What if a nonsurgical procedure could lift and tighten your sagging face or neck and stimulate new collagen production with little downtime? We offer thread lift procedures at our Sydney cosmetic clinic that do just that, creating a subtle, refreshed appearance without undergoing plastic surgery. Our cosmetic doctors offer various thread lifts to ensure they can address the specific needs of each patient.
What Types of Thread Lifts Are Offered?
Thread lifts are an excellent alternative for women and men who don’t want or who aren’t able to have cosmetic surgery. Even though thread lifts can produce a more youthful appearance, it’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the results compared to what a surgical facelift can accomplish. A facelift remains the gold standard for reversing heavy sagging or severe skin laxity. The thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure for the face, neck, or jowls in which threads, which have small cones/graspers on them, are passed under the skin with a needle. The type of thread lift used depends on the condition of a patient’s skin and her or his goals. The 2 types we offer include:
Anchoring or Lifting Threads
These can be used to lift tissues and are an amazing tool in the experienced hands of our doctors. This type of thread has small cones or cogs/barbs along the length of the thread, which are placed just below the skin’s surface. Once the doctor carefully places the threads, the skin is lifted and locked into place by these cones/cogs/barbs.
The versatility of stimulating threads means our doctors can use them for multiple purposes. These threads are free-floating and not anchored at any point. They are an excellent option for restoring the skin’s volume and can also improve the skin’s overall texture and tone. At the same time, stimulating threads serve as a scaffold to support and strengthen the skin. The net effect depends on the quantity of threads used in addition to accurately placing them in the deep dermal plane. An example of these type is the PDO Thread Lift.
How Long Do Thread Lift Results Last?
The lifting effect produced by a thread lift lasts as long as the thread itself. But that’s only one phase of the cumulative process involved with the procedure. Besides the immediate lifting the results from the redistribution of facial volume along with the actual mechanical lift (when anchoring threads are used), the production of new collagen is a second phase. This process continues until the thread is completely reabsorbed by the skin. Even then, the new collagen continues to create a smoother, fuller appearance.
How Is a Thread Lift Performed?
The steps involved in performing a thread lift include:
- A numbing cream is applied to the face and neck for patients getting stimulating threads. Once the area is numb, the anaesthetic is wiped off.
- The face is then cleaned with iodine or chlorhexidine in 2 passes.
- The face may be marked with a surgical pen according to the vectors required for optimal effect.
- If anchoring threads are being used, the entry and exit points will be anaesthetized with injectable local anesthetic.
- The threads are then inserted with the patient laying down and adjusted accordingly.
- The patient is then returned to a sitting position, assessed for asymmetry, and then the face is wiped down again with chlorhexidine.
- The patient then proceeds to spend 30 minutes under the LED, which is very comforting and relaxing. It also reduces the swelling and accelerates their recovery.
- We may take more photos.
- Finally, we reiterate the after-care instructions and schedule follow up appointments.
On average the placement of anchoring threads takes an hour, depending on various factors including the degree of lift desired. A procedure using stimulating threads, on the other hand, can take as little as 10 to 20 minutes, again depending on the extent of lift needed.
As a rule of thumb, the more threads used the better the net result. This is due to better volume and stress distribution over multiple (anchoring) threads. The same principle applies for stimulating threads—the more threads placed the higher the degree of scaffolding and collagen stimulation.
Full Face or Targeted Threadlift
Where and how many threads advised, will depend on the person’s age, degree of volume loss and their overall skin quality. In the instance of anchoring threads, the lower face often improves with lifting of the upper and midface. However, specific areas like the jowls can be individually targeted. Anchoring threads are more suited to patients that have visible skin laxity and or sagging.
Stimulating threads can also be used for either full face and/or targeted areas alone. We like placing them under lines/ wrinkles when they first appear as this retards their development to deep lines and folds dramatically.
What Is the Downtime After a Thread Lift?
The amount of downtime needed varies from patient to patient depending on their unique circumstances. We inform patients getting anchoring threads that bruising, swelling and possible puckering can take up to 5 days to settle. Regardless, some people are back at work the next day whilst others will only feel comfortable after a full week or more.
The degree of swelling or bruising and puckering will depend on the type and quantity of threads placed. For example, floating threads require very little to no downtime.
What Are the Side Effects of a Thread Lift?
Most common side effects are mild and resolve on their own. In rare cases there may be unexpected complications. Side effects we commonly see include:
- Discomfort (managed with pain relief medications)
- Post-procedural discomfort (anchoring threads can have a “tight” or “pulling” sensation. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) can be used if necessary.
Rare side effects or complications can include:
- Infection: very rare, can be treated with antibiotics
- Asymmetry: mostly resolves by 3 weeks but can be addressed with additional threads or dermal filler
- Keloid scar formation: threads should be avoided in people prone to keloids
- Thread protrusion: anchored threads can be trimmed and buried whilst floating threads can simply be pulled out
- Nerve injury: very rarely numbness or partial paralysis can persist
- Thread breakage: this tends to be an operator fault but a replacement thread can resolve the issue smartly
We encourage our thread lift patients in Sydney and throughout Australia to contact our clinic with any concerns or questions after their procedures. We also offer detailed information on our after-care page.
How Much Does a Thread Lift Cost?
The cost of a thread lift starts at $1,000. The relative affordability compared to a surgical facelift is one of the reasons thread lifts are popular in the Sydney area. The price of a specific thread lift depends on the extent of the procedure. You can see more information about thread lift costs on our pricing page.
Get in Touch
Our Paddington cosmetic clinic serves patients from the Eastern Suburbs to Bondi and throughout the Greater Sydney area. You can book online, or call us at (02) 9331 5005 to schedule your appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have multiple thread lifts?
Patients are able to have multiple thread lifts. Certainly, stimulating threads are more popular amongst younger women. They often have enough volume with minimal sagging but enjoy the mild lift and anti-ageing properties these threads offer. As age-related changes in the facial skeleton, muscles, fat and skin become more apparent the need for anchoring threads arise.
Different types of threads can be used simultaneously or alternatively.
Addressing heavy brows, nasolabial folds, loss of midface volume and the inevitable development of jowls often require a variety of products and or procedures. Dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections, laser skin rejuvenation, and chemical peels can be combined for optimum results.
What’s the best age for thread lifts?
We see patients as young as 25 up to their late 50s and into their 60s who can benefit from thread lifts. In general, people between ages 25 and 48 are good candidates for stimulating threads. Anchoring threads are appropriate for patients between the ages of 35 and late 50s. Some older than their late 50s may get a thread lift if they have good skin quality with adequate volume.
Can a thread lift be combined with other procedures?
Yes, we can enhance the results of a thread lift with other cosmetic treatments designed to create a more youthful appearance. These procedures may need to be scheduled either before or after your thread lift appointment. Some complementary procedures include:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP): 2 weeks before (or as discussed with your doctor)
Dermal fillers: 2 to 4 weeks before, on the day of the thread lift, or 2 to 4 weeks after (or as discussed with your doctor)
Laser or other heat energy treatments: 2 weeks before or 3 months after (or as discussed with your doctor)
It’s important to schedule your procedure at least 4 to 6 weeks before a major social or professional event. If it’s something as significant as a wedding, we recommend having your treatments performed 3 to 6 months ahead of time.