What is Thread Lifting?

The thread lifting technique utilizes a suture which is a thread that is used often in general surgery.

Thread lifting is a technique invented in the last decade that creates a natural lift in the face. This technique is best for reversing 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 often used in general surgery. The thread creates the lift effect by harnessing specific structures incorporated into the length of the thread. When inserted and pulled back, the thread tents the facial planes to create a natural lift.

With this treatment option, we can target a few different areas of the face. Particularly the fold between the nose and the cheek (the nasolabial fold). We can also use the suture in the frown line area (the marionette line). Thread Lifting is also 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.

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 option before pursuing something deeper like full face lifting which is done by a plastic surgeon.

How does Thread Lifting work?

We insert the thread from a point in your hairline into the junction of your face between the fat and muscle layer of the skin. 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?

In your first consultation, we discuss what you’d like to achieve. We take full clinical photographs from different angles to look at the areas of need. We then draw diagrams to detail what kind of vectors we’ll be using to treat your areas of concern. After this, we devise a treatment plan for you based on different threads available. 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. We place the needle at a site along the hairline. We treat sites that are determined by the different vectors or planes of the face that we’re targeting. Once the thread is placed, we remove the needle, and the thread is left behind to do its lifting.

Treatment is done in the chair with the help of topical anaesthetic which is applied to the skin to help numb the area. A local anaesthetic 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, minimisation 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, settle and deposit that collagen down before any severe or excessive facial movements are allowed.

The best patients that benefit from thread lifting are 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.