and giving it volume.

Over time your skin weakens and is unable to carry the tissues underneath it.

As a result, gravity pulls the skin downwards.

Through this procedure, your skin gets a boost of collagen which strengthens, hydrates and thickens the skin.

During the procedure

First, your surgeon disinfects your skin using alcohol and applies a local anesthetic underneath.

Next, they will use a needle to make a small incision.

Proceeding that, they insert a cannula in the incision hole.

Next, they will put the thread in its right place and take out the cannula.

Lastly, they will cut the thread and anchor it in its place.

surgeon applying pdo on woman

Using a PDO Thread

The most common type of thread used in this procedure is the PDO (Polydioxanone) thread.

They are basically colorless polyester that dissolves and breaks down inside your body after a period of 6 months.

They help rejuvenate skin by activating the production of collagen.

Fibroblasts produce collagen which helps to improve skin tone and firmness.

The body’s healing response will try to heal the area with the thread or sutures.

As a result, it will keep producing collagen that will keep rejuvenating facial tissues.

The sutures under the dermis are small enough that you will not feel them once they have healed.

These threads are of three kinds:

The PDO cog threads contain small barbed sutures.

They lift the skin by latching onto it like hooks and supporting it.

The PDO mon threads trigger the collagen production and smoothen the skin.

PDO screw threads work to restore volume to areas with sunken skin.

There are other two types of new threads for different purposes.

These are polylactic acid (PCA) and polycaprolactone (PLA).

PCA and PLA last longer inside the body and take about 12 to 15 months to absorb.

While PDO helps rejuvenate the skin and stimulate collagen production, this helps to lift the sagging skin by using these lifting treatments.

Hence, they give a moderate facelift while also improving elasticity and the texture of your skin.

PDO mono helps in tightening skin and rejuvenating it by producing collagen.

Whereas PDO cog and screw both lift the skin.

You can get this procedure on areas of the face with signs of aging such as around the eyes, neck, cheeks and jaw.

Though your doctor may recommend complementing it with dermal fillers.

This procedure lasts only for 45 minutes.

You can go back to your normal routine after taking post-procedural care.


Aftercare and Results

This procedure uses a local anesthetic, hence you can leave immediately as it ends.

There will be minor bruising which can last till a day or two.

The swelling will also settle down during this time.


Do not put any pressure or stress on your face.

Refrain from smoking, drinking with a straw or pressing your lips which can stretch your face in any way.

Avoid touching and rubbing your face.

This can dislodge the thread.

Also, skip applying any skincare routine or moisturizer that makes you rub or pat your skin.

Take care during the first 2 weeks.

Do not do strenuous activities like exercise.

Moreover, sleep with your head high on a pillow to avoid sleeping on the side.

You can go about your routine as normal, however, take these measures so that the thread stays in place.

Much like Botox, fillers and other minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, the threads dissolve on their own.

As the swelling reduces, you will clearly notice the difference.

If you are young with less saggy skin then you may see these results last for a good three to four years.

However, if your skin volume and elasticity have deteriorated over time then they may only last for a year or two.

Occasionally, the results will start becoming less apparent after 6 months.

Though, ideally, this procedure will temporarily last between 1 to 3 years as it is not a permanent solution for lifting.

The results from PDO threads may not last as long as those from PCA and PLA.

This is because they do not absorb as fastly as PDA mono and take their time to first absorb and then work on your skin.

Besides the cheeks, neck and jawline, you can also get the procedure on the browline, forehead and breasts.

side effects on face after procedure

Thread Lift Side Effects

This procedure does not pose any great side effects, risks or complications.

Minor side effects can occur in a small percentage of 15 to 20 percent of procedures.

However, they are treatable.

It is completely normal to experience bruising, swelling, pain at the target area and slight bleeding during the procedure.

Though there can be other complications too such as minor dimpling and visibility of the thread at the treatment site.

This can also happen when the thread dislodges and moves to another place making that skin area bulge.

Rarely, there can be an allergic reaction to the material of the threads.

Pain can also result from the thread being too tight.

Though, as the body heals you rarely feel the thread in the treatment area.

Hair loss and an injury to the salivary gland are also rare complications.

Though, they can happen to anyone.

Furthermore, blood may build up under your skin, which is known as a hematoma.

The most severe side effect is that of an infection.

Even if a procedure is minimally invasive, as long as there are cuts and incisions, it can pose a risk of infection.

Notice your side effects and see if any of them worsen.

Your swelling and inflammation should not continue beyond 48 hours.

Plus, you should not get a headache or fever after the procedure.

Consult your doctor if you notice a colored discharge from the treatment site.

The discharge can be of red, black, green or brown color.

Let your doctor know immediately about it so that they can treat you in time.

Your doctor can easily fix these minor complications so you do not have to worry about them.


Thread Lift vs FaceLift

Both of these procedures can give your face a visible lift and structure by reducing the saggy skin.

However, a facelift has long-lasting results while those of a thread lift is temporary.

Plus, you should use other procedures with a thread lift to make full use of it.

thread lift vs facelift


A big advantage of getting a thread lift is that the recovery time is very less in comparison.

You can go back to your normal routine and work in just a day or two.

Moreover, you do not need to take any heavy medications to deal with the pain.

The swelling and bruises will also subside in a day or two.

This procedure is ideal for people who need to take care of children, the elderly, their families or have a demanding career.

Though after a facelift surgery you need to take time off work to completely heal.

You are heavily sedated in a facelift procedure that is why you need someone to drive you back and you may not resume your normal activities until 3 days.

Take rest for at least two weeks and then return to work.

Furthermore, the risks of a facelift are much higher than that of a thread lift.

If the procedure goes wrong, the results are long term and you will have to undergo another invasive procedure to undo it.

Whereas if the results are not up to your expectations in a thread lift then you will maximum, wait for the threads to dissolve on their own.

Just because it is low risk, you can use this procedure to check how lifting may look on your skin.

Plus, it is easier to perform.

Moreover, it is more affordable than getting a facelift.

However, there are disadvantages to it too in comparison.

disadvanatges of the procedure on face

Disadvantages of Thread Lift

Both the procedures are not permanent.

However, a facelift gives long-lasting results that can stay in place for up to a decade.

On the other hand, you will have to get new sutures every one to three years to maintain results.

Moreover, you only notice a minimal change in millimeters of skin lifting through a thread lifting procedure.

Hence, you need to be very realistic about your expectations.

The change will be subtle and not dramatic as in the case of a surgical facelift.

In fact, if you want your results to last longer and create a more dramatic effect you will have to complement it with other procedures.

These require separate time and financial commitment.

To remove signs of aging such as blemishes, age spots, and pigmentation, you will require skin resurfacing non-surgical procedures.

Moreover, you need Ultherapy to provide an even looking firmness, and lifting across your face and neck.

It is also known as the non-surgical facelift.

Hence by combining these non-surgical procedures you can achieve a more refined, toned and firm skin texture.

However, all of these have separate costs and need time commitment.

That said,

A thread lift can bring a change in your skin laxity to make it more firm.

A good candidate for a thread lift is between their late thirties and early fifties.

However, discuss your expectations and the procedural complications beforehand with your doctor to see if it is the right anti aging procedure for you.

Though, if you want to see temporary lifting in your skin, then it probably is.

Book your appointment with your plastic surgeons to achieve firm and toned skin.

If you found this article useful, let us know in the comments.

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