Unfortunately, it used to be the case that anyone who was experiencing signs of facial aging like volume loss or skin laxity would have to turn to surgery to have those conditions treated. But since most facial surgeries require significant financial and time investments, many people would feel they just had to settle with their aging appearances instead.

Luckily, there have been considerable strides in the procedures that are now available to patients who do not want to live with the unfortunate changes that come with the natural aging process. One of those innovations is nonsurgical, minimally invasive thread lifts to restore smooth facial contours.

At California Dermatology Care, we primarily use two popular thread lift methods: Silhouette InstaLift and NovaThread. If you are interested in getting started with a thread lift consultation, give our office a call at 510-669-5700

How Do Thread Lifts Work?


During this procedure, a coned thread is inserted into the skin’s deepest layer in the areas that have experienced volume loss. This is done through a “stitching” technique where the thread is dragged through the skin layer by a needle-like tool.

The micro-cones on the thread create an immediate lifting effect throughout the face. This new technique is referred to as Micro-Suspension Technology.

As time passes, the thread eventually dissolves into the skin, activating your body’s natural collagen production process and providing long-lasting results, typically up to 2 years. For now, InstaLift is not available for neck lift. There can be temporary minor skin dimples at the suture entry sites which typically resolve in a couple weeks.


In general, NovaThread is a very similar process to InstaLift. While both methods rely on placing threads into the face to restore taut skin, they differ in how they approach the insertion.

Rather than using the stitching technique that you find in the InstaLift, NovaThread has developed a way to inject the thread into your face, cutting down on the incisions that need to be made.

NovaThread also has two different approaches: NuLift and NuMesh. In the NuLift approach, barbed polydioxanone threads are inserted into the face, neck or jowls to restore volume in the same way that InstaLift does.

In the NuMesh method, threads are used to create a scaffolding within the deepest skin layers by placing two threads vertically and three threads horizontally.

A major advantage of NovaThread is relatively instant gratification with minimal downtime as most people are comfortable out in public the very next day. NovaThread is also a fantastic option for tightening the upper half of the neck. Longevity typically lasts six to nine months.

There is a separate NovaThread smooth or twist 29-gauge or 27-gauge sutures that are meant to serve as excellent alternatives to fillers for forehead, glabella, fine lines around mouth and crepiness along medial cheeks. These finesse NovaThread smooth or twist sutures are meant to soften lines by providing volume in places on skin that has lost collagen by stimulating collagen production. This is a very safe procedure as there is no risk of vascular occlusion unlike filler injection, particularly for forehead area.  Most will need three monthly sessions with biannual touch up treatment sessions.

Regardless of the method you go with, it is crucial to find a medical professional who holds extensive experience in both the thread lift procedure and facial anatomy. Choosing an established practice with veteran staff like California Dermatology Care can make all the difference in your final results.    

Who Are Good Candidates for Thread Lifts?

Candidates for InstaLift and NovaThread are virtually the same. Anyone who is experiencing signs of facial aging like sagging or volume loss desiring relatively instant gratification with minimal downtime could consider having either of these thread lift procedures.

Similar to any cosmetic procedure, the best candidates are those who are in generally good health, are maintaining a healthy and stable weight, do not smoke and have realistic expectations about their results.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Because the procedures are so similar, you can generally expect the same kind of process for both InstaLift and NovaThread. The first step is the application of local anesthesia and mapping of your face by one of our physicians to determine the best way to proceed with the thread lift.

Once the anesthesia has kicked in, the physician will begin to insert the threads into your face via a series of injections for NovaThread or with a stitching technique for InstaLift. Both procedures generally take less than an hour to complete and are performed in the office.

Alternatives like facelifts or eye lifts can often take multiple hours to complete and require much more extensive excisions and anesthesia. The desire to limit that commitment is a big reason why so many patients are now choosing to go for nonsurgical procedures instead.

What Is Thread Lift Recovery Like?

Since it is a minimally invasive procedure regardless of which of the two you are undergoing, the recovery for a thread lift is generally no more than two days. It’s normal for patients to experience minor levels of bruising, swelling, pain, discomfort or tenderness during this time.

This short recovery period is one of the most significant advantages of choosing to go for a thread lift over something more extensive like a traditional facelift or brow lift, which both have recovery times measured in weeks rather than days.

InstaLift and NovaThread are both nonsurgical, so you can leave the office after your procedure and resume most of your usual activities and return to work the following day. 

What Kind of Results Do Thread Lifts Offer?

InstaLift and NovaThread can provide both immediate and long-term improvements to facial volume and tautness. While the more extensive NuMesh NovaThread approach can cover a more thorough area on the face, it is generally expected that these results last up to a year. In contrast, Instalift can increase volume for up to two years on a possibly slightly smaller scale.

How Much Do Thread Lifts Cost?

There are a lot of variables that determine the cost of your thread lift (location, your anatomy, the extent of correction required, etc.), so the best way to get an accurate quote is to do a consultation.

As a general estimate, a Silhouette InstaLift typically costs $4500 for 10 sutures. A NovaThread costs $1,500 for the tightening of either the lower half of the face or upper half of the neck or $2,500 for both.

It’s important to keep in mind that the best route is rarely the cheapest when it comes to aesthetic procedures. With a higher cost comes more experience, training and expertise, and a procedure that will be reflected in your new appearance is probably not the best place to try and find a cheap deal.

NovaThread and InstaLift in San Ramon

If you are interested in learning more about how NovaThread or InstaLift can help you solve your aesthetic struggles, please schedule a consultation with our office by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 510-669-5700.

We look forward to working with you to address your unique needs with a treatment plan tailored specifically to you.