Feather thread lift is a suspension lift surgery first published by a Soviet Union physician. Because the initial material of threads are unable to easily integrate with the skin and soft tissue, thread puckering and inflammation, as well as other complications, are frequently reported; this surgery has not been acknowledged or adopted by majority of specialty plastic surgeons over the past years. Nevertheless, the evolution and improvement of the surgery and the approval of one double-stranded (direction) absorbable Quill SRS thread by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offer scientific evidence and confirm the safety of such surgeries. Although unable to provide the long-term results similar to real facelifts, if using the aforementioned thread as the supplementary sutures for facelifts or as revision intended to mend the shortcomings of a previous facelift, Quill thread lift is still able to show certain effects.
A minimally invasive embedding lift, this procedure is different from ordinary facelifts. It merely relies on the particular traction and binding force of the Quill thread and the tension of thread materials to lift and suspend the loose facial skin upward by embedding the threads at multiple points and directions. It is done by first making an incision of approximately 1 cm in the scalp above the temple and then passing the Quill thread via a specific long needle subcutaneously from the scalp directly to the nasolabial or marionette wrinkles. Next, the direction of the Quill thread is reversed to return to the original scalp starting point, which is stretched and fixed to the deep fascia. This way, the distal skin and soft tissues may be elevated in the posterior–superior direction. The number of threads embedded is determined by the range and degree of skin laxity. Commonly, an average of 4–5 Quill lines is necessary for each cheek to provide sufficient support and tightening. Meanwhile, the distal skin will only be left with a few needle holes or dimples that do not need to be sutured and will return to a natural state within a week. The Quill threads embedded below the skin will be automatically absorbed by the body within approximately 6 months. Nevertheless, this does not actually amount to a facelift because there is no removal of any loose skin. Because the Quill thread will be absorbed in approximately a year, the duration and stability of the result is relatively short-lived (averaging approximately 6 months to a year). Therefore, it is primarily used as a secondary procedure to supplement other facelifts and is seldom offered as a primary surgery option now.