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Tackle facial sagging with thread lifts

13th September 2023

What makes thread lifts such an attractive option for people who want  an immediate lift to their features – but who aren’t ready for a surgical face lift? And how exactly do they work? I went to the Dr Leah Clinic in London for a deep dive into thread lifts and to find out why they’re so good for improving the look of saggy jowls. Dr Leah Totton is an experienced cosmetic doctor who has done more thread lifts than anybody in the UK. You may remember Dr Leah as the winner of The Apprentice back in 2013, she has since honed her skills and become a threads expert. 

What are threads?

Threads are essentially dissolvable sutures – long filaments with little hooks on them. These hooks grab onto the subcutaneous tissue (that’s just under your skin) which allows your practitioner to lift and reposition the desired areas. The aim with the treatment shown in the video is to create roughly a 1cm lift, targeting specific pockets of sagging or drooping.

Who are threads good for?

‘Threads are the treatment that allows me to lift the middle-and-lower face and prevents that sort of pulled-down sad, jowly type look that I personally think is the most ageing on the face,’ explains Dr Leah.  ‘Threads are a fantastic treatment for lifting the middle and lower face. They’re not only effective for jowls, but also for the neck and other parts of the body, like the arms, stomach, and above the knees to improve skin quality and tighten those areas.’

What sort of results can you get?

‘[Threads] are fantastic for an instant result,’ says Dr Leah. When the threads lift the facial tissues, you can see the difference immediately and, depending on the type of threads used, they can also stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin, which gives longer-lasting effects that can continue to improve over time.

Can you use threads in combination with other tweakments?

In some cases, Dr Leah combines thread lifts with other tweakments, such as Ultherapy (a well-known HIFU brand) or  Morpheus8 (a well-known Radiofrequency Microneedling brand) to target moderate to severe sagging. ‘The combination of those treatments together…really give a transformative result,’ explains Dr Leah.

The treatment 

Now, onto the treatment itself. Dr Leah performed a thread lift to improve the look of the patient’s lower face and the process is not as painful as you may think. You’ll have an injection of local anaesthetic, which may sting a little. Dr Leah is known for her quick technique and it takes her around 15 minutes to complete the procedure.

The downtime

Downtime varies depending on the type and amount of threads used. Typically, you can expect around 7 days of recovery time.

The results 


Thread Lift 1 Thread Lift 5 Thread Lift 4


As you can see from the results achieved, the improvement is visible right away. There is some temporary swelling and puckering but that is completely normal and will calm down within a week as you’ll see in her ‘after’ pictures.

Need to know

In underskilled hands, thread lifts can easily go wrong, so it is crucial to find a practitioner who is highly experienced and confident with the techniques involved, and who practices thread lifts very regularly.

The premises where thread lifts are carried out must by law be registered with the CQC, the Care Quality Commission.

Dr Leah has clinics in London and Essex – to learn more about her and book a consultation click here.

This video is sponsored by Dr Leah Skin Clinics


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