Procedure Time45 - 60 min.
Risks & ComplicationsBruising, edema
Treatment Plan+/- every 2 years
Treatment Recovery+/- 1.5 weeks
Also known by names such as, “thread embedding acupuncture” and the “Korean thread lift,” a thread lift is a non-surgical way to tighten and lift skin, thus reducing wrinkles. We use the soft thread lift procedure in our Surrey clinic for those looking to get the appearance of a mild face lift, but without the investment or risks of surgery. Particularly, we use the Silhouette InstaLift® product. Our doctor has been specifically approved to perform this technique, and can carry it out safely.
While thread lifting in the world of plastic surgery is not new, and there are other kinds of thread lifts, the InstaLift® is a more recent advancement to this technique. It uses a bidirectional suture with cone-like structures that lift more and last longer than other types of threads. This exclusive suture has been coined as Micro-Suspension Technology™.
Unlike other thread lifts on the market, this one has been approved by Health Canada, based on evidence that it does increase collagen in the skin. It is also FDA-cleared, and is very popularly used in Europe.
Note: the above video is for demonstration and explanation purposes only. We are not affiliated with the people or companies in the video above.
If you are looking for a non-surgical face lift, without the serious commitment, our Surrey InstaLift® option may be a fit. The first step is to find out if it is suitable for your case. To do this, we encourage you to book an in-person consultation at our clinic. We’ll be able to take a closer look at the condition you want to treat. From there, we can provide you with our best recommendation on how to go about it.
You can rest assured you will be well taken care of at our skin and laser centre. We are a well-known and regarded clinic in the Vancouver area. We are headed up by an experienced doctor, and regularly treat patients from our vicinity and beyond. That includes South Surrey, Cloverdale, White Rock, Langley, Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Delta (Tsawwassen and Ladner), Richmond, Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and even as far as Whistler and Bellingham, in the USA.
What is there to love about the soft thread lift procedure for face tightening?
The soft thread lift is one of many tools in our arsenal for providing a good, anti-wrinkle face lift, non-surgically, at our Surrey skin care clinic. That said, it’s awesome because it can be combined with other procedures, to achieve the anti-aging, youthful effect you want. For example, it can work with laser skin rejuvenation or dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm®. Of course, these treatments may need to happen on separate appointments, to allow for healing time in between.
Unlike the old, permanent materials used in these facelifts, the InstaLift® threads are made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). This is the same, dissolvable material used in Sculptra® volume filler injections. PLLA has been used in medicine for decades. It was approved for cosmetic purposes in Canada, in 2006.
InstaLift® threads, specifically, are made of the same PLLA material used for long-lasting medical sutures. They are completely absorbable by the body. This avoids complications after the procedure, such as infections, or the need for more surgery to remove the threads later (especially if they break!).
The InstaLift® procedure, like others of its kind, doesn’t only give the skin an instant ‘tug,’ to tighten up sagginess, wrinkles and crepey areas. Over time, it induces collagen production, which creates volume under the skin (the loss of volume is a primary factor in aging). It also increases skin elasticity via the process of neovascularisation (i.e. producing more blood vessels). In fact, in similar procedures, the threads are not meant to lift, so much as they are meant to create skin rejuvenation effects. For example, thread embedding acupuncture (TEA) has been studied as skin therapy to stop collagen degradation from UV damage, thus resulting in anti-wrinkle effects. So, it can be a preventative measure, and not just a reactive one, to achieve a youthful look.
An InstaLift® is not permanent, but it is long-lasting. While the threads typically dissolve within 12 months, the suspending effects of this cosmetic procedure last much longer, thanks to the increased collagen which is left behind. So, it slowly builds up its effects, and then – just like the thread itself – it ‘suspends’ your facial tissue in place for up to two years.
InstaLift® comes highly recommended by those who have undergone the procedure. In a study of 100 patients, 79% were happy with their results after 1 week following the procedure. At this point 82% said they would recommend it to others. After 3 months, 83% said it helped to improve signs of aging. This sentiment only went down to 71% after two years. That’s a long time to feel the difference with a non-surgical procedure!
