A thread lift is a nonsurgical cosmetic skin treatment that uses dissolvable sutures to lift and tighten sagging, loose skin. Significantly less invasive than facelift surgery, dermatologists can typically perform PDO thread lifts in under an hour without patients having to go under the scalpel. Polydioxanone (PDO) thread lifts are ideal for patients seeking to rejuvenate their skin rather than achieve more dramatic results that mirror surgical lift procedures.

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What Is A PDO Thread Lift?

A PDO thread lift is among the most popular nonsurgical procedures performed to subtly lift, tighten, and rejuvenate loose, sagging skin while encouraging collagen production for more volume in the treated areas. PDO threads come in a variety of textures for customized treatments. Thread lifts are widely considered a minimally invasive alternative to a surgical facelift. The effects from a thread lift are temporary and more subtle than those produced with a facelift. Yet improvement in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity can be seen gradually, as the procedure stimulates natural collagen production over time. PDO threads are just one of three types of sutures commonly used in lift procedures.

While PDO threads are made with polydioxanone, the other two are made using polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCA). Of the three, PDO threads have been used the longest. These threads are made from a colorless polyester material that naturally breaks down or dissolves approximately six months following the procedure. Once these threads are inserted into the skin, certain cells in the body (fibroblasts) work to produce increasing amounts of collagen (a skin protein responsible for skin elasticity and structure). Collagen loss is one of the primary causes of visible signs of aging. PDO threads exist in three categories: PDO mono, PDO cog, and PDO screw threads.

PDO Mono Threads

PDO mono threads are smooth sutures that can help rejuvenate the skin by stimulating the natural production of collagen in the body. These are the most common and popular options used in PDO thread lift procedures.

PDO Cog Threads

PDO cog threads come with barbs that latch into the skin to support sagging skin while likewise lifting certain parts of the face. This helps redefine facial contours and induces collagen production.

PDO Screw Threads

PDO screw threads are made from either one or two threads intertwined around the inserting needle which, once inserted, can help restore volume to sunken areas of the skin. Screw threads are a popular choice to create a V-shape face.

What Areas Can A PDO Thread Lift Treat?

A PDO lift can treat almost all parts of the face that experience external signs of aging, such as wrinkles, dullness, photoaging, skin laxity, fine lines, and volume loss. The most commonly treated areas include skin around the cheeks, jaw, neck, and eyes. The procedure may also be performed on skin located underneath or above the eyebrows, nasolabial folds, and décolletage, or chest area. Thread lifts provide natural-looking results that are not as dramatic as the results of facial surgery. As a result, thread lifts are commonly performed in conjunction with other rejuvenating skin procedures, such as dermal fillers, injectables, and Fraxel® skin resurfacing treatments.

Thread Lift Before And After

Following treatment with a PDO thread lift, patients may experience a slight amount of discomfort, which may be managed with over-the-counter pain reducers, as discussed with your dermatologist during your consultation. Patients may instantly notice PDO thread lift before and after results following their procedure, but complete results and improvements to skin firmness, volume, and rejuvenation can be seen approximately 3–4 weeks post-procedure. During this time, the skin becomes repositioned, and collagen starts to flood the treatment area, resulting in a radiant, youthful glow and lifted tightened skin.

How Long Does A PDO Thread Lift Last?

PDO threads are made from naturally dissolving materials that require no removal. In most cases, PDO threads are entirely absorbed by the body about six months following the procedure. PLA and PCA threads, both newer than PDO threads, last longer in the body as they take around 12–15 months to dissolve. Through continual collagen treatment with our dermatologists, patients can enjoy smooth, firm, and glowing skin beyond this point. PDO thread lifts with Miracu PDO threads yield results that may last 18–24 months. New threads may be inserted to maintain the lifted, tightened appearance of the treated area. For more information about secondary appointments following your PDO treatment, please contact us.

Thread Lift Procedure

Before patients receive treatment, they are typically advised to avoid all alcohol and tobacco use for at least a week before the procedure, as well as anything else that might increase their risk of bleeding or bruising, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, and green tea extracts, among other items. Before the procedure, your dermatologist will walk you through the treatment and advise you about the recovery process. The exact procedure your clinician will follow may vary. In general, however, once patients arrive at their appointment at our Gainesville dermatology office, the treatment area will be sanitized, prepped, and anesthetized before inserting the Miracu PDO threads. PDO threads are expertly placed and guided to provide a lift to the skin. Once the threads are in position and the necessary lift has been reached, the threads are passed through the skin once more, and the extraneous threads are cut away. Shortly after the procedure, patients are free to return home.

PDO Thread Lift Recovery

Recovery from a thread lift is typically minimal. Patients may experience normal swelling and discomfort for the first 24–48 hours after the procedure, which can easily be managed by pain medication. Afterwards, they may return to most of their daily routines. Patients may wish to ice the area and apply arnica to mitigate swelling and bruising. Be sure to avoid any strenuous activity for several days. Patients should avoid rubbing their face as much as possible in the week after the procedure to prevent accidentally dislodging the inserted threads. Patients will be advised to avoid pursing their lips and using all tobacco products and alcohol for the first several weeks. For 1–2 weeks following a PDO procedure, avoid sleeping on your side or stomach, intense activities and exercise, and using the sauna. Our team is happy to provide patients with information regarding skin care products recommended for use both during and after recovery to ensure optimal results.

Who Is A Good Candidate For A PDO Thread Lift?

In most cases, candidacy for PDO thread lift procedures is determined during the initial consultation with our dermatologists. In general, however, patients over 30 years of age who have mild-to-moderate skin sagginess, wrinkles, and lines in the forehead, face, and/or neck are typically good candidates for this procedure. This procedure is ideal for patients who want to avoid surgical incisions, the lengthy recovery of traditional facelifts, and manual stitch removal following treatment. In addition, PDO lifts offer noticeable, natural-looking results with a minimally invasive and relatively quick procedure.

PDO Thread Lift Complications

Thread lifts have a much lower risk of complications than cosmetic surgery procedures, including facelifts. Patients who choose a PDO thread lift have a reduced likelihood of experiencing scarring, severe bruising, and bleeding. Though rare, the following minor complications may occur. Contact Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center today for more information about the best ways to prevent treatment complications.

  • Visible Sutures
  • Pain
  • Minor Bruising
  • Infection
  • Snapping Of Threads
  • Hematoma
  • Inflammation
  • Skin Puckering
  • Dimpling
  • Hair Loss
  • Salivary Gland Injury