“Thread lift” uses surgical thread to lift sagging skin. This was introduced in the early 90s but scary side effects, such as scarring, infection and obvious lumps under the skin, made it a bad fit for most women. Now, thanks to technological advances, the rejuvenation technique has made its way back to doctors’ offices.
The new-and-improved thread lift is FDA-cleared and noninvasive, with little-to-no downtime. That’s why it’s becoming an increasingly popular way to tighten and re-suspend moderately saggy cheeks, jowls, brows and neck.
Performed under local anesthesia, today’s thread lifts take an hour or two. Sutures embedded with tiny cones are inserted into the skin using a small cannula, similar to those used for injecting fillers. The cones grab skin from underneath and lift it, while simultaneously causing collagen-stimulating inflammation (which helps add volume).
Effects are immediately visible, improve over the next several months and can last up to two years. The average cost is $3,000 to $4,500, compared to $10,000 or more for a traditional face-lift.
Side effects include temporary soreness, swelling and bruising, similar to those of injectables. And because there is some possibility of nerve damage, it’s safest to use a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist.