Read This Before You Get A Thread Lift

It's no secret that as we age, our skin begins to sag. This is due to decreased production of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin strong and supple. After the age of 20, humans produce roughly 1 percent less collagen every year, which leads to exponentially thinner and less elastic skin as time goes on (via Scientific American). Modern advances such as plastic surgery have been able to combat the aging process. Until recently, one of the best ways to do this was the facelift. But now, a new, far less invasive method has been developed — the thread lift. 

A thread lift differs from a facelift in that instead of removing excess skin, surgeons suspend the skin by stitching up portions of it. Aside from helping to lift and firm, this procedure also provokes the body's natural healing response, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). As a reaction to the sutures (or stitches) places in the skin, the body will send large surges of collagen to the areas where it detects a foreign object. "Fortunately, because the threads placed under the skin during a thread lift are so small, the patient will not feel any of this happening," the Society's website claims. "Most people cannot feel their sutures at all once the skin has healed around them."

If you're considering undergoing a thread lift, read on for everything to know before reaching out to your doctor.

The benefits of a thread lift over a facelift

According to the ASPS, the greatest advantage of choosing a thread lift over a traditional facelift is the recovery time. Since it is a less invasive procedure, patients can be put under local anesthesia rather than be heavily sedated. You will also not have to rely on a caretaker to bring you home after a thread lift or look after you in the days following. This makes it a more sensible option for those who have busy schedules or children at home, and cannot afford to take several days off to recover. The ASPS also states there is "virtually no risk of scarring, severe bruising, bleeding or other complications after having a thread lift," though in rare cases, irritation or infection can occur.

Thread lifts are also much more affordable than facelifts, as they are easier to perform. The average cost of a thread lift is $2,250 (via Healthline) whereas a facelift could run you around $7,467 (via ASPS), so it's worth considering if you're not ready to drop a significant amount of money on a procedure.

However, there are cons to consider

Though a thread lift is a relatively low-risk procedure, there are, of course, certain precautions to take to ensure proper healing. You'll have to be extremely gentle when cleansing or moisturizing your face for at least a week after the procedure, as well as avoid sleeping on your face.

It's also important to manage expectations when it comes to the outcome a thread lift. Because it is not an invasive or drastic procedure, patients should not expect the same results a facelift might offer. "While thread lifts certainly produce visible changes, they will generally only lift the face by a few millimeters; as such, they create a more subtle and natural looking end result than facelift surgery," the ASPS states. "Thread lifts are therefore best suited to patients who are dealing with mild to moderate, rather than severe, signs of skin laxity." The Society also says that results of a thread lift only last one to three years, while results of a face lift can last up to a decade. 

If you are in your late 30s to early 50s and looking for a quick way to get younger-looking skin, a thread lift might be right for you. Those 55 or older looking for a more drastic result would likely benefit more from a traditional facelift. No matter your situation, it's important to speak to your doctor about what is right for you, especially if you have underlying health conditions.