05 September 2021| by Silvija

Thread Lift vs Facelift – What’s the difference?

If you are into cosmetic treatments, you have probably heard about these two treatments by now. Both of these techniques have the same goal – to restore youthfulness and fresh appearance to the face, but the results they offer are quite different. While the traditional Facelift technique has maintained its popularity over the years, the Thread Lift method has been on the rise recently. 

Due to the simplicity of the procedure and the short-term effects it provides, Thread Lift has been popular amongst the younger population, while seniors are more often opt-in for Facelift. There are, however, no rules on which treatment you should choose, besides your personal preference.

What is a Facelift?

A Facelift, also known as meloplasty or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that tightens and removes sagging skin on the face and neck. It is done by gently pulling the skin back at the temples. The procedure eliminates sagging and wrinkles and makes the skin more toned. An additional incision is sometimes made under the chin to tighten the skin on the neck – this is also known as a Neck Lift.

A facelift focuses on the midface and lower face and can vary from the “Mini-Lift” that focuses on early signs of aging in the jowls and lower face to the “Deep Plane Lift” that provides rejuvenation of jawline, jowls, neck, and cheeks.

What is a Thread Lift?

The Silhouette Soft treatment, also known as the Thread Lift is a minimally invasive alternative to a Facelift. The procedure lasts around 60 minutes and works by inserting fine needles and dissolvable threads into the fat layer of the skin. The threads are weaved under the skin and are then pulled back to lift and smoothen the desired areas of your face. This helps reposition the fat pads that tend to drop downwards throughout time as a part of the aging process. The threads hold the skin in place long enough for your own tissues to maintain the lift. The threads then dissolve away, leaving you with natural-looking results.

Thread Lift requires less time spent in the clinic, has fewer risks, and costs less than Facelift, but the results last much shorter than with the Facelift and it requires additional treatment to maintain the look achieved by this method. If you are interested in the Thread Lift or want to learn more about the procedure, visit our Thread Lifting Treatment with Silhouette Soft page.

Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve covered in core how these treatments work, we are going to dig into the Pros and Cons of both treatments, compare their similarities and differences and explain what you can expect from each of them.


A Facelift is a surgical procedure that requires incisions to be made at certain parts of your face. These incisions are made in easily concealable areas, so they aren’t noticeable and once they heal, they become difficult to spot. However, undergoing surgery leaves behind marks more than non-surgical methods.

A Thread Lift is a non-surgical procedure that requires a different type of incision. Threads are inserted into the skin through small holes on your face without the need for deep cuts. Instead, threads pull your skin to achieve the effect that you desire, stimulate the production of collagen in your skin and after a certain time, they dissolve, without requiring to be removed. No excess skin is removed, and the incisions are invisible.


A Facelift provides the longest results of all solutions to facial aging. After surgery, the effects can be visible for up to 10 years, depending on the level of Facelift.

A Thread Lift, however, offers a short-term solution, and, depending on the type of sutures used, the effects can last from 6 months to 2 years, requiring multiple treatments if a patient wishes to prolong the effects.


A surgical Facelift is the most effective for people with visible signs of aging, typically in the age range of 35 – 65 years. As mentioned already, people over the age of 50 will be “more suitable” candidates for a surgical facelift, due to its severity and especially long-lasting effects.

Thread Lifts can, however, provide a facelift alternative for older patients who cannot undergo a surgical procedure due to health-related issues. Thread Lifts are also more suitable for a slightly younger population (30 – 50 years) since they can easily remove signs of moderate aging.


When a patient undergoes a Facelift surgery, they must be heavily sedated. Therefore, the patient cannot drive and requires a caretaker for at least 3 days after the surgery. Facelift patients usually require 1 – 2 weeks off of work and should restrain from heavy physical exertion for at least 2 weeks.

Recovery from Thread Lift, however, is much more forgiving. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the time spent in the clinic is usually about one hour, after which the patient can go home and return to their normal daily activities. Time required off of work is usually 1 day for people whose jobs do not require much physical activity or up to a week for people who engage in strenuous types of jobs.


Although rare, both of these procedures can carry risks of side effects. For Facelift surgery, these include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding and bruising of the operated area
  • Infection
  • Damage to the facial nerves controlling muscles (usually temporary)
  • Loss of hair around the incision site
  • Scar widening or thickening
  • Numbness
  • Asymmetry between two sides of the face

Thread Lift side effects are similar to an extent, but the chances and severity of complications are lower. Those are:

  • Visible sutures (especially in people with thin skin)
  • Minor bruising
  • Infection
  • Inflammation (from the foreign body under the skin)
  • Salivary gland injury
  • Slight asymmetry

However, patients are informed about the possible risks by their surgeon and are given a consent form they should sign to ensure that the procedure and any potential complications are understood and agreed upon.


Technology advancement and new product innovations have reduced the cost of cosmetic treatments by a significant amount in recent years. There isn’t an exact price for each of the treatments, because different surgeons have different practices and prices.

The average cost of a Facelift ranges between $7,500.00 and $11,800.00.

The average cost of a Thread Lift ranges between $1,500.00 and $4,500.00.


The Thread Lift and the Facelift are two very different treatments that produce different results. Facelift offers a more permanent solution and takes more years off your face than a Thread Lift would. Thread Lift offers more of a temporary enhancement, is less invasive, and is more cost-efficient, which are the reasons why younger people opt-in for this method.


What is the difference between Thread Lift and Facelift?

Both Thread Lift and Facelift are cosmetic procedures that tighten sagging skin in the facial area, including the neck. The main difference is Thread Lift being a non-surgical procedure with temporary results and works by injecting dissolvable threads into the skin. The facelift is a surgical procedure with permanent results, in which a doctor cuts off saggy skin and removes it, lifting the rest of the skin up and giving you a younger look. 

Should I do a Facelift or a Thread Lift?

Depending on your preference, you can do either of the two treatments. A facelift requires a surgical operation, longer recovery, and costs more but the results last longer than with Thread Lift. If you are insecure, consult with your cosmetic surgeon to discuss all ups and downs regarding these two methods and agree on what works best for you.

How much do Thread Lift and Facelift cost?

The price of these treatments cannot be precisely determined because it varies from clinic to clinic and doctor to doctor. The average price of a Facelift is $7,500.00 while Thread Lift, as a shorter and less expensive alternative, averages at $2,250.00.

How long is the downtime of Thread Lift and Facelift?

The downtime of a Thread Lift is minimal, considering it is done with local anesthesia, and it will not require more than one day off of work and need to rest. A facelift is a surgical procedure that requires total anesthesia and has cutting and scarring involved, therefore you will need some assistance in the following days, while you can go back to your regular activities in a week or two. 

Silvija Bihler
Practice Manager

With over 10 years’ experience in beauty and aesthetic, Silvija supports her family-owned business in daily operations. Customer’s experience, natural results, healthy and quality treatments were always her top priority. By supporting My Esthetic blog section, she shares all her experience, with every beauty enthusiastic and with ones who would like to be a part of the beauty world.

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