Unfortunately, it used to be the case that anyone experiencing signs of facial aging like volume loss or skin laxity would have to turn to plastic surgery to have those conditions treated. But since most facial surgeries require significant financial and time investments, many people felt they just had to settle with their aging appearances instead.
Luckily, there have been considerable strides in the cosmetic 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 thread lifts to restore smooth, uplifted facial contours and improve skin quality.
WHAT IS A THREAD LIFT?
A thread lift, also known as a thread facelift, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses barbed sutures to provide a subtle lift to drooping facial tissue. These sutures stimulate the production of collagen to add volume to wrinkles and sunken areas of the face, and they safely dissolve in the body over time. A thread lift is considered a “lunchtime procedure” because it can be completed in our office in as little as 30 minutes.
If you are interested in getting started with a thread lift consultation, give our office a call or text at 925-328-0255.
BENEFITS OF A THREAD LIFT PROCEDURE
- Nonsurgical in-office procedure
- Generally takes less than an hour
- Uses local anesthesia (no general anesthesia)
- Costs much less than facelift surgery
- Lifts, volumizes and thickens the skin
- Provides immediate results
- Results look very natural and not pulled
- Virtually no downtime
At California Dermatology Care, we primarily use two popular thread lift methods: Silhouette InstaLift® and NovaThread. Both of these cosmetic treatments are FDA approved to lift and support lax facial tissue.
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 pulled through the skin layer by a needle-like tool.
The micro-cones on the thread create an immediate lifting effect throughout the face as they suspend the sagging tissues. 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.
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.
The NovaThreads may be barbed, smooth or twisted. The NovaThread 29-gauge and 27-gauge sutures are smooth threads and serve as excellent alternatives to fillers. We use 18-gauge Infinity NovaThread barbed sutures for tightening the lower half face and 23-gauge barbed sutures for neck tightening.
NovaThread sutures are meant to soften lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. This process provides youthful fullness in places in the skin that have lost volume. This is a very safe procedure, as there is no risk of vascular occlusion like with filler injections, particularly for treating the forehead area.
NovaThread treatment has two different approaches: NuLift and NuMesh.
In the NuLift approach, barbed polydioxanone (PDO) 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.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH A THREAD LIFT?
NECK AND JOWLS
A thread lift can improve sagging skin and tissue along the jawline (jowls) and in the neck with what is known as a neck thread lift. For now, InstaLift is not available for treating the neck, but NovaThreads can address this area.
As we age, the skin of the upper chest (décolletage) can become thin and crepey. You may start to hide what was once attractive cleavage with higher necklines. A nonsurgical thread lift can rejuvenate the upper chest area with firmer and thicker skin to give you the confidence to wear what you want.
For patients with sagging and crepiness in the cheeks, a thread lift can provide structural support to lift, volumize and rejuvenate the midface. The cheeks are one of the most common areas addressed with a thread lift.
If you suffer from wrinkles and fine lines on and around the lips, a lip thread lift can smooth and plump these areas. It can address issues such as nasolabial folds from the nose to the mouth, smoker’s lines around the lips and marionette lines down from the corners of the mouth.
EYEBROWS AND FOREHEAD
Wrinkles across the forehead and glabellar lines between the eyebrows can be smoothed with an eyebrow thread lift. While a thread lift for the eyes cannot be done, lifting the tissues of the forehead can help create a more alert eye appearance.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE THE THREADS MADE OF?
The Silhouette Instalift threads are made of two sugar materials that are biodegradable and safe for use in the body. The suture part of the thread is made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), and the cones along the suture are made of mostly PLLA and 18 percent polyglycolic acid (PGA).
NovaThreads are made of polydioxanone (PDO), a biodegradable synthetic polymer. PDO sutures have an excellent medical safety profile and have been used for plastic surgeries, cardiothoracic surgeries and other medical procedures for over 30 years.
WHO SHOULD PERFORM MY THREAD LIFT?
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 experiencing signs of facial aging like mild to moderate 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 in generally good health, are maintaining a healthy and stable weight, do not smoke and have realistic expectations about what a thread lift can do for them.
