Influencers and aesthetic injectors have been quick to tout the purported benefits of thread lifts online. But do thread lifts work?
Patients occasionally ask me about polydioxanone (PDO) thread lifts and their popularity in facial rejuvenation. Thread lifts have gained significant attention due to their non-surgical nature and promise of lifting and tightening sagging skin. They involve the insertion of biodegradable sutures or threads beneath the skin to reposition and support the tissues, providing a subtle lifting effect. Many patients are attracted to the idea of a minimally invasive procedure with minimal downtime.
However, it’s crucial to be aware that while thread lifts may yield some short-term benefits, they are not without risks and limitations. At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, we don’t generally recommend thread lifts when we know that cosmetic surgery offers more predictable, effective, and long-lasting outcomes.
What Is A Thread Lift?
Thread lifts aim to lift and tighten sagging skin, targeting the jowls, cheeks, brows, and neck. The procedure involves the insertion of biodegradable threads beneath the skin, which act as a support structure to reposition and lift the tissues. By stimulating collagen production, thread lifts can improve skin texture and firmness.
Many patients who get thread lifts seem attracted by the promise of facial rejuvenation without undergoing surgery – but it’s important to note that results are temporary, may not be dramatic, and are inferior to the long-lasting effects facelifts offer.
Do Thread Lifts Cost Less Than Facelifts?
Thread lifts cost $700 to $4,500 per treatment based on the provider and areas treated. Treatments need to be repeated annually to sustain results. A mini facelift, by contrast, costs anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 on average, including facility fees, anesthesia, and surgeon fees. While the upfront costs of a facelift may be higher than a thread lift, over time, you save money by undergoing surgery versus opting for a temporary, non-surgical alternative.
Why Are Thread Lifts Popular?
Thread lifts have gained popularity for several reasons. First, they offer a non-surgical alternative to a traditional facelift, appealing to individuals who are hesitant about surgery or prefer less invasive procedures. Thread lifts provide a relatively quick and convenient option for facial rejuvenation, often requiring minimal downtime compared to surgical interventions.
Who Can Provide Thread Lifts?
Thread lift practitioners don’t require board certification from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Any medical provider can provide PDO thread lifts, regardless of their field and training level. Plastic surgeons often avoid providing thread lifts because we are trained and can help patients achieve more permanent results via facelifts and neck lifts.
Why We Generally Do Not Perform or Recommend Thread Lifts
While thread lifts can provide some lifting and tightening effects, there are several reasons why they are not usually recommended as a first-line treatment for facial rejuvenation:
- Their efficacy is limited. Thread lifts are generally more suitable for individuals with mild to moderate signs of sagging and may not deliver the same level of results as a surgical facelift. Patients with significant excess tissue and skin laxity would benefit more from a permanent surgical solution.
- Outcomes may vary. The results of thread lifts can be variable and depend on factors such as the type of threads used, the skill of the practitioner, and individual healing processes. I prefer procedures with more predictable and consistent outcomes.
- Temporary effects. Thread lifts provide temporary improvements, usually lasting between 12 to 18 months. In contrast, surgical facelifts can offer longer-lasting results.
- The data is lacking. While thread lifts have been used for several years, the long-term effects and potential complications associated with the procedure are still being studied. I recommend that patients steer clear of procedures that do not yet have a well-established safety profile and extensive long-term data.
Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation Treatments That Are Plastic-Surgeon Recommended
Sometimes patients aren’t ready to commit to a surgical procedure, but they still want to delay signs of aging as best they can. In addition to adhering to a good skincare routine and sun protection, evidence-based non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures can effectively address various concerns related to facial aging. At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, we offer different evidence-based treatments tailored to meet individual needs.
Here are non-surgical treatments that we do recommend to patients who want to keep their face and neck skin looking tight and youthful:
- Botox: Botulinum toxin injections, commonly known as Botox, can relax specific facial muscles to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, particularly in areas like the forehead and around the eyes.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing: Lasers can improve skin texture, reduce wrinkles, and minimize age spots or sun damage by stimulating collagen production and removing damaged skin layers.
- Dermal Fillers: Injectable dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid-based products, can restore lost volume, plump up hollow areas, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and folds, providing a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which helps exfoliate and rejuvenate the outer layers. They can address various skin concerns, including fine lines, uneven texture, and pigmentation irregularities.
- Microneedling: This procedure uses tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and improving skin texture, tone, and elasticity. It can also enhance the penetration and effectiveness of topical skincare products.
- HydraFacials: HydraFacial treatments involve a multi-step process that cleanses, exfoliates, extracts impurities, and infuses the skin with hydrating serums. They can address multiple skin concerns while providing deep hydration.
Although not permanent, these evidence-based non-surgical procedures can effectively minimize and slow down the signs of aging, allowing individuals to achieve a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance without surgery. Our experienced professionals can assess your concerns and recommend the most suitable treatments to help you achieve your desired results.
Defy Aging With Plastic Surgeon-Recommended Treatments for Mature Skin
Book a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons or qualified aestheticians to discuss your desired outcomes and treatment options.