During a thread lift facelift, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the patient's face and inserts a threaded suture into them to lift and tighten the sagging skin, according to Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. Barbs on the sutures pull them up, stabilize them, and encourage the body to produce its own collagen, which is a natural, springy compound that keeps skin supple, claims About.com.
The surgeon may choose an open or closed technique, explains Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. In the closed technique, he molds soft tissue over the suture to sculpt the area of the treatment. During an open technique, the surgeon inserts instruments beneath the patient's skin. This creates a surface that is more likely to stabilize the lifted skin and tissue when the sutures are pulled up. Some surgeons use a combination of these two techniques for the best outcome.
Since the thread lift is minimally invasive, the doctor only gives the patient a topical anesthesia and a sedative, states Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. She may be awake and aware enough to follow the procedure through a mirror and offer comments. After the thread lift, she needs a driver to transport her back home, where she must rest for at least 24 hours. She eats only soft foods for about a week, and takes oral pain medications for any discomfort.