What is thread lifting?

Thread lifting is a technique that has been invented in the last decade that helps to create a natural lift in the face to reverse the look of drooping or sagging of the skin that comes with ageing.

The thread lifting technique utilizes a suture which is a thread that is used often in general surgery. The thread helps to create the lift effect by utilizing specific structures incorporated into the length of the thread that, when inserted and pulled back, tent the facial planes to create a natural lift.

With this treatment option, you can target a few different areas of the face, particularly the fold between the nose and the cheek (the nasolabial fold). You can also use the suture in the frown line area (the marionette line). Thread Lifting can also be used to treat jowling which is a common effect in age whereby gravity or loss of fat in the middle third of the face causes the tissue to droop or sag there.

Ultimately, the nice thing about thread lifting is that it’s reversible. It’s done through a little point just in front of or inside the hair line so there’s no visible scarring, it doesn’t require the knife so it’s a nice step to go for before pursuing something deeper like full face lifting which is done by a surgeon plastic

How does thread liftingwork?

Utilizing a suture with structures attached, the thread is inserted from a point in your hairline into the junction of your face between the fat and muscle layer of the skin called the smas layer. This allows the thread to be deep enough to not be externally visible, but superficial enough to still create the desired lifting effect. In up to 3 to 6 months, the suture dissolves and what ultimately holds up the skin is the new collagen and scar tissue that has been laid down over the suture over the period of time that it’s been placed.

As a result, we get very long-lasting results from thread lifting. Over the 6 to 8 to 12-month period after the suture is placed, the more collagen and scar tissue that’s laid down on the thread, the better the lift. This will last up to 2 years with results continually improving over time. Future Thread Lifting is therefore less extensive as its only required to maintain the initial result.

How is it done?

Your first consultation will involve having a discussion with us about what you want to achieve. We take full clinical photographs from different angles to look at the areas of need, drawing diagrams to detail what kind of vectors we’ll be using to treat your areas of concern. We will then devise a treatment plan for you based on different threads available as there are different threads used of different widths or thickness that allow different degrees of abilities to pull or create lift.


Threads don’t involve any cuts or incisions so therefore there’s minimal scarring in the area. It’s basically a site that’s determined by the different vectors or planes of the face that we’re targeting. It’s a site along the hairline that is where the needle that’s used is placed. That needle is removed, and the thread is left behind to do its lifting.


Treatment is done in the chair with the help of topical anesthetic which is applied to the skin to help numb the area. A local anesthetic will then be injected to make the procedure comfortable. There’s a lot of manipulation or massage of the thread and tissues to achieve the result we require. Most patients will describe the sensation of pressure if anything.


Over time you may get a little bit of relapse of the downward pull of the face. This is why it’s important to have review visits every 2 to three weeks. We may need to have reviews of different areas that we may retreat as we can’t always get 100% results in the first treatment. And that’s the importance of staged method of treatment which we advocate here for Thread Lifting at The Melbourne Smile Centre.


Recovery time?

It may require anywhere up to 2 weeks to allow for swelling and bruising to settle. The face will feel a little tight at first. There will be a period where you need to avoid chewing hard foods, so a soft diet is important for about 2 weeks. Also,minimization of wide mouth opening because as you open wide you can cause release of the threads that are actually creating that lifting effect. So, we want the tissues to start to scar and settle and deposit that collagen down before any severe or excessive facial movements are allowed.


Best patients that benefit are those that aren’t so severe from the facial drops or drooping that they require a formal face lift but those that are just starting to see the effects of loss of volume in that middle facial third of the face. So those that have just started to experience a little jowling or a bit of facial droop or sag around the nasolabial fold or frown lines. Anything before that you might not achieve much of a result and anything more severe than that will need a formal face lift by a plastic surgeon to achieve the result that you are after.


A lot of people have fear of needles so the last thing they want is for needles to improve or refresh facial structures. Botox is performed using a very fine insulin like needle .so very minimal discomfort when injected into the skin. It’s also done at a very superficial level and sometimes we can use ice to help anesthetize the skin beforehand but there’s no real need for any form of anesthetic prior to Botox treatment. For fillers on the other hand, we’re injecting basically a material into the skin and just below the skin surface and with thread lifting it’s the same thing where we are introducing threads or needles into the layers of the skin just below the skin surface and a lot of patients find that quite uncomfortable. We like to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible,so we use a topical anesthetic alongside regional, local anesthetics to numb the areas so that during treatment there is very little discomfort treatment and once that local anesthetic has worn off then the treatment has been completed.

Depending on the areas of the face that we need to treat the initial consultation for Botox will take 15-20 minutes including photographs and the actual treatment itself will take anywhere between 25-40 minutes. With fillers, again it depends on the areas, simple localized treatments can take as little as half an hour, but more full facial rejuvenation regimes may take up to an hour or 90 minutes. Thread lifting can be quite lengthy so in order to apply topical and local anesthetic prior we need at least a half an hour to one hour before starting treatment and then the treatment itself can take up to 90 mins to 2 hours