Thread lift is a technique employing thick or barbed sutures as cables to mechanically resuspend sagging areas of the face. The threads are placed through tiny incisions and prop up the subcutaneous tissues of the cheek or brow, although they can be (and have been) placed just about anywhere on the the face or body.
Used alone, the threads tend to be stiff and interfere with natural muscle movement and facial expression. By attaching a small patch of a nylon-like material to one end of the thread, the tension is more focused on the patch, which seems to allow slightly better movement.
Marketed as "revolutionary" by some Asian surgeons who claim to have invented the technology and go so far as to attach their names to the procedure, many American cosmetic surgeons who have already been using similar techniques for years have lost their initial enthusiasm after results proved disappointing and fleeting.
Thread lifting provides minimal help at most and is best restricted to younger patients with early change. Thicker Asian skin further limits the operation's usefulness.
Such procedures are often combined with injectables such as dermal fillers to plump up localized areas of depression and neurotoxins to paralyze muscle. There are even stem cell solutions that are said to rejuvenate the face, although evidence is sorely lacking.
As with other forms of non-surgical facelift, thread lift is a procedure designed to cater to consumers' dreams of experiencing significant facial rejuvenation without the effort, cost, risk, and downtime of real surgery.Unfortunately, the dream remains a fantasy.