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Thread Lift Before and Afters: See How It Works as Well as a Facelift in Just 30 Minutes

See photos of the “lunchtime lift” that has celebs like Janice Dickinson singing its praises

If you thought the only way to lift and tighten saggy skin is with a facelift, you’d be pleasantly surprised to learn about a trendy, less-invasive procedure that has women flocking to cosmetic surgeons. And you can be in and out the door in less time than it takes to get a teeth cleaning. It’s called a “thread lift.” and doctors say it’s cheaper, easier and less invasive than a facelift. Ready to hear more about the lifting technique that’s taking the plastic surgery world by storm? Read on for all the uplifting details and see the astounding thread lift before and afters! 

What is a thread lift?

woman getting a thread lift by a doctor
javi_indy/Getty Images

“A thread lift entails placing a medical-grade dissolvable suture with little hooks beneath the skin to reposition and lift skin and/or facial fat pads. This thread is inserted through a hollow needle so there are no open wounds or scars like in surgery,” says Mariano Busso, MD, PA, a dermatologist with offices in Beverly Hills and Miami, Florida, who trademarked his own version called the BussoLyft. His clients include Janice Dickinson, Real Housewife Lisa Hochstein and TV personality Abby Lee Miller of Dance Moms fame. 

The threads themselves play an integral role in its age-reversing effects. Most thread lifts are done with a type of thread known as PDO, which stands for polydioxanone. This natural protein is woven into a thin thread similar to human hair. Studies have proven that the threads help new skin-firming collagen form in the skin. 

“The barbs on the thread help to grab ahold of skin tissue, creating tension in the thread, which pulls the skin taut and lifts the skin tissue. Collagen formation then occurs around the threads, provoking the body’s healing response and stimulating the body’s natural collagen production,” explains Dr. Busso.

The first thread lift was reportedly performed in the late 1990s, although the procedure has soared in popularity over the last several years — due in part to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Mendes applauding the non-surgical lift. 

And it’s no surprise women want one. A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that the procedure has a 90% success rate, and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), it has little to no risks

What’s the difference between a thread lift and a facelift? 

Dr. Busso says thread lifts cost less than a facelift (around $1,000 per area) and require less downtime. Some surgeons call them a “lunchtime lift” or “weekend facelift.” They can usually be performed in under an hour under local anesthesia, and most patients report only minor discomfort. 

Recovery is fairly quick, with just a few days (versus a facelift, which takes around three months), and significantly fewer risks exist. There is virtually no risk of scarring, severe bruising, bleeding or other complications after having a thread lift, attests the ASPS.

Minor swelling and bruising can occur, which usually resolves in a short amount of time, says Dr. Busso. “The patient can also experience dimpling where the threads are inserted, which also goes away quickly,” he adds. More serious side effects like nerve damage are rare. The only real downside is they last just 1-2 years, whereas a facelift lasts about ten years. 

Thread lifts are also being done as an alternative to tummy tuck surgery for some patients with loose belly skin and are seeing favorable results. “Tummy tuck surgery is the riskiest plastic surgery procedure there is. The thread lift can lift the skin around the belly button, reducing laxity and wrinkling and resulting in a ‘mini’ tummy tuck effect,” says Dr. Busso. Of course, it won’t tighten the inner abdominal wall like a full tummy tuck would and is only suitable for firming up loose and hanging skin.

Related: “I’m a Celebrity Plastic Surgeon and Here’s When You Should Consider a Tummy Tuck”

Who is a thread lift good for?

If you’re a middle-aged to mature woman, your skin is still relatively thick and you only have mild drooping of the cheeks and jowls, this may be for you. “Candidates with very thin skin, heavy tissues or a significant amount of sagging skin might require more threads and/or more than one treatment to obtain ideal results,” warns Dr. Busso. He also emphasizes that the ideal person is looking for ‘realistic results,’ not a miracle, as it tends to be more subtle and not as dramatic of a change. 

It’s also used to lift necks, saggy knees and even a droopy tummy! And it’s not just being used to reverse the signs of aging. Model Bella Hadid reportedly got one to give her eyes a more cat-like appearance. It can even lessen the appearance of under-eye bags and provide a more contoured look to the face. 

Can you get a thread lift if you’re over 60? 

In most cases, you can! A 70-year-old woman in Houston reportedly had one with terrific results. Watch the video below to see her thread lift before and after.

Janice Dickinson, 69, had a thread lift by Dr. Busso in 2023 and sings the procedure’s praises. “It’s really made a difference in my life,” she shares with “My face became fuller, younger, healthier, fresher and smoother instantly,” says the supermodel and TV personality. “It also significantly reduced the wrinkles in my neck.” The new grandma — who recently released a dance album — says she wishes she’d done it sooner and plans to return when the threads dissolve and the results wear off. See her thread lift before and after below:

However, doctors warn that not all women over 60 are viable candidates. While there’s no specific age cap on thread lifts, doctors say women with severe sagging or who cannot produce new collagen might not have good results. 

More thread lift before and after photos

Now that you know what a thread lift entails, let’s check out some results! Dr. Busso has shared these thread lift before and immediately after photos using the BussoLyft PDO thread procedure. 

Tummy thread lift before and after

The thread lift procedure reduced this 51-year-old patient’s tummy pooch significantly.

thread lift on tummy before and after
Dr. Busso

Related: Mini Tummy Tuck Before and Afters: The Results of This Procedure on Extra Ab Flab Can Be Dramatic

Jawline thread lift before and after

This 42-year-old woman looks years younger after having her thread lift with Dr. Busso. 

thread lift on face before and after
Dr. Busso
thread lift on face before and after
Dr. Busso

Neck thread lift before and after

The neck is an area that tends to show our age, but this 50-year-old patient showed off a smoother, younger-looking neck post-thread lift.

thread lift on neck before and after
Dr. Busso
thread lift on neck before and after
Dr. Busso

Lower face thread lift before and after

This 56-year-old hated her saggy jowls, droopy chin and turkey neck and wanted a more youthful appearance, which she achieved with her lower face thread lift. 

lower face thread lift before and after
Dr. Busso
lower face thread lift before and after
Dr. Busso

Nasolabial fold thread lift before and after

47-year-old beauty entrepreneur Megan O’Brien didn’t like how deep the creases in her nasolabial folds (also known as parenthesis) had become as she approached her 50s, so she opted for a thread lift over so-called facial filler injections to reduce their appearance. Fillers often have adverse effects such as lumpiness or unevenness. 

face thread lift before and after
Megan O’Brien

To see more surprising before and after stories, click through:

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