Threads, also called sutures or stitches, are tiny strands of dissolvable material used in the skin to elevate and resuspend tissue, provide structural support, and stimulate collagen. Like filler, there are different types of threads, made of different compounds, to deliver customized results. The most common threads are made of polydioxanone (PDO), an absorbable material originally used in heart surgery. Some of the most popular threads brands include Mint Threads, NovaThreads, EuroThreads, and Silhouette Instalift.
In most cases, threads are inserted with tiny needles or cannulas and are secured in place through only that insertion point That means no incisions are made, no tissue is cut, and no stitches are seen outside of the skin. They are strategically placed to resuspend the tissue or add support to the underlying areas. At the same time, the products are designed to stimulate the body’s healing response. They stimulate new collagen growth, which in turn causes thickening of the tissue and improved tone and texture.
This is a highly customizable procedure. The insertion point, a number of threads used, and the type of threads used depend on your goals. After a thorough consultation, we will decide together what the best plan of action for you might be.
Tip 1: Fillers are best for volume loss or enhancement of features, but threads are best for lift and resuspension. Be sure to choose an injector who can utilize both tools to maximize your results!
Tip 2: Smooth or twisted threads can be a great alternative to filler in certain areas! They can also add definition to places such as the lip borders.
The result from a lifting procedure is immediate, though there will be swelling. An initial feeling of tightness or stiffness is common right after the procedure is complete. This initial lift is the maximum lift you will see throughout the procedure and healing process. As the sutures settle in and the swelling resolves, you will notice the lift softens after the first 1 to 2 weeks. These results can last up to 1 to 2 years after treatment.
The results from a structural support procedure are gradual over weeks. The body’s healing and collagen stimulation develop slowly as the threads dissolve. This process can take up to 90 days. The tiny needles used to place the threads cause some swelling as well. It is common to be swollen for the first few days after treatment. This swelling slowly resolves completely in about 1 to 2 weeks.
Side Effects & Recovery
The most common side effects are bruising, swelling, and soreness. As the numbing wears off, patients often feel sore and tight. This feeling typically resolves over the first week. Swelling is common in areas where the sutures are present. It appears as a more generalized fullness than swelling around the individual thread. Bruising is most common at the insertion point but can be present throughout the entire treated area. Bruising can take up to 2 weeks to completely resolve.
It is important to avoid strenuous exercise, a dramatic turning of the head, and side sleeping during the first week. A tugging sensation or tightness is the most common complaint. Listen to your body during this time. Your body will tell you when you are doing too much!