Understanding PDO Thread Lifts
According to Healthline, polydioxanone (PDO) thread lifts use a biodegradable polyester suture to rejuvenate the skin. As mentioned above, the procedure is less invasive than facelift surgery and can generally be performed in less than 45 minutes without a scalpel. They are typically better at rejuvenating the skin than they are at lifting sagging skin.
Other types of thread lifts include polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA). These are newer than PDO threads, which have been in use since the 1980s. PDO threads break down in the body after approximately six months. Once present in the body, they trigger the fibroblasts to produce more collagen for increased skin structure and elasticity.
How PDO Thread Lifts Work
There are three types of PDO threads: PDO mono threads, PDO cog threads, and PDO screw threads. PDO mono threads are smooth sutures that stimulate collagen production, thereby rejuvenating the skin. In contrast, PDO cog threads lift parts of the face through barbs that latch into the skin. Finally, PDO screw threads comprise one or two intertwined threads to restore volume.
According to a 2017 study, PDO thread lifts primarily help skin appear tighter and more structured, with effects lasting for around a year, at which point the sutures begin to dissolve. However, a secondary rejuvenation effect may last for at least three years after the procedure.
What Happens During a PDO Thread Lift
While each thread lift procedure may differ depending on the area being targeted and the provider’s preferences, the basic technique is almost always the same. Patients will need to recline in the procedure room, where alcohol and a topical anesthetic will be applied to the skin before the procedure. Then, we will use a thin needle or cannula to insert the threads underneath the skin.
This process can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. After inserting the threads, we will remove the insertion tool, and the patient may feel light pressure or tightening under the skin. The procedure will be completed within a few minutes of the needles being taken out, and the patient will be free to exit the premises.
CAreas Treated by PDO Thread Lifts
PDO thread lifts can treat most areas of the face that experience signs of aging, most commonly including the:
Potential Complications of a PDO Thread Lift
As mentioned before, PDO thread lifts are much less invasive than traditional facelift surgeries. Consequently, they have a much lower risk of complications. This also translates to a smaller chance of bleeding, scarring, or severe bruising under a trained professional. When complications do occur, they tend to be very minor and are easily corrected. Potential complications may include, but are not limited to:
- Hair loss
- Minor bruising
- Snapping of threads
- Visible sutures (especially in people with thin skin)
Recovering from a PDO Thread Lift
PDO thread lifts require minimal recovery time, with some swelling and bruising for the first 24 to 48 hours. Most patients can return to most of their daily routines right away. To avoid accidentally dislodging the thread, patients should refrain from rubbing or touching their face as much as possible the week after the procedure.
Patients may also be advised to avoid pursing their lips, drinking through a straw, or smoking for the first several weeks. They may also want to avoid saunas, intense exercise, and sleeping on their side for the first one to two weeks. We advise sleeping with the head propped up on a pillow to avoid accidentally rolling onto the face in the middle of the night.