For the longest time, the go-to procedure for people who wanted to improve the appearance of their sagging cheeks, neck, and jowls was the facelift – an invasive cosmetic surgery procedure. Today, however, the same results can be achieved without having to go under the knife, thanks to a procedure called PDO thread lifting.
Essentially a non-surgical facelift, the PDO thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure designed to pull up sagging facial tissues using threads made of PDO, or polydioxanone, a crystalline, colorless, and biodegradable polymer.
Here are some facts to know about PDO thread lifting.
After infusing the area to be treated with local anesthesia, the doctor performing the procedure will insert the PDO threads into different layers of the skin using sharp or blunt tip needles called cannulas. The threads will then anchor and lift the skin upwards once inserted and any excess threads will be cut off. The whole procedure only takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on which areas are treated.
PDO THREADS ARE SAFE AND HELP PRODUCE COLLAGEN
Declared by the FDA as safe, PDO threads possess a number of qualities that make them ideal for suturing. The skin absorbs polydioxanone without any problems and it completely dissolves within six to 12 months. It is also hypoallergenic. For more than 30 years, plastic surgeons, eye surgeons, and gynecologists have been using PDO threads to close wounds.
PDO threads also stimulate the skin to produce collagen, which provides elasticity to the skin, helping it look healthier and more youthful. Aside from the production of collagen, PDO threads trigger elastin and hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin, as well.
THEY ADDRESS A VARIETY OF COSMETIC ISSUES
Whatever a traditional, surgical facelift does, minimally invasive PDO thread lifting can also do. Aside from treating sagging cheeks, necks, and jowls, PDO thread lifting can also treat wrinkles around the mouth and jawline, crow’s feet, laugh lines, and forehead lines.
Patients will see a noticeable lifting and tightening of the skin right after a PDO thread lifting procedure. The overall results, however, will occur about two to three months later, which is the time it takes for the PDO threads to stimulate collagen production. The collagen can then be expected to hold the lift for about two years or so.
COMPLEMENTS OTHER ANTIAGING TREATMENTS
By itself, PDO thread lifting is already effective at achieving a fresher and more youthful look. Combined with dermal fillers and other antiaging treatments, the results can be even more amazing.
Like any medical procedure, PDO thread lifting is not without complications, but they are considerably fewer than with actual cosmetic surgery procedures like facelifts.
Patients might feel a little discomfort or pain. After all, PDO thread lifting does involve the insertion of threads into the skin. Doctors usually recommend a week-long soft diet for patients. They also typically prescribe aspirin for those who feel minimal discomfort and acetaminophen for those experiencing pain. There’s also the possibility of infection; should it occur, doctors recommend antibiotics to treat it.
There have also been instances where patients have reported seeing PDO threads break through the skin or have felt them bunched up underneath. The threads are also known to break or disengage. In any case, patients can always ask their doctor to make the thread tighter or replace it with a new one.
WHO CAN UNDERGO A PDO THREAD LIFT?
Men and women 30 to 65 years old are ideal candidates for the procedure. They must also have good skin quality and must not have undergone facelifts, chin or cheek implants, or any kind of facial surgery in the past.
People who are very thin and have skin that is sun damaged, hyperpigmented, and severely saggy are discouraged from getting a PDO thread lift.
A traditional surgical facelift can cost up to $10,000 or more and recovering from it can take some time. The cost of PDO thread lifting, on the other hand, may vary according to the area to be worked on. A vector lift, for example, costs about $350, while a complete neck lift costs approximately $800.
RESULTS MAY VARY
As it stands today, PDO thread lifting produces varying results. Some patients say they like what they see, while others say it did not do anything for them. The procedure is still young, and the results vary depending on how skilled the doctor performing the procedure is.
Dr. Shannon York is the medical director at Expert Aesthetix in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has been working in the field of antiaging and naturopathic medicine for nearly a decade now. An expert in all aspects of aesthetic medicine, Dr. York specializes in women’s health, injectables, medical weight loss, natural hormone replacement therapy, and antiaging nutrition.