The Thread Lift

A thread lift is a procedure that attempts to lift sagging areas of the face with barbed threads inserted under the facial skin, where they attach to underlying tissues.

This procedure uses threads made of clear polypropylene, a strong, lightweight plastic similar to fishing wire, with sharp barbs at the ends made to hook or engage facial soft tissue.

Developed as a short cut or quick fix procedure that is accomplished under local anesthesia, thread lifts have been fraught with problems and complications due to threads pushing through the skin, breaking or being malpositioned. Certain threads were recently taken off the market by the FDA.

Even when perfected, thread lifts produced a very limited, short-term result. Since no incisions are made, no redundant or extra tissue can be removed which causes bunching or pleating of soft tissue around the ears.

This procedure gained early popularity after it was featured on the Today Show. Another reason for its popularity is that it can be done by almost any physician under local anesthesia. Once longer term outcomes and complications became known most highly trained facial plastic surgeons abandoned this technique.