What to Expect with a Thread Lift: Before, During & After

The Thread Lift Procedure: Before, During, After

If you have already read our Thread Lift FAQs you may have decided that this amazing, minimally invasive skin tightening procedure is right for you. And now you’re ready to look like a younger version of yourself – lifting and restoring your skin to its original location – without having to go under the knife, and with virtually no downtime!

The next step is to schedule a personalized consultation with thread lift expert Dr. Ruthie Harper in out Austin, TX office to learn exactly what a thread lift can do for your unique skin concerns. In this article, Dr. Harper discusses what to expect before, during and after your thread lift procedure – so you can get the greatest benefit from this revolutionary, non-surgical, anti-aging procedure.


Initial Thread Lift Consultation / Choosing the Area

When you schedule your thread lift consultation in our Austin, TX office, Dr. Harper will carefully examine the condition of your skin, the degree of sagging, and take into consideration your personal health and lifestyle factors – including sun exposure, smoking, heredity, and more.

Together, she will work with you to decide which area, or area(s) of skin you would like to tighten with a thread lift.

Facial Thread Lift Areas:

  • Lower face & jaw line (jowls)
  • Mid-face and cheek area (“marionette lines”)
  • Peri-ocular area (eye and brow area)
  • Neck

Body Thread Lift Areas:

  • Inner thighs
  • Inner arms
  • Butt lift
  • Breast lift
  • Knees

Cost & Financing of a Thread Lift

Because a thread lift is a strictly cosmetic procedure, insurance does not cover this treatment. However, Dr. Harper’s staff will give you an exact cost based on the number of treated areas. They can also discuss convenient financing options with you!

Preparing for Your Thread Lift

There is very little preparation for a thread lift, because it is a minimally invasive procedure. However, there are some precautions that can help ensure that you obtain the best results and the fastest recovery from your thread lift.

General precautions to take prior to a thread lift include:

  • No smoking for a week before
  • No alcohol for 48 hours before
  • No make-up or creams on the day of the procedure
  • No blood-thinning products such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve) or Aspirin
  • Enjoy a light breakfast or meal so you do not become dizzy or weak
  • Pre-arrange for a ride home if you feel you might need this
  • Do not schedule excessively heavy activity for at least 2 weeks


The Thread Lift Procedure

Before starting the procedure, Dr. Harper will sometimes apply a topical numbing cream or will inject a local anesthetic into the treatment area. A numbing cream may be sufficient for inserting more superficial sutures designed to increase collagen and improve skin quality. A local anesthesia is typically best for lifting threads designed to lift sinking or sagging skin similar to a face lift.

Once the anesthetic has taken affect, Dr. Harper will mark the contours on your face determining where the tightening will take place to give you the best results. The threads are then inserted along these specially designed vectors. Experience with vector determination is a critical part of a physician experienced with thread lifts which ensures the best results following your procedure.

Dr. Harper then inserts the threads into the subdermal layer of the facial tissue, following along these pre-marked contours. No incisions are needed. And, because the threads go underneath the visible layers of the skin, the threads are completely invisible. A second set of threads may be inserted above the first to provide “bi-directional” support in the targeted area.

The threads themselves are made of “Polydioxanone” – abbreviated as PDO – which is a very safe, FDA approved material that has been used in surgical sutures (“stitches”) for decades. PDO is an ideal choice of filament for a thread lift because it safely dissolves over time and is naturally eliminated from the body.

As Dr. Harper pulls on the needle, the suture lifts and “gathers” the skin until it has been repositioned in the right place. The long ends of the thread are then secured and cut off below the skin, so no one can see the ends of the threads.

Thread Lift Results

After your thread lift, lifting and tightening will be immediately and dramatically visible. But this isn’t even the complete result! Over the next several months, new collagen and fibrous tissue will form around the PDO sutures to further support and tighten the skin tissue.

The results will differ for each person, but because skin is simply restored to its original position, and new collagen forms naturally, results typically look very natural – like a younger version of yourself! And because there are no incisions, there will be no scarring.


Patients are typically able to drive themselves home after their thread lift procedure and most even return to work the same day. Some patients experience mild bruising and swelling – and possibly some tenderness – that generally lasts for 24-48 hours after treatment, sometimes a bit longer. Gently applying a cold compress, keeping your head elevated, and Tylenol can help make your recovery faster and more comfortable.

Full recovery time can take up to a week. Dr. Harper will advise you on what’s the best recovery plan after your unique procedure.

Precautions After a Thread Lift

For the first two weeks you should avoid excessive movement of the area (such as biting into a large apple or hamburger). Do not rub, stretch or aggressively itch your face. And, if you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, be gentle to support the threads if recently placed.

Most patients should be able to return to work in just a day or two. However, if your job requires strenuous activity, then you must take at least 2 to 3 days off to facilitate healing. Patients should also avoid working out, vigorous exercise, or strenuous activity for 2 to 3 weeks after a thread lift – because it can increase the heart rate, intensifying blood flow to the area, which can cause swelling.

Patients should also avoid flying for 72 hours after a thread lift, due to air pressure fluctuations which can elevate blood pressure and potentially cause internal splitting of the treated area that can slow healing.

Thread Lift Long Term Results

While patients will see immediate improvement in skin tightness after their thread lift, optimal results will begin to appear between 2 and 6 months as more collagen continues to be produced.

The threads will gradually dissolve and naturally be eliminated by the body over six months, but the new collagen fibers will continue to maintain long-term results in most patients for two to three years, and in some patients even longer.

Getting Other Procedures After a Thread Lift

Because thread lifts are minimally invasive, have a short recovery time, and work by naturally stimulating the body’s own collagen fibers, it is very safe to combine a thread lift with other nonsurgical procedures to address additional antiaging concerns.

For example, after healing, IPL laser treatments can remove dark spots, pigmentation and other signs of aging and sun damage – so that your skin tone is clear and even, in addition to being tight! Our helpful staff can even put together complete anti-aging packages, customized just for you, to comprehensively address all of your skin concerns.

Thread Lifts – Austin, TX

Now that you know what to expect before, during and after your thread lift, there’s no reason to wait! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ruthie Harper, MD in Austin, TX and see how a thread lift can turn back time on loose sagging skin, for an immediately younger looking you!

Thread Lift Consultation – Austin: (512) 343-9355