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A thread lift is a minimally-invasive aesthetic procedure that lifts and tightens sagging skin on the face and neck. Lots of people choose to have a thread lift as an alternative to a surgical face lift, as it generally costs less and doesn’t come with as much risk or downtime.

It’s important to note that thread lifts can only be carried out in Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered facilities.

How does a thread lift work?

A practitioner will insert specialised threads under the skin using small incisions. These threads usually have tiny barbs or cones along their length that grip and lift the skin when they are appropriately positioned.

The procedure works by physically lifting and repositioning the skin, promoting collagen production and improving skin elasticity.

Threads are generally made from biocompatible materials that dissolve in the skin over time. These include polydioxanone (PDO), poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA), which each have different properties and capabilities. The type of thread your practitioner will use generally depends on their preference and what they deem will work best for your concerns.

Who is suitable for a thread lift?

A thread lift is a good option for those with a moderate degree of skin sagging in the eyebrows, cheeks, jowls and neck. If you have loose skin or your sagging is severe, a face lift may be a more effective option.

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for a thread lift; a consultation with a qualified and experienced medical professional is essential to determine if this procedure is appropriate for your specific needs and goals.

What results are expected from a thread lift?

If you undergo a thread lift procedure, you can expect your face to look more lifted and youthful immediately after treatment.

It should also start to look firmer, tighter and smoother after eight to twelve weeks when the effects of the increased collagen and elastin production set in.

Depending on the extent of your individual concerns and the threads used, results can last between one to three years.

Does a thread lift hurt?

Some people report feeling sensations of pulling, tugging, or pressure during the procedure, but these sensations are usually manageable. Local anaesthesia is usually used to numb the treatment area, which helps minimise pain during the thread insertion process.

After the procedure, it's common to experience some swelling, bruising, and soreness. This discomfort can last for a few days to a week, and over-the-counter pain medication can be used to alleviate any discomfort.

Remember that pain is subjective and varies from person to person. If you're considering a thread lift, discussing pain management strategies and your expectations with your chosen practitioner can help you make an informed decision about the procedure.

Are there any risks associated with the treatment?

No aesthetic procedure is without risk, so it’s important to be aware of what can occur before undergoing treatment.

Normal side effects include slight pain, redness, swelling and bruising around the injection site. These should calm down a few days after treatment.

More serious issues include infection if a practitioner does not use sterile techniques, uneven results, thread migration whereby the thread moves and produces an undesirable result, and threads becoming visible under the skin. Although rare, nerve damage and allergic reaction can also occur.

It's important to note that the experience and skill of the practitioner significantly affect the likelihood of complications. Before considering a thread lift, ensure that you consult with a qualified and experienced medical professional who can evaluate your individual situation, discuss potential risks, and help you make an informed decision about whether the procedure is right for you.