Watch CBS News

Thread Lift Technique Offers Surgery-Free Alternative To Face Lifts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As aging takes its toll, some people turn to a surgical face lift.

But now, there's a new way to lift sagging skin without surgery, CBS'2 Dr. Max reports.

It's what everyone wants: the results of a surgical face lift without the cutting or the downtime. Nothing can really achieve the results of a surgical face lift, but there are some less invasive techniques that can come close.

This one is done under local anesthesia and has little downtime.

"Just to bring this up a little bit. And just when you look in the mirror, feel like you did maybe 10 years ago," Instalift patient Rochelle Dutt said.

That's what many people say as they hit middle age.

Dutt told plastic surgeon Dr. Norman Rowe that she wasn't ready for a full face lift, but botox and fillers wouldn't give her the results she was after. So, she had a thread lift instead.

"Because I think this is a little longer lasting than both of those. So, it is an in between kind of thing," she said.

Thread lift really does mean threads -- long strings made from the same material as dissolvable sutures. What makes them useful for lifting the face are their tiny cones every few milometers.

"The cones grab the tissue from the under surface and re-suspend them in a more youthful position," Rowe said.

It's a 15 minute office procedure done under local anesthesia that inserts a series of three or four threads just under the skin. Here's how it works: A needle slides the threads first in one direction, then in the other. Then, Rowe gently pulls the tissue so the cones anchor the skin in a more youthful position.

"All I'm doing is redistributing the extra skin, as opposed to a face lift where we are cutting it out," he explained.

As collagen forms and anchors the threads in place, the results are subtle but significant -- jaw lines are restored, and furrows from nose to corner of the mouth are smoothed.

"I just want a simple little lift to bring back some youth and look as young as I feel," Dutt said.

The Instalift can be done on jawlines, jowls and even foreheads and brows. It doesn't replace a face lift, but it gives most of the same benefits for about two years or so.

The cost is about $2,500, depending on how many areas you have done.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.