Eye Thread Lift Gone Wrong & What to Do

Eye thread lift is a non-surgical procedure that uses dissolvable threads like PDO threads to tighten the upper eyelid’s corner and stretch it back towards the temple to create an almond-like shape. It is an anti-ageing treatment that improves the sagging of the upper eyelid and facial rejuvenation.

Eye Thread Lift Gone Wrong & What to Do

The risk of complications with eye thread lifts is minimal compared to thread lift procedures on other parts of the face. However, eye thread lifts can still go wrong from some complications during and after the procedure.

Most people want to achieve the fox eye look, but you need to remember this is a treatment procedure of inserting a foreign object into the body hence risky. In fact, the procedure will not be the same for all patients, so you should understand the risks involved.

So, let’s find out about the eye thread lift gone wrong and what to do. But first, the complications include:

1. Thread Migration

Thread migration after an eye thread lift procedure is often caused by broken threads that lose their fixing ability. When PDO threads are exposed to moisture in the air, they can break easily and lose their strength. Therefore, the threads need to be stored appropriately because improper and long-term storage leads to breakage, and the threads eventually migrate.

Thread Migration

Migration of threads may also be a result of the use of PDO threads without cogs. In this case, it will occur immediately, and the threads will be visible below the skin. The patient may feel the threads or feel like the threads are likely to come out.

Thread migration can cause an unbalanced facial appearance, and if broken threads cause the thread migration, they may eventually cause dimpling.

2. Folding, Puckering, and Bulging

The excess skin is excised in facelift surgeries, but excess skin is not extracted in eye thread lift procedures. Thus the skin can cause folding and puckering around the eye. This is normal after the procedure and will disappear in about 1-2 weeks.

Folding and puckering may not diminish in very rare situations and require immediate medical attention. In most cases, this occurs due to the wrong insertion of the PDO threads.

When many threads are inserted at a single entry point, the ends may gather and form a bulge at that entry point. Bulging may also occur when the threads are not properly cut, or many thick threads are inserted in the same entry point.

3. Loss of Sensation

A patient may lose sensation in the area where the thread lift was done due to the thread not being inserted correctly. This is a result of nerve injury during the threading procedure. It is very rare for the cannula to damage the motor nerves. But when an anesthetic is used during the procedure, it may cause damage to the motor nerves due to the diffusion of lidocaine.

Loss of sensation is usually temporary and usually disappears over a few days. If the nerve is seriously damaged, it may lead to facial paralysis, which is the loss of facial movement. It is therefore essential to seek medical treatment immediately to avoid significant complications.

4. Facial Asymmetry

Eye thread lifts can go wrong and cause facial asymmetry due to the use of anesthetic, inherent facial asymmetry, inadequate lift on one eye, or one muscle being more impacted than the other. These complications will cause lopsided brows where one eyebrow is more lifted than the other.

The shape of the eyes and brows may also be affected, thus altering the natural symmetry of the face. Facial asymmetry after an eye thread lift procedure may also alter the function of your eyes.

5. Infection

An Eye thread lift may have gone wrong due to infections during the thread lifting procedure. It is more common for patients to have an infection if non-absorbable threads are used for the eye thread lift procedure.

Absorbable threads like those made from polydioxanone PDO have fewer rates of infection. However, there have been several infections with patients who used

eye threads during their eye lift procedures. Eye threads is a PDO thread special for eye thread lifting. It’s a blunt cannula tip and smooth suture inside.

Some infections associated with eye thread lifts are akin to soft tissue infections caused by pathogens or gram-positive strains of the S.aureus and Streptococcus spp. The most common symptom of an infection is a painful lump developing around the threaded area caused by thread buckling or curling beneath the skin. The incorrect placement of the thread primarily causes this.

6. Thread protrusion

Thread protrusion is a common complication with thread lifts that is often caused by using the wrong technique during the entry and placing of the thread. Loss or breakage of threads caused by tightening of the PDO can also cause thread protrusion.

Thread protrusion causes distress to patients since it may be a sign of an infection or a risk of a granuloma. It is crucial to ensure you are the right candidate for eye thread lifts to not end up with thread protrusions.

7.  Swelling and bruising

Like many medical procedures swelling and bruising may occur during and after an eye thread lift treatment. This complication usually is manageable and lasts for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure.

It is advisable to stop major activities like vigorous exercises to have enough time for the swelling and bruising to heal.

 What to do when an eye thread lift goes wrong

Most eye thread lift procedures are usually successful, for it is not as risky as facelift surgeries. However, unlike other parts of the face, the area around the eye is quite tight, making it difficult to perform a threading procedure. This makes the risk of complications higher, but not to worry, most complications can be easily resolved and avoided.

Here is what should be done in case of the following complications:

Thread migration

Thread migrations may be resolved by inserting a new thread, but in other cases, the patient may be injected with fillers like hyaluronic acid (HA) in the superficial layer. Removing the thread is also an option your physician may consider, but it is mostly unnecessary and critical.

