Cosmetic Surgery Tips

What is the best facelift method?

There is perhaps nowhere on the body where the signs of aging occur more noticeably than the face. In fact, this is where most men and women report seeing the earliest signs of aging. These signs typically include fine lines and wrinkles, and they usually begin to appear as we reach our 30s, 40s, and 50s. In a time where looks seem to matter more than ever, it is not surprising that the facelift remains one of the most sought-after procedures across America each year.

In this guide, we review:

  • What is the best facelift method?
  • What is the difference between PDO thread lift and facelift?
  • What is the disadvantage of thread lift?
  • What is the difference between a suture lift and a thread lift?

What is the best facelift method?

Complete facelift

The most comprehensive facelift is a complete facelift which is a combination of an upper, mid, and lower facelift. This procedure is best for people with notable aging throughout their face, who are interested in the substantial results. A combination facelift including all areas of the face generally brings substantial improvements and a more youthful appearance, so people sometimes worry the work will look unnatural. However, Dr. Torkian is an expert at performing these enhancements in a way that looks natural. Although our patients look and feel younger and refreshed, they do not look like they’ve had “work done”. The mark of an excellent facelift is not only the positive results, but also the fact that people cannot tell you’ve had a facelift.

Endoscopic facelift

An endoscopic facelift is a minimally invasive facelift that can be done through several small incisions. We are able to hide these incisions so that facelift scars will not be a concern. The endoscopic facelift involves the surgeon using a tiny camera and tiny tools that are inserted through these small incisions. One disadvantage of the endoscopic facelift technique is it can only be used on certain areas of the face. If you want a neck lift included in your facelift, for example, the endoscopic technique will likely not be the right fit.

Short scar facelift

A short scar facelift – or short scar lift – involves an emphasis on creating a smaller facelift incision that leaves less of a scar. In general, facelift scars are around the ear or hair line area, and Dr. Torkian has significant surgical skills which allow him to make these scars as hidden as possible. If having a shorter scar is a priority for you, ask about the short scar lift technique, and if it is possible with the goals you have for enhancements to your appearance.

SMAS lift

SMAS stands for Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System – and it relates to the system of muscles in your face that are often a cause of visible signs of aging. With time, gravity can cause these muscles to droop, especially since muscles are heavier than skin. The SMAS facelift addresses both the top layers of skin, as well as muscle deeper in your face. By addressing issues with the muscles and the skin, this allows for significant results with a natural appearance. The muscles in the face can be tightened in multiple directions during an SMAS facelift, allowing us to use a combination of art and science to customize a facelift that is right for your facial structure and your goals.

Deep Plane Facelift (The Best)

The deep plane facelift is generally considered the most comprehensive and long lasting type of facelift. This facelift involves the layer of muscles under your facial skin. These muscles are responsible for much of the drooping or sagging you may experience in your face as you age. We are able to release parts of the muscle system from their attachments, and then reposition the muscles. This gives a lifted, smooth, tightened base for the facial skin to lie on. With this procedure, you are not just getting tightening of the skin in your face, but of the foundation of your face as well. This is why a deep plane facelift often has such long-lasting results.

What is the difference between PDO thread lift and facelift?

As we age, our facial skin naturally loses elasticity and fine lines appear. A PDO thread lift and mini facelift are procedures that can prevent or minimize these signs of aging. While they are both less invasive alternatives to a full facelift, they each bring forth their own benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of each procedure to help you determine which is the best option for you.

What is a Polydioxanone (PDO) Thread Lift?

A Polydioxanone (PDO) thread lift is a procedure in which a provider places dissolvable threads into facial areas that need lifting. After placing these threads, a provider pulls and secures the threads to tighten and lift the skin, helping temporarily reduce wrinkles or lift brows.

Unlike a full facelift which removes excess skin, PDO thread lift only temporarily lifts the skin, making it less invasive. PDO threads can cause some skin bunching. The procedure is also less expensive than a mini or full facelift. Sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime facelift,” it only takes up to two hours to complete and up to two weeks to recover.

Dr. Jamie Moenster is amazing, sweet and does such a great job on my needs and wants. The staff is incredibly sweet and wonderful. Love them…Dr. Moenster is the person to go to!

Celeste B, Satisfied Patient

What is a Mini Facelift?

A mini facelift is a procedure in which a surgeon makes small incisions in front of and behind your ears then pulls your muscle tissue and skin up towards the incisions. In doing so, the surgeon “lifts” your face by removing excess skin and corrects for muscle laxity accounting for 2 causes of facial aging. The result is  longer lasting and dramatically tighter skin, creating a substantially more youthful appearance.

This procedure is similar to but less invasive than a full facelift. It can be done under local, with sedation or under anesthesia, it takes 2 hours to perform and two to three weeks to recover.

Are There any Risks?

All cosmetic surgeries come with risk. For a PDO thread lift and mini facelift, however, the risks are quite minimal. For both procedures, swelling, bruising, and tenderness around the surgical site is normal and expected. But there is a risk of the area becoming irritated or infected. This risk can be prevented by following the aftercare instructions given by your surgeon. In addition, it is possible for threads to become visible after a PDO thread lift or for the threads to fail. With a mini facelift there will be a small camouflaged scar in front and behind the ear.

Which Procedure Is Better For You?

