- A thread lift is a temporary, minimally invasive facial rejuvenation technique for the mid and lower face, neck and upper chest
- Treatment typically costs thousands of dollars, with results lasting from 6 months to 3 years
- The type and number of threads used are the biggest factors that impact cost
A thread lift is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to temporarily lift and firm the skin. Sometimes called a nonsurgical facelift, it’s popular among people who don’t want to undergo surgery or prefer a less expensive alternative to a facelift. A thread lift cost depends largely on the type and number of threads used, along with other factors such as location and provider.
What Is a Thread Lift?
A thread lift uses biodegradable sutures to pull loose skin up and back to create a smoother, firmer and younger-looking appearance. The threads can be cog-shaped, twisted or barbed in order to grasp, lift and suspend the tissue in its new position. This procedure is performed under local anesthetic using a very thin needle or cannula, a small hollow tube.
The presence of the threads triggers your body’s healing response and promotes the production of collagen, a key protein that gives skin its firmness and elasticity. By encouraging new collagen growth, a thread lift can offer long-term rejuvenation.
Effective for targeting many of the common signs of aging on the face, neck and upper chest, a thread lift can:
- Correct a downturned mouth
- Correct skin laxity, fine lines and wrinkles
- Lift the jawline
- Restore lost volume in the cheek area
How Much Does a Thread Lift Cost?
The cost of a thread lift can range widely and depends on several variables.
Type of thread lift
Two types of thread lifts are currently FDA-approved.
The first is made of polydioxanone (PDO), the same material used for surgical sutures. The most common PDO thread brands and their average cost are:
|Type of PDO Thread||Average Cost per Area|
The second type of threads are made of poly-l-Lactic acid (PLLA). PLLA threads last about twice as long as PDO threads, and therefore can be almost double in price.
Currently, the only PLLA thread that’s approved by the FDA is the Silhouette Instalift. It costs between $2,500–$6,000, depending on the number of threads used and the area being treated.
How many threads are used
A key cost factor is how many threads are needed. Many plastic surgeons charge per thread, so the more extensive your lift, the more threads you’ll require.
Most patients need 2–4 threads per treatment area, which are defined as the midface, lower face, neck and upper chest.
Generally, cosmetic procedures are more expensive in large urban areas than they are in more rural locations.
Typically, the more experienced the provider, the greater the cost. With that said, opting for a board-certified plastic surgeon at a reputable medspa carries less risk of complications.
Are Thread Lifts Worth It?
Several factors influence a thread lift’s longevity and effectiveness. Although not directly related to financial cost, these variables may affect your decision to choose this over other skin rejuvenation options.
Are you a good candidate?
Good candidates for thread lifts are individuals in their 30s–50s with mild-to-moderate loose skin. People with greater skin laxity or very poor elasticity may find another skin tightening procedure to be more effective.
How long does a thread lift last?
Thread lifts are temporary, therefore you’ll need to repeat the procedure or undergo other procedures to maintain results.
PDO threads dissolve after 6 months, and their collagen-producing effects typically last for a total of 1 year. PLLA threads are longer-lasting; they dissolve after 1 year, with collagen effects lasting up to 2 years.
Risks and side effects
Thread lifts have a somewhat high complication rate; in one 2019 study, 34% of treated patients had complications, including:
- Folding and dimpling of skin
- Displacement of threads
- Temporary facial stiffness
- Temporary redness
Several literature reviews have shown that the safety and long-term consequences of a thread lift procedure are still not well understood.
Thread Lifts vs. Facelifts
Plastic surgery is the most permanent and most expensive alternative to a thread lift. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular procedures for skin laxity and other signs of aging and their costs in 2020 were:
If a thread lift or plastic surgery is not right for you, several minimally invasive procedures are available that have skin-tightening and rejuvenating effects.
Botox is an effective, low-risk, anti-aging solution for the forehead, eye area, jawline and upper neck. This neuromodulator temporarily freezes muscles to prevent the formation of facial expressions that cause lines and wrinkles, and relaxes tight neck muscles that can age the appearance.
In 2020, the average cost of Botox was $466. Botox has no recovery time and the results typically last 3–6 months.
Dermal fillers involve injecting a gel-like substance beneath the skin to plump up facial features, firm loose skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The results last from 6 months up to 2 years, depending on the filler. There’s no downtime involved, although you may experience swelling for several days post treatment.
In 2020, the average cost of a hyaluronic acid filler, the most popular type, was $684.
A thread lift is a rejuvenating procedure that involves injecting biodegradable sutures beneath the skin to temporarily lift the skin and stimulate collagen production. It can be performed on the face, neck or upper chest.
The cost of a thread lift varies from $1,500–$6,000 depending on the type and number of threads injected, your provider’s experience and your geographic location. PDO threads dissolve after 6 months, while PLLA threads last for 1 year and as such, are almost double in price.
More permanent alternatives to thread lifts include procedures such as facelifts and neck lifts. These surgeries are significantly more expensive and involve extensive downtime.
- Kalra R. Use of barbed threads in facial rejuvenation. Indian J Plast Surg. 2008;41(Suppl):S93-S100. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20174549/
- Diaspro A, Luni M, Rossini G. Thread Lifting of the Jawline: A Pilot Study for Quantitative Evaluation. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2021;14(1):47-54. doi:10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_41_20
- Bertossi D, Botti G, Gualdi A, et al. Effectiveness, Longevity, and Complications of Facelift by Barbed Suture Insertion. Aesthet Surg J. 2019;39(3):241-247. doi:10.1093/asj/sjy042
- Gülbitti HA, Colebunders B, Pirayesh A, Bertossi D, van der Lei B. Thread-Lift Sutures: Still in the Lift? A Systematic Review of the Literature. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018;141(3):341e-347e. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000004101
- Tavares JP, Oliveira CACP, Torres RP, Bahmad F Jr. Facial thread lifting with suture suspension. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2017;83(6):712-719. doi:10.1016/j.bjorl.2017.03.015
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. 2020. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/cosmetic-procedures-average-cost-2020.pdf