Thread lift


Thread lifts were invented in 1997 by Dr Marian Sulamanidze. They were a new way to treat sagging facial tissue.

Facial aging is characterised by 2 phenomena:

  1. the loss of tissue: which is compensated by injections of hyaluronic acid or by fat grafting (lipofilling).
  2. sagging tissue: the soft superficial planes (muscles and contours) become lax.

Sagging facial tissue can be treated in 3 ways

Lifts which detach, shorten and redrape the skin

  • very effective for the lower face and the neck,
  • less effective for the cheekbones,
  • not useful for the forehead since the introduction of Botox.

Resurfacing techniques:

  • phenol or TCA peeling
  • CO2 laser
  • dermabrasion A good result for skin tonicity but has no effect on facial sagging.

Thread lifts: Russian threads

  • The tissues can be lifted without detaching them from the muscle. The skin is not cut; the excess skin retracts itself with time.


A local anaesthetic is administered to the area concerned, and then a long needle of about 10cm is inserted along the curve that needs to be lifted. The surgeon uses this needle as a guide through which the thread will be introduced. Once this is done, he just has to remove the needle, put a little pressure on thread so as to lift the skin which locks onto the barbs of the thread. 2 or 3 threads are inserted in this way on each side of the face.


It is clear that this technique is a lot gentler than the 2 previous ones, (a face lift involves the cutting and detaching of tissues and peelings, a real burning of the skin).

  • Pain: the longer and more numerous the threads, the more painful the post operative effects will be (a pain killer and anti-inflammatory are required).
  • Patients are often uncomfortable at night and it is not advisable to sleep on the side of your face (an airplane pillow is useful for the first few nights).
  • Moderate bruising, sometimes a hematoma. Infections are avoided by aseptic surgical procedures and post-op medication (antibiotics, Betadine…).
  • Finally, the “creased” look, due to surplus skin and swelling, make a 5 to 7 day period of isolation preferable.

Thread lifts treat:

  1. the face oval
  2. the neck
  3. the eyebrows

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