In other words, for those seeking a cost-effective and low-risk facelift, the InstaLift® is a great middle-of-the-road solution. That is, when compared to other solutions, like shorter-term injectables or surgery.
What beauty conditions can a soft thread lift help with?
The thread lift procedure at our Surrey skin care clinic is used for the following conditions:
- Early signs of aging, such as mild wrinkles around the face, or skin laxity.
- Sagging cheeks or cheekbones.
- Contouring around the jowl, including the jawline, or other areas.
- Nasolabial folds, melolabial folds or other lines around the mouth.
- Marionette lines and frown lines.
- Facial fat (i.e. facial slimming).
Some practitioners also use thread lifting on other parts of the face and body, such as on chin folds, glabellar forehead lines, wrinkled hands, arms and legs, the abdomen or even the nose. Feel free to ask us if you are interested in tightening these areas.
Please note: a thread lift is not meant to give results as dramatic as a full-on surgical face lift. It is far less costly, and avoids the risks that come with any type of cutting that would be required in a surgical setting. It doesn’t change your skin tissues on a deep level, nor does it get rid of skin. It simply gives your skin something to ‘hang on’ to, as it is ‘pulled’ by the threads, which dissolve over time.
Also, different people respond differently to these treatments. Results can vary from patient to patient.
How does the InstaLift® work for skin tightening and face lifting?
An InstaLift® is achieved by inserting long cannulas into the fat tissue under the skin. They may stretch the length of say, the bottom of your chin, to the top of your cheekbone (or the length needed for the area being treated).
First, local anaesthetic is applied, to help with any discomfort during the procedure. The cannulas implant a special ‘suture string’ (i.e. the ‘thread’) while they travel the length of their distance in the fat tissue. The suture is attached beneath the skin, given a slight ‘tug,’ and then left in place.
The doctor will gently shape and guide the thread where it has been inserted, for a more natural-looking lift, without big bumps. This process is repeated with multiple threads, sometimes in a cross-hatch pattern, to achieve the result that a patient wants.
A patient may see dimples where the threads were inserted and tugged. However, these will dissipate within a week or so. After healing, the face should look like nothing has been done to it; results are meant to be subtle and natural-looking.
The entire process takes around 45 – 60 minutes.
The leftover material is soluble, meaning that it is absorbed by the body over time.
An InstaLift® is, therefore, different from an insoluble thread lift, which would stay in the skin indefinitely. The dissipation effect of this Korean-style, ‘embedded acupuncture’ makes it inherently safer than leaving a foreign substance in the skin, which can cause infections.
The medical term for the type of threads we use are called barbed threads. They are specifically of the bidirectional category.
Why should I choose your skin clinic and not another for this cosmetic procedure?
At our clinic, before beginning any procedure, we do a thorough analysis of your skin, and gather detailed information on you. This is to learn more about how we can best suit your needs. It may be that the InstaLift® is not the most ideal choice for your case. Or, it can be combined with other procedures to give you an even better lift. Each case is unique, and is treated as being one-of-a-kind.
It is crucial to note that a thread lift is only going to be as good as the doctor performing the procedure. This is far from a ‘formulaic’ type of cosmetic treatment.
If you imagine yourself using your fingers to create the look of a beauty lift on your face, you’ll notice that you’ll need to press one finger in one spot, and another finger in another spot, and so on, to lift the skin evenly. You’ll also be applying pressure differently, and directing your skin at different angles.
Then, if you do that on another person, the pressure points and angles will be different. This is because the fat tissue on one person’s face won’t be the same as it is on another person’s. This is due to age, genetics and even the preferences of how one wants to appear.
So, to get the most natural-looking facelift possible, each thread should be used to do a different job. Some will have stronger anchors set at certain angles, some will reposition without lifting, and so on. It’s a very detailed, thought-out process!
