Everything you need to know about thread lifts
Move over face lifts, there’s a new procedure in town
There’s not much that can’t be tweaked with a procedure - whether that’s minimally invasive or surgically invasive - these days. Loss of volume can be improved with dermal fillers, fine lines can be prevented with anti-wrinkle injections, and stubborn fat (such as under your chin) can be addressed with fat-blasting injections like Kybella.
For a more dramatic difference, a surgical face lift can resculpt your features and make you look more refreshed. However, this option isn’t always viable, especially for people that don’t want to take two weeks off to recover. The alternative? A procedure called thread lifting is gaining traction. It’s a minimally-invasive treatment that involves having dissolvable threads inserted into your skin to increase collagen production; they harden to firm up the appearance of skin. The reason why this procedure is becoming increasingly popular is because of its lessened procedure and recovery times, cost and scarring, as well as its natural-looking results. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow are rumoured to have gone through this procedure.
Dr. Naomi McCullum, founder of The Manse Clinic, gives us the lowdown on a thread lift.
What is the thread lift procedure like?
“The patient will have a consultation at first visit, the doctor will take a thorough medical history, examine the patient, and then after discussion with the patient - including a discussion about complications - it will be determined if the patient is suitable for a thread lift. On the day of procedure, the consent form is discussed and signed by provider and patient. The patient is photographed. Topical anaesthetic is applied. The face is cleaned and marked; local anaesthetic may also be used. The threads are then inserted. Results are reviewed. The patient is cleaned and then has an LED treatment. Further photos are taken, and after-care is again discussed.”
Are thread lifts a relatively new procedure? Where did it originate?
“Thread lifting is not a new procedure. It has been around for more than 20 years, starting in Russia and spreading quickly to the rest of the world, including Asia.”
How long do the effects of a thread lift last for?
“There are two phases. The immediate ‘lift’ with anchoring threads, followed by bio-revitalisation and neocollagenesis, which is present until the thread is resorbed. Then the new collagen persists after the thread is resorbed.”
How long does a thread lift procedure take, from start to finish?
“The placement of anchoring threads takes about one hour. Stimulating thread placement can take 20 minutes.”
Can you choose where the threads go on your face?
“Threads may be used over the full face, or they may be targeted to particular areas, like the brows or jowls.”
Are there any side effects to getting a thread lift?
“Yes. Like all medical procedures, thread lifts are associated with side effects. Anticipated side effects include temporary bruising, swelling, rippling or puckering. These typically resolve spontaneously within two weeks. Unexpected side effects include infection asymmetry, keloid, thread protrusion, nerve injury or thread breakage.”
Is getting a thread lift safe?
“Thread lifts are minimally invasive. There is no general anaesthetic, no cutting of the skin. The threads break down over six months to two years.”
Can you get more than one thread lift procedure in your life?
“You can combine the different thread types and have multiple thread lifts.”
When getting a thread lift, is there anything you can’t do?
“You should avoid the following: makeup for at least 24 hours, ice packs, aspirin and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), excessive facial movements, the sun, saunas, sport and exercise for two weeks, and lasers and heat-based devices as advised by your doctor.”
What is the downtime when getting a thread lift?
“Healing time is very individual, but five days is common.”
What is the starting price?
What is usually the age bracket of people that come and get a thread lift?
“People aged 28-48 years usually get stimulating threads, and those that are 38-58 years of age get anchoring threads. People over 58 [can get them] if the patient has adequate volume and good skin quality.”
For non-invasive ways to shape your face, try these three beauty tricks that define and frame your features.
Have you had a thread lift before? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.