Treatment guide

Thread Lift

A thread lift is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that corrects aged or sagging skin. The procedure has grown increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its relatively short recovery time and low-risk nature. In simple terms, a thread lift involves 'suspending' the skin with a series of sutures.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

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Thread Lift Quick Details


  • People concerned about sagging or ageing skin on the face and neck.

  • People looking for an affordable facelift.

  • People who don't want to undergo the recovery associated with traditional facelifts.


  • Anything between 30 minutes to two hours.


  • Initial swelling and bruising should subside in a few days.

  • Numbness and pain can linger for several days.

  • Some patients are advised to take two or three days off work afterwards.


  • Most people experience an immediate increase in skin tautness.

  • Results usually last a minimum of six months.

  • Some patients achieve positive results for up to 18 months.


  • Swelling and bruising

  • Slight bleeding

  • Infection

  • Thread protrusions and migration

  • Damage to the surrounding blood vessels

  • Permanent nerve damage to the face (very rare)


What Is a Thread Lift?

Think of the dermal layer of the face as scaffolding for the skin. As elastin fibres and connecting tissues break down over time, the skin around them can begin to droop and loosen. This makes the face appear older and it can be a source of immense distress and anxiety when the change is significant or quick. In the past, the only option was to undergo a traditional facelift involving invasive surgery and a recovery period that stretched over months. . Now, however, Polydioxanone (PDO) threads can be used to suspend skin, increasing tautness. These threads are 'stitched' into the face, pulling affected areas of skin and tightening them.

How Does a Thread Lift Work?

A thread lift can deliver cosmetic benefits in two ways. The threads create a mechanical lifting action that tightens skin and pulls out wrinkles and folds. When this happens, the body responds to the invasion by producing its own collagen - this is a defense mechanism aimed at fighting off the foreign body. As the threads dissolve, they are absorbed into the body triggering the production of yet more collagen. This naturally-occurring substance fills out the face, enhancing the results of the initial procedure and prolonging the benefits.


You will need a thorough consultation with a surgeon before undergoing a thread lift. You will be asked a series of questions to ascertain your suitability for the procedure. The clinical team will assess your medical history and seek clarification if necessary. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the procedure and to request examples of the surgeon's work. The risks and side-effects linked to thread lifts will be explained to you before you consent. Once you're ready to proceed, you'll need to sign a consent form before the procedure can be scheduled.


In the vast majority of cases, patients are given a series of local anaesthetic injections in order to numb the face or neck. This is something you will need to discuss with your surgeon beforehand.

The Thread Lift Procedure

  • A thread of polypropylene is prepared in advance. A series of barbs are positioned at regular intervals along the thread, which are designed to open like an umbrella once they've been positioned correctly.

  • Threads are inserted into the skin via very small incisions. They tend to be located along the patient's hairline to minimise visible scarring afterwards. A thick needle is used to pierce the skin and insert one end of the thread into the cheekbone. The other end of thread is inserted before being gradually pulled upwards. As this happens, the skin and surrounding structures are pulled tight.

  • To complete the procedure, the barbs on the thread are locked into place, and the thread ends are sutured just below the surface of the skin. They remain in place for support and to maintain the desired structure. They eventually dissolve naturally.

Are There Different Types of Thread Lifts?

While the insertion process remains largely the same, there are different types of thread:

  • PD screw - a spiral-shaped thread that is inserted into the sub-dermis or deep dermis. Anywhere between 25mm and 60mm in length, PD screw threads induce retraction and stimulation across their entire length.

  • PDO cogs - barbed threads of between 50mm and 90mm are available with up to three directions. These threads are particularly effective at stimulating collagen production along up to three axes at the same time.

  • PDO mono - the length of this type of thread varies between 12mm and 60mm. PDO mono threads promote the fast resculpting of facial tissues.

  • PDO embossed thread - a thread with micro-grooves that facilitates re-growth of tissues. Embossed threads are usually positioned deep within the subdermal layer.

  • PDO mini cannulas - blunted cannulas are used to insert both straight and barbed threads to minimise the risk of bleeding, bruising and swelling.

What Should I Expect?

Thread lifts are still minimally invasive, so you should expect a degree of pain and discomfort for several days after the procedure. You'll usually be given a series of local anaesthetic injections, but general anaesthesia options may be available too. If you're looking for fast results without the expense and long-term recovery of traditional facelift surgery, a thread lift could be the appropriate procedure for you.

How do I get started? Prior to the surgery, you will need to have an initial consultation with your surgeon. We at Qunomedical will liaise with the clinic on your behalf. At this point, you will be required to provide us with pictures of your face, a list of medications you regularly take and whether you have any allergies. This information is sent to the surgeon who will then proceed to prepare a suggested treatment plan for you, and your Qunomedical patient manager will then forward it to you. If you have any more questions or queries, you can reach out to them anytime.

If you choose to go ahead with the treatment, the surgeon will then elucidate the steps of the procedure and will also give you extensive advice on preparations prior to the surgery and on the aftercare process.


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