Thread lift for instant facial rejuvenation is popular amongst cosmetic practitioners and patients from across the globe. In this minimally invasive procedure, specially designed, dissolvable, or permanent sutures  are placed under the skin to give a noticeable but subtle ‘lifting’ and ‘tightening’ effect.
Instead of going under the knife for treating facial skin laxity, thread lift gives an option to improve skin sagging through a less invasive cosmetic procedure with minimal recovery time. Thread lift is also less expensive than a facelift, owing to the seemingly straightforward process that takes around 35 – 55 minutes on average to complete.
It gives a visible lifting effect on the skin and boosts the skin’s natural collagen synthesis process, delivering two-way benefits to combat aging. Being non-surgical, thread lift has less risk compared to cosmetic facial surgery, but that does not mean it comes without the risk of post-process complications.
Before you opt for the process, you should be aware of any possible complications. Consult your doctor to know about thread lift complications and how to minimize the risks.
Thread lift complications
While no cosmetic procedure is completely free from the chance of a complication, for thread lift the risk is considerably less.
Most of the post-procedure complications arise from the use of low-quality sutures or improper suture placement. So, getting the treatment from a registered and reputed skin clinic is the best way to avoid any serious complications.
Here are the 9 most probable complications that might arise after thread lift.
1. Pain and transient erythema
Thread lift is a comparatively less painful process, and it is generally performed on local anesthesia. However, it is not pain-free and after the effect of the local anesthesia subsides, patients might experience some pain in the tolerable range.
It can be managed with pain relief medications or local anesthesia. Self-resolving transient erythema (reddening of the skin) might also occur, which does not need any separate treatment.
Before leaving the chamber, your doctor will suggest medications or ointment that will help to ease the pain and erythema if any. Typically, these complications are resolved within a few days.
2. Swelling and bruising
Swelling after thread lift is not uncommon after undergoing a thread lift. It is a natural reaction of the body to the sutures placed under the skin and the entry-exit wounds. However, the swelling is often not severe and can be managed efficiently with medications or resolves naturally over time.
Bruising of skin can also be noticed after the procedure in some cases. The swelling and bruising might be more prominent when some particular type of thread is used in the process. The intensity may differ from one patient to another.
Hematoma occurs due to damaging a blood vessel while performing the procedure. The condition might be severe and need subsequent treatment or emptying for relief. However, hematoma caused due to thread lift is quite rare and though there is a possibility, most of the studies on complications arising from thread lift have failed to point out a severe case.
4. Superficial displacement or migration of the sutures
This might be caused by the shallow placement of the sutures under the skin. Also, sutures placed loosely might lead to such complications. Thread ends protruded onto the skin surface might be a result of thread migration or placement of thick sutures. It needs to follow- up procedures and if required, removal of the thread to help the skin get back to its original form.
5. Thread Lift dimpling and puckering of the skin
Dimpling of skin in the area where the suture has been placed may occur due to various reasons. If the cogs of the thread are not strong enough to hold the tissue in place, dimpling and folding are the obvious results. As the first line of treatment, manual therapy in the opposite direction of the cog placement is suggested to release the tension. In case the results are not suitable after therapy, further procedures might be suggested.
6. Thread Lift Infection
Every cosmetic procedure runs the risk of infection and thread lift is certainly not an exception. Post-operative infection might range from mild to severe and is typically managed with anti-biotics. Maintaining the exact measures as suggested by the aesthetician after the procedure can be helpful to minimize the risk of post-operative infection.
7. Temporary facial stiffness
It has been reported that after the process a small group of patients experienced facial stiffness which resolved within a few days. This might happen as a bodily reaction to the procedure or because of placement of foreign objects (the sutures) within the skin or the use of local anesthesia in high dosage. However, the complication is rare and when present, has been found to resolve on its own.
8. Facial asymmetry
It is another complication that might arise after thread lift. It might occur due to the use of anesthesia and the problem will solve on its own with time. Facial asymmetry due to improper lifting at one side of the face can be a serious concern that will need further correctional processes. Patients with inherent facial asymmetry should be considered separately before the procedure or it might exacerbate the condition.
Though rare, paresthesia may occur after a seemingly successful thread lift treatment. The condition is characterized by a tingling or pricking sensation in the area which is caused due to pressure or damage of the peripheral nerves. It might resolve on its own with or without treatment depending on the extent of damage.
Thread lift is a comparatively less risky cosmetic process that delivers quick results for minimal recovery time. The benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks. For satisfactory results and to minimize any associated complications, the procedure should be performed by an experienced aesthetician after thorough consultation with the patient.