The doctor performing the procedure not only needs to be fully aware of the insertion points, and what the cannulas are digging into, to avoid complications. They also need to understand the facial structure, plus how a lift is achieved for each person’s skin type, to get those long-term results. You wouldn’t want to come out of the procedure being ‘underdone’ or ‘overdone.’ Getting it ‘just right’ is a skill in itself.
Safety-wise, the procedure requires special training, since hitting a nerve could cause damage. At our clinic, only licensed doctors perform thread lifts.
Does a soft thread lift hurt?
It can, a little bit. However, this procedure starts with a local anaesthetic to help reduce discomfort. Even so, it is not the ‘screaming’ type of pain – don’t worry! And, it’s nothing compared to the pain of a traditional, surgical face lift. It’s possible to watch patients undergo the procedure without making a wink or a twitch!
After the treatment, you may have slight bruising or pain, which should subside in a few days. If the doctor gives you the ‘clear,’ you can take over-the-counter painkillers.
How many thread lifts will I need to see results?
Depending on how your body reacts to the procedure (which will be based on your own genetics, and the condition you’ve started with), a thread lift may only need to be redone every 2 years.
As noted above, the PLLA threads used in this procedure are soluble. They typically dissolve within 12 months.
However, there are still long term benefits to these soluble ‘suspension strings.’ Since they help to ‘shape’ your face, and produce collagen around them, they continue working several months after being dissolved. They aim to delay the natural aging process your body goes through.
Please note: a thread lift won’t give you the same results as a traditional, surgical face lift. We may also recommend other treatments to achieve the effect you want, or a combination of treatments. The first step is coming in for a consultation, so we can get to know you, and do an analysis of your skin. From there, we can provide options we think will work for you.
Is there downtime with an InstaLift®? What about side effects?
An InstaLift® can take about a week to recover from, in most cases. You will be asked to sleep upright, or on your back, to give it time to heal, and to let the sutures settle. You may also be given tape, to keep the threads in place for a while. That said, other than hard chewing or heavy workouts (especially games involving flying objects!), daily activities can be resumed, as long as you’re up for it (your injection points and dimples will be visible for at least a few days).
You can wear non-comedogenic makeup after a day or two. At-home painkillers may also be recommended, if you need them. Please be sure to get instructions from our doctor before taking these, however.
Of course, you should not touch or rub your face during the healing process, even if it is itchy or painful. And, definitely do not try to shape anything after you leave our office! We can help you with any fixes or adjustments you may need, if at all.
The most typical side effects would be bruising, edema (fluid accumulation, or swelling), and possible infection or pain at the needle injection site.
Depending on how your body reacts to the threads, the way they were inserted, and if they were altered after the procedure (such as by rubbing or sleeping on your side) it’s possible that a lump can occur. This would be near the area where the ‘pull’ of the thread happened. In many cases, it subsides on its own, in due course.
During your initial consultation with us, we’ll ask about any health conditions or medications you are taking, which may affect a thread lift procedure. We’ll also go over the possible side effects in more detail.
How much is a Vancouver thread lift at your skin clinic?
A thread lift is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. It is highly customized to your skin’s needs, based on what you want to achieve, and the area being treated. A different number of threads or injection points may be needed on two different people, even if they are looking for the same result.
So, while we can’t give you a definite estimate without seeing you in person first, we can say that the general starting range for this procedure is between $2,400 – $4,400 CAD. However, depending on the area being treated, it could be more or less. Please consider this price range as a guide only.
A thread lift in Surrey is considered a cosmetic procedure. It is not covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) in B.C. It is also not covered by insurance companies.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.
Before and after photos of Silhouette InstaLift® procedures
Notes: Individual results may vary. Silhouette InstaLift® is indicated for use in mid-face suspension surgery to temporarily fixate the cheek sub dermis in an elevated position. Access safety information at www.Instalift.com
Images below are for demonstration purposes only (we did not do these procedures ourselves, but are a local clinic providing the procedure that can produce these types of results). We are not affiliated with the people, doctors or companies credited for the images below.