Silhouette Thread Lift vs. a Facelift: What’s the Difference?

Woman smiling after Silhouette InstaLift results

Whenever I consult with patients considering cosmetic surgery, I first determine if a less invasive approach can produce the outcome they desire. That’s especially true for women and men seeking to reverse signs of aging by refreshing their appearances. The Silhouette InstaLift™ is a nonsurgical alternative to facelift surgery that I recommend for my Boston, MA, patients with minimal sagging.

What Is the InstaLift?

The FDA-cleared Silhouette InstaLift threads sutures with cones attached to them below the skin. These cones grip the skin, lift it, and provide support. Because the body absorbs the threads and cones gradually, no follow-up appointment is needed to have them removed. Also called a thread lift, the InstaLift stimulates the body’s natural healing response, which produces new collagen. That new collagen, in turn, helps improve the skin’s appearance over time.

I can usually complete the procedure in less than an hour using a local anesthetic to keep patients comfortable. Even though some people occasionally refer to it as a “lunchtime lift,” it’s important to note that you should choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who understands the meticulous technique necessary to perform the InstaLift. It’s not the same as getting injections of BOTOX® or dermal fillers, which can be combined with the procedure.

Thread Lift vs. Facelift Surgery

Excellent candidates for an InstaLift have just the beginnings of jowls along the jawline or some minimal sagging in their cheeks. Age isn’t really a consideration; patients in their early 50s might be perfect for an InstaLift while someone younger with more severe sagging would be better off with a surgical facelift.

Thread Lift Benefits

If you’re a good InstaLift candidate but still thinking about getting a facelift, it’s useful to compare the pros of each path. The benefits of an InstaLift include:

  • Immediate visible lifting and continued improvement for up to a year.
  • It’s more affordable and less invasive than a surgical facelift.
  • Recovery time is minimal, with side effects limited to some bruising, dimpling, and swelling that normally resolves within a few weeks.
  • It’s usually done under local anesthesia, at less expense and risk than with general anesthesia.

Facelift Benefits

A surgical facelift, on the other hand, is a good choice because:

  • Results are more dramatic and last much longer, usually for up to 10 years.
  • It actually lifts and repositions the underlying muscle and removes excess skin to address severe sagging.
  • Recovery usually only takes a week to 10 days and is well-tolerated by most patients.
  • Advanced surgical techniques create results that look very natural, and incisions are hidden, so scars are virtually imperceptible.
Front view of woman before and after facelift surgery.

Before & After Facelift Surgery

Even though a facelift costs more than an InstaLift, many patients believe the results are well worth the investment in the long run. Read my related blog post to learn why some patients prefer facelift surgery.

How Should You Decide?

This is a highly personal choice, but getting the advice of an experienced plastic surgeon who can assess the tone and quality of your skin is the first step. Again, not all surgeons offer or have much experience performing thread lifts such as the Silhouette InstaLift and may recommend a facelift even though it’s not needed. You can also review before-and-after photos of my actual Boston facelift patients to see the types of results that are possible.

To schedule a consultation, contact us using the online form or call our office at (781) 740-7840 (781) to schedule an appointment.

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