Folding, Puckering and Bulging

Folding and puckering may disappear after a few days, but if this persists for more than two weeks, you should seek medical attention. There might be a need to remove the thread to stop the folding and puckering of the threaded area.

It is very rare for folding and puckering to persist, and in most cases; wrong placement of threads or use of an improper technique is to blame.

Loss of sensations

Different factors can cause loss of sensation, and in most cases, patients only experience this for a few days. If it persists, then it is advised to consult a physician as it may lead to worse complications like facial paralysis. If nerve damage leads to facial paralysis, it may take six or months to recover completely.

Some patients may recover even without treatment, but patients undergo surgeries to repair the damaged nerve in most cases. Physical therapy is also employed to resolve the complication. To avoid this complication becoming severe, get medical attention immediately you experience the loss of sensation.

Facial asymmetry

Facial asymmetry can be resolved with different treatments, which are surgical or non-surgical, depending on the complexity of the complication.

Non–surgical treatment

When eye thread lift procedures cause minimal facial asymmetry, non-surgical treatments are employed to remedy the situation. For instance, dermal fillers may increase volume to one side; the fillers include Voluma, Sculptra, or Radiesse.

Botox is also used when eye thread lifts go wrong to raise the brow that sits lower than the normal eyebrow.

Surgical treatment

In the case that there is a severe asymmetry that shows significant skeletal differences on either side of the face. Facial fillers and Botox treatments may not resolve such complications; thus, they require surgical procedures. Facial implants can be used to bring balance to the appearance of the face.

A unilateral brow or forehead lift can raise a brow and bring it in line and match the other eyebrow. Plastic surgery treatment may not create perfect symmetry, but it will improve the look. Suppose the facial asymmetry alters the function of the eye, it may be corrected with orthognathic surgery.


In most cases, infections are treated by administering antibiotics for about five days to treat infection quickly. The antibiotics are used in the case of skin and soft tissue infections; they directly address the S. aureus and remedy the situation in a few days.

Infections can also be treated by subcision treatment, especially if there’s the formation of a lump in the treated area. The treatment will release the skin and remedy the situation. Suppose the infection causes excessive levels of fluid to accumulate, a surgical draining procedure may be conducted.

Alternatively, the thread may be removed entirely if the infection causes massive debridement, and antibiotics may also be prescribed in this situation.

Thread protrusion

This complication can be resolved by removing the thread. If the thread is placed too close to the skin, it is very easy to remove it. However, if the thread is barbed or cogged, removal can be difficult. The thread needs to be removed correctly, for if the end of the thread is left in a superficial plane, there is an increased risk of granuloma formation.

Granuloma formation is relatively rare, especially in an absorbable thread like PDO. The complication is treated with an application of a dual-frequency ultrasound that prompts healing of the wound.

Swelling and bruising

A patient may experience swelling that will not subside after a couple of days. In this case, an excisional biopsy may be performed under a local anesthetic where the threads will be removed.

Chronic inflammation is a very rare complication after eye thread lift treatments. They are generally caused by repetitive trauma and movement between barbs and the surrounding capsule. When they occur they require specialized treatment from an expert physician. Bruising may subside over 7-14 days as the threads dissolve under the skin. Avoid some behavior after the procedure, like sleeping on the face. This may worsen the bruising and swelling.

Self-Resolving Complications

Eye thread lift is a minimally invasive medical procedure; thus, there is a low risk of a situation where the eye thread lift is gone wrong. Normally there’s no risk of scarring, severe bleeding, inflammation, or sutures becoming visible under the skin.

Most complications after the procedure are self-resolving or can be resolved by proper after-care practices at home. After a few days, the following complications may resolve themselves, so you need not worry that your eye thread lift has gone wrong.

  • Swelling or bruising- ice the area for about 30 minutes a day for a couple of days after the eye thread lift procedure. If you experience severe pain accompanied by swelling, it is essential to consult a physician.
  • Discomfort and pain- after the procedure. You may experience slight discomfort and pain for about 24-48 hours. Icing the treated area will elevate the discomfort and pain. You may also take pain killers as required or keep your head elevated to reduce the pain. You should, however, not take aspirins for around two weeks after treatment.
  • To avoid increased pain, you should limit facial movement and not involve yourself in strenuous activities.


It is very rare for eye thread lift procedures to go wrong because they are minimally invasive, and most complications can be prevented. The best way to be assured of excellent results and minimal complications is by getting a professional and experienced physician for the treatment.

Most complications occur due to physicians employing wrong techniques while performing the procedure or using infected threads and needles. So, you should ensure you are the right candidate for the eye thread lift treatment.

To prevent complications from arising after an eye thread lift treatment, ensure to follow the care guidelines provided. It would be best to avoid certain activities like drinking, smoking, wearing makeup and facial massages, scrubs, or exfoliating.

This allows proper healing of the treated area. Besides, ensure your plastic surgeon informs you of all the possible complications that may occur before performing the treatment for the best experience with eye thread lifting.

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