Health And Wellness

This Wild New Facelift Uses Thread To Literally Lift Your Face

Photo: TanyaLovus / Shutterstock
facelift before and after

In the future, facelifts, breast augmentations, lip plumping, and cheek- and butt-lifting procedures will be done by inserting thin threads into the face through tiny injections. These procedures will be done in under an hour.

Well, the future is here — and threadlifting is now a viable option for certain kinds of cosmetic surgery, especially facelifts.

What is threadlifting? 

According to the book Pearls and Pitfalls in Cosmetic Oculoplastic Surgery, the technique of threadlifting is very easy for the experienced plastic surgeon to master. Threadlifting doesn't need a fully outfitted surgical suite, and the entire procedure is done using a local anesthetic cream applied to the treatment area.

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The surgery takes 30 minutes to an hour. Bandages aren't needed post-surgery, and recovery time is two to three days. Patients can expect some minor swelling, bruising, and tenderness after the procedure, and they should be extra aware of the needle incision points to make sure there isn't any infection. 

The treated areas will be raised slightly, eliminating sagging, improving contour lines, and giving patients an improved appearance 90 days after the treatment. The threads themselves will be absorbed back into the skin without showing any scars. The results of the procedure can last up to two years, and after that, an annual touch-up is needed.

This less invasive alternative to traditional facelifts is designed for people experiencing early signs of aging, such as minor facial sagging.

You're not a good candidate for threadlifting if you have acne, have recently had exfoliation or mesotherapy, are on anticoagulant drugs, have had a Herpes Simplex outbreak in any area of the skin within 31 days of the procedure, or had any recent resurfacing procedures performed on the treatment site.

If you don't mind the thought of strings literally pulling your skin up, or don't like the idea of extensive cosmetic surgery, then threadlifting may be for you. It's what everybody will be doing in the future.

Fast forward to 2020 and threadlifts are all the rage, especially in the celebrity world. (Gwyneth Paltrow herself is reportedly a threadlift enthusiast.) 

However, there is now a very specific reason some people are choosing to get a threadlift: It can help achieve a permanent "cat eye" look, similar to the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. 

However, threadlifts need to be done continually, and since the area around the eye is so small, doctors warn against getting this procedure done too often as it can be very dangerous.

Dermatologist Shereene Idriss said, “You’re only going to see a nice ‘lift’ for the first 2-3 weeks, and then your body starts to absorb the threads and the lift goes down. Because the effect fades so quickly, patients might be compelled to head back to their derm every other month, but that’s a very dangerous road. I would never recommend more than two times a year, max.”

She also added, “The temple and eyebrow is such a small area that condensing multiple threads in a tight vector will cause a ton of scar tissue and trauma. If you’re going for this aesthetic permanently, your options are really only surgical, like a brow lift and/or eyelid surgery. The way I see it is as a long-term road, and I wouldn’t want your face to lose its proportions as time goes by and this trend eventually fades.” 

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or and her Instagram.