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Cheek Filler vs Thread Lift: What Should You Choose?

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As non-surgical cosmetic treatments give almost the same results as facelifts, surgeries, and other similar procedures, more individuals are opting for these less invasive and safer options. Among these non-surgical procedures are cheek filler and thread lift procedures.

So what should you choose between cheek filler and thread lift? Choosing between a cheek filler and a thread lift lies on your preference. Cheek fillers can correct one or few areas of concern without recovery time, while thread lift is more invasive and can cause skin tightening of the whole face in one sitting.

Comparison Between Cheek Filler and Thread Lift

Choosing between cheek fillers and thread lifts must be guided by an objective comparison between aspects of the two. Here's how they compare based on their types, longevity, procedure steps, cost, and safety.


In general, cheek fillers and thread lifts can improve your appearance without the need for plastic surgery. Both treatments are minimally invasive and can be done in a shorter period of time than traditional procedures.

Specifically, cheek fillers can help your face look more defined by creating an illusion of a more defined bone structure. Its added volume to the skin can also help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

On the other hand, thread lifting involves inserting sutures to the face to allow lifting of the face, also effectively smoothing out your loose skin to improve your skin texture, and also works on improving your facial contour.


Types of dermal filler injections suitable for use in the cheeks include the following:

  • Hyaluronic acid: This material is naturally found in the body, most commonly in the joints, eyes, and skin. It works by attracting more water to the area it's injected in, making it look fuller.
  • Polylactic acid: This material is a synthetic filler, which works by stimulating the body's natural production of collagen.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite: This material is used off-label in the cheeks. It contains CaHA microspheres that can also boost collagen production.

The most common type of thread used in thread lift is the polydioxanone (PDO) thread, which can help trigger your fibroblast to increase its collagen production.

A PDO suture can be further divided into 3 types, which are the PDO mono threads, PDO cog threads, and PDO screw threads.

The other types of smooth threads in thread lifting used to improve sagging skin include polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA).

How Long They Last

Depending on the material used and how you took care of your face, the results of the two procedures may last approximately at the following range:

  • Cheek Fillers: 6 months to 2 years
  • Thread Lifts: 1 to 9 years for PDO thread lift; with PLA and PCA lasting longer than PDO because threads made of them take longer to dissolve


The cost of the procedures also depend on the type of material used. Here are the price estimates for the procedures:

Dermal Filler InjectionsThread Lifts
- Hyaluronic acid: $600 to $1000 per syringe
- Polylactic acid: $900 to $1000 per syringe
- Calcium hydroxylapatite: $650 to $1000
- $500 to $1500 (with PLA and PCA
being more expensive than PDO)


As mentioned, the popularity of cheek fillers and thread lifts lies in the fact that they have less side effects than surgical facelift.

While the common side effects of these procedures are usually mild and self-limiting, it's also still important to know the precautions that should be taken before undergoing these procedures.

It's also important to take care of your skin after these facial rejuvenation procedures.

Who’s A Good Candidate

Anyone who's physically fit and is willing to commit to taking care of their skin after the procedure are good candidates. However, caution must be exercised in people with the following conditions:

Dermal Filler InjectionsThread Lifts
- Active infection
- Allergy/hypersensitivity to the filler
- Allergy to anesthetic used before or together with the filler
- Active infection
- Polyvalent allergy
- Oncological diseases (i.e., cancer)
- Reception of anticoagulants, antiaggregants
- Pregnancy, lactation
- Previously introduced non-biodegradable injection materials, implants in the area of the procedure

Side Effects

Although dermal fillers and thread lifts are minimally-invasive, they still have side effects associated with them. However, these side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

Notable side effects of cheek fillers (and dermal fillers in general) include the following:

  • Redness: Redness occurs as a response of the body against the foreign filler material that's injected on the cheeks.
  • Swelling: Swelling is also a normal response of the body against the foreign filler material.
  • Bruising: Bruising occurs when the injection pricks the small blood vessels on the cheeks, causing the blood contents of such to leak out.
  • Tenderness: Tenderness is a common side effect which may be a normal response of the body against the filler material, or is associated with the swelling and bruising.
  • Lumps: Lumps may be formed due to maldistribution or migration of dermal filler material.
  • Skin necrosis: Skin necrosis or the death of skin tissue may occur as a result of the filler material impeding the blood flow in the artery. This is a rare event and shouldn't be a cause for worry.

The same complications as with dermal fillers also occur with thread lifts, with addition of the following:

  • Hematoma: Hematoma occurs when the blood vessel wall is accidentally injured by the practitioner, causing the blood contents to leak out of the blood vessel.
  • Infection: While uncommon, infection associated with thread lift procedure especially when done by untrained professionals may occur.
  • Protrusion, extrusion, and migration of the thread: This complication occurs when the barbed thread is weak or it's placed over a skin tissue that's prone to excessive movements.
  • Facial asymmetry: Facial asymmetry may occur as a result of either an anesthetic, natural facial asymmetry, or inadequate lift to the other side.

Although not really a side effect, patient dissatisfaction may still occur after either of the two cosmetic procedures. It is thus important that before undergoing these procedures, your expectations regarding the results must be managed.


Aftercare procedures are also essential elements in prolonging the effectiveness of a cosmetic procedure. In general, aftercare tips for cheek fillers and thread lifts are the same.

Here are some do's and don'ts in taking care of your skin after a cheek filler or a thread lift procedure:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Eat nutritious foods; stock up on your fruits and vegetables.
  • In case of swelling, bruising, or pain, cold compress may be applied to the treated area.
  • Have adequate rest to allow your body to heal properly. Preferably, sleep on your back and prop your head with a pillow to keep your fillers or thread lifts in place and to avoid giving stress to your face that may cause facial asymmetry.
  • Avoid substances that can affect your blood like alcohol and blood thinners like NSAIDs and aspirin. These substances can cause your blood to thin, making you more prone to swelling and bruising.
  • Do your daily routines if you can as soon as possible, but strenuous exercises and vigorous activities must be avoided for at least 48 hours for cheek fillers and at least 1 to 2 weeks for thread lifts.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat from saunas or other environments with extreme temperatures.
  • Remove the fillers or threads should you think that the results are undesirable.

In addition to the above tips, protrusion, extrusion, and migration of threads may also be solved by injecting a hyaluronic acid filler or any other dermal filler in the area where the suture can be seen.

What's the Best Treatment For Me?

Choosing the best treatment for you lies on your preference. If you’d want a subtle, minimally-invasive way to improve just some specific areas, then cheek fillers would be best for you. But should you want a more drastic change, having the whole face tightened on one sitting, then thread lifting is your best option.

Best Aesthetic Treatments Suited For You at Dr. Lanna Aesthetics

woman who received cheek filler treatment at Dr. Lanna's beauty clinic

Choosing the treatments to solve your facial skin laxity is a matter of preference. A cheek filler is the procedure of choice should you want a less invasive procedure with minimal downtime. On the other hand, a PDO thread lift is more preferable should you want a full-face, drastic change.

At Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, we help you choose the best treatment option that's suitable for your condition. Our team of experts have years of experience to guide you in choosing the best treatment plans coupled with utmost client care. Start achieving your beauty goals with us by contacting us today at (929) 565-7539.

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