From a brief overview, a PDO thread lift may seem like the better option as it’s less expensive and less invasive. However, results tend to be less noticeable, and they only last less than a year. In reality, this procedure can end up being the more expensive option in the long run.

A mini facelift, on the other hand, provides significant results. This is especially the case for someone with looser skin and/or deep creases. Moreover, the results last five to seven years, postponing the need for a major facelift down the road.

What is the disadvantage of thread lift?

There are a few different types of suture materials that surgeons can use during a thread lift. One type of thread that they might use is made of polydioxanone (PDO).

PDO is “an absorbable compound that’s used to make sutures,” Matarasso explains. It’s used in sutures that surgeons use every day in other procedures, like tummy tucks and breast lifts, he says. But, the specific PDO threads used in facial threading have barbs or cones on the ends to help grab onto the tissue.

Other thread types you might come across include PLA (poly L-lactic acid) and PCA (polycaprolactone).

Some of the threads are thicker or thinner than, and some have different design features, like the cones or barbs, to help them catch onto the skin, Percec explains. And, because they’re all made of slightly different materials, “as they dissolve, they cause a controlled inflammatory reaction slightly different from one another,” which is what builds collagen, she says.

In the big picture, one isn’t necessarily better than the other, Matarasso says, and “the distinction (between thread types) is not so important for the consumer.” The type of thread an individual surgeon might use in a particular procedure often comes down to just their personal preference and experience, he adds.

Thread lift recovery

A thread lift takes between 30 minutes and an hour to perform in the office, the experts say, and typically patients can go back to their normal life right afterward.

There is no downtime “in the sense that you can’t go public,” Percec says. But patients should expect some bruising and healing for a few days, and they will need to avoid exercise for a few weeks.

Thread lift side effects

“There’s always a risk of bruising and infection, but it’s very low. It’s lower than the risk you would have with surgery,” Matarasso explains. Some patients may end up with skin irregularities, like bumps or asymmetry, if one side of the face ends up looking fuller than the other, he adds.

The biggest potential complication of facial threading is puckering, which can form as a result of the pressure the threads put on surrounding skin, he says. In some cases, that goes away on its own and there are things surgeons can do preventively or afterward to resolve the issue. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of massaging and dislodging the suture from underneath,” Matarasso explains. 

What is the difference between a suture lift and a thread lift?

A suture lift and a thread lift are forms of non-surgical ‘mini’ facelifts performed delicately by a cosmetic surgeon. Both are less severe or invasive forms of facial tightening than a facelift. They still bring skin backwards and upwards to give the impression of a more youthful tightness, but just not as much. A thread lift is particularly useful for sagging around the chin and jaw, laxity around the mouth, and for cheeks that may droop to make prominent jowls.

What’s the difference between the thread lift and suture lift?

While thread lifts and suture lifts may seem the same on the surface, they have key differences and shouldn’t be confused. The thread lift uses dissolvable threads and exerts its effect by stimulating collagen production, while the suture lift thread does all the heavy lifting and stays put. There are several types of thread/sutures available, with each having benefits. Thread and suture lifts are best between ages 30-60 and fill the gap between a surgical facelift and general skin laxity.


Your doctor inserts a dissolvable thread via discreet insertion points into the jawline and mid-face. The thread actively stimulates collagen production, which increases facial volume and restores the shape of the face over time. You can expect about 20% of the lift you would get from a surgical facelift with thread lifts.

  • Effective facial lift and facial rejuvenation
  • Expect the incision points to take a week or two to heal
  • Longer-lasting tightening and lift
  • Collagen is for keeps, suture dissolves
  • Instant and future results – best results seen from 2-3 months onwards
  • Downtime – up to two weeks
  • Some bruising possible
  • Can last up to two years or more.


The suture lift is a skin-tightening and lifting procedure using medical-grade sutures to tighten the skin, lifting the skin from the jawline and mid-face. Suture lifts can often give more tightening and “lift” than a thread lift, but they are of the same “family”.

Using a long, fine needle, your doctor places stitches underneath the skin, typically in the lower-mid facial area. There is just one entry and exit hole for the needle, which means no marks appear on the face. The stitches are then pulled tight by Dr Rich to lift and smooth the skin immediately. We then tie the suture behind the ears and in the scalp line so they remain hidden. You will notice a difference in the way your face is lifted. This can relax a little over time as the collagen starts to form and the sutures settle.

We perform the thread lift using a type of suture known as prolene. Prolene does not absorb moisture, is completely synthetic (so it won’t break down), made of polypropylene. It is not reactive or an allergen and is very durable, allowing the thread to stay put for long periods of time, years sometimes. Prolene is used to close soft tissue during other types of surgery, so is well-understood and commonly used in medicine.

The tissue grows around the suture and holds it in place, in theory, for a long period of time, though this may not always be the case. No tissue is actually removed, very little depth is penetrated, and you can’t see the threads. Only a local anaesthetic is required for the procedure; however, a general anaesthetic can be used if required but not recommended as a general anaesthetic is always a bit riskier. Dissolvable stitches are then used to close the incisions behind the ear, which will close up and heal as per normal stitches, with virtually no scarring.

  • Visible lift to jowls, chin, cheeks and jaw
  • No marks left on the face
  • Requires local anaesthetic
  • Expect some downtime, possibly a few weeks
  •  Can have some bruising and swelling
  •  Instant results
  • Can last up to two-four years – patient depending 

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