Both thread lifts and dermal fillers are non-surgical options for signs of aging caused by sagging skin, volume loss, and slowed collaged production. This leads many patients to question the difference between these procedures and their possible results. During a consultation with one of our physicians, the best option for your unique needs can be determined. However, in the video above, Dr. Wix-Harris briefly explains the basic differences.
Thread lifts and fillers are both frequently used for signs of aging in the cheek or mid-face area, which can show sagging or a hollow appearance due to volume loss and a lack of collagen. Choosing between these two options comes down to whether your primary concern is drooping, sagging skin or volume loss. Dr. Wix-Harris explains that “we usually use the threads for lifting, and fillers to replace volume.”
However, most patients will see a combination of these issues, meaning that it may be recommended to have both thread lifts and some fillers to achieve your best results. The threads can be used to lift the skin and tissues back to a more youthful position, while fillers are used to restore volume to hollow or sunken areas.
For the most dramatic lifting of tissues in the lower face and cheek area, Silhouette Soft Instalift threads can be used. Your physician may also recommend MINT threads, which are composed of a complex sugar known as PDO. Each of these options supports the tissues and corrects drooping or sagging while stimulating collagen production.
In the cheeks, hyaluronic acid fillers that move naturally and add sufficient volume can be used. Some options include Juvederm Voluma, which is particularly long-lasting, or Restylane, which is useful for nasolabial folds. Our physicians are experts in these products and understand the sometimes-subtle differences between formulas and their best uses. During a consultation, your physician will recommend the best option for your concerns and skin type.
According to Dr. Wix-Harris, dermal fillers and thread lifts are relatively comparable when it comes to discomfort throughout the procedure. However, fillers are much quicker than thread lifts, which patients may consider. “We either do [filler injections] with a needle, which usually means placement deep on the bone or we’ll use a cannula when we go a little bit more superficial,” she says. “With threads you have to place them under the skin and we put numbing into the areas where we’re going into the skin.” Filler injections are typically done without numbing the skin prior to the procedure.
The recovery period is one difference between the experience with thread lifts compared to fillers. “With threads, people tend to have a little bit more downtime,” Dr. Wix-Harris explains. Bruising and swelling are both normal after the procedure, though Reflections patients can undergo a laser treatment to resolve bruising faster. “I always tell people that for two weeks they have to take it a little easy when they put in threads because you don’t want to have a lot of movements in the area, so the threads have time to settle in.”
After receiving fillers, patients have virtually no downtime. Within about 24 hours, “you’re good to go,” says Dr. Wix-Harris. Some swelling or redness at the injection site are both normal, but patients will notice less swelling in the cheeks compared to other areas like the lips.
To learn more about your best anti-aging options and find out whether you are better suited to thread lifts, fillers, or a combination, schedule a consultation with a physician at Reflections by calling our office or contacting us online.