WHO SHOULD NOT UNDERGO A THREAD LIFT?
If you are allergic to one or more of the materials that make up the threads, you should not undergo this procedure. Patients with significant facial laxity and droopiness may not be good candidates, as this procedure does not remove excess skin. Patients with extremely soft, thin facial tissues also may not be candidates for a thread lift, as the threads may be seen or felt through the tissues after placement. If this does happen, it can be easily corrected or the threads can safely be taken out to restore the patient’s natural appearance.
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 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.
THREAD LIFT VS. FACELIFT PROCEDURE
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.
HOW MANY THREAD LIFT TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Most patients will need three monthly sessions to achieve their ideal results. Biannual touch–up treatment sessions can help maintain your results.
WHAT IS THREAD LIFT RECOVERY LIKE?
InstaLift and NovaThread are both nonsurgical and do not require general anesthesia, so you can leave the office after your procedure and resume most of your usual activities. Patients may return to work that same day or the following day depending on how they feel. A major advantage of thread lifts is the relatively instant gratification with minimal downtime, as most people are comfortable out in public the very next day.
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.
Patients should refrain from rubbing their face while they heal and be gentle when cleansing and moisturizing to avoid moving the threads under the skin. We advise patients to avoid sleeping on their face, using saunas and submerging their face in hot tubs and hot baths for the first week after the procedure. We also recommend that patients refrain from smoking, drinking with a straw and other activities that cause them to purse their lips for several weeks.
THREAD LIFT VS. FACELIFT RECOVERY
The short thread lift 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.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS DO THREAD LIFTS OFFER?
InstaLift and NovaThreads can provide both immediate and long-term improvements to facial volume and tautness. Lifting of the tissues is apparent as soon as the procedure is completed, and wrinkles and volume loss are gradually reduced over six to 12 weeks as new collagen is stimulated.
Patients are generally very pleased with their more youthful, lifted facial contours after a thread lift. To see our thread lift before and after pictures, contact us for a consultation.
THREAD LIFT VS. FACELIFT RESULTS
One disadvantage of a thread lift is that it can’t treat significantly sagging tissue and excess skin. The thread lift procedure can provide volume and lift for mild to moderate sagging, but it cannot provide as dramatic results as facelift surgery. While the thread lift comes with the benefit of no surgery and little downtime, its results also do not last as long as the results of facelift surgery.
HOW LONG DOES A THREAD LIFT LAST?
NovaThread results typically last six to nine months. The more extensive NuMesh NovaThread approach can cover a more thorough area on the face, and it is generally expected that these results last up to a year. In contrast, the Silhouette Instalift can increase facial volume and lift for up to two years on a possibly slightly smaller scale.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU HAVE A THREAD LIFT?
Patients often come in once or twice per year for a subsequent thread lift to maintain their results. There is no limit to the number of thread lifts you can have, but your provider will evaluate your facial tissues each time to ensure it’s the best option for your needs.
HOW MUCH DOES A THREAD LIFT COST?
Fortunately, because this procedure is nonsurgical, a thread lift costs much less than facelift surgery. 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 $3,000 for 10 sutures. A NovaThread costs $1,750 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 thread facelift cost often comes more experience, training and expertise from your practitioner. A procedure that will affect your new facial appearance is probably not the best place to try and find a cheap deal.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS WITH A THREAD LIFT?
A thread lift is a very safe procedure when performed by a properly trained and experienced provider such as those at California Dermatology Care. However, all procedures come with the risk of adverse occurrences that some patients may experience. For further thread lift safety information, please consult your provider during your consultation.
Rare but potential thread lift complications include:
- Minor bruising
- Temporary or persistent pain
- Hematoma (blood pooling)
- Rippling of the skin
- Skin dimples at the suture entry sites (typically resolves within two weeks)
- Visible or palpable sutures
- Snapped threads
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 scheduling an appointment online or by giving us a text or call at 925-328-0255.
We look forward to working with you to address your unique needs with a treatment plan tailored specifically to you.