Commonly referred to as a non-surgical facelift, or even a “lunchtime facelift”, PDO threads have become a staple in the list of popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.
And given those nicknames, it’s not hard to guess why: they can help achieve similar results to a surgical facelift – without needing to go under the knife, for a fraction of the cost, and you can do it all on your lunch break!
But what exactly are PDO threads? Essentially, they’re dissolvable sutures (the very same ones that are used in surgeries) that can be used to tighten and lift your skin without the need for invasive surgery. Exactly how they work depends on the style of thread used, but one consistent effect of all PDO threads is that they stimulate collagen production – which, as we’re sure you know, is always a thumbs up when it comes to rejuvenating your skin.
Want to know more? Then read on. We’re going to explain exactly what a PDO thread lift is, how it works, what results you can expect, the difference between PDO smooth threads and twisted threads, and more…
What is a PDO thread lift?
A PDO thread lift is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a dissolvable suture to lift and tighten sagging skin, improve facial contours, restore volume, minimize deep lines and folds, and generally restore a more youthful appearance.
Basically, it’s a non-surgical alternative to a traditional facelift that offers a quicker recovery time and a much less invasive approach. And it isn’t limited to just the face.
The results from a thread lift are instant, but also continue to improve with time. The best results are usually enjoyed after about three months, when the full effects of the treatment have had time to develop, and can last up to around two years in total.
And the best bit? There’s next to no downtime, it’s very safe, and the procedure is quick (usually less than an hour) and you can carry on with your usual activities almost immediately.
All in all, a PDO thread lift is an excellent and convenient way to fend off the early signs of aging and keep your skin looking firmer, tighter, and youthfully radiant for longer.
How does a PDO thread lift work?
PDO stands for polydioxanone, which is an FDA-approved material that has been safely used in surgeries for many decades.
During the procedure, the PDO thread is expertly placed beneath the skin and then carefully adjusted to lift and reposition the targeted areas of the face, neck, or other parts of the body.
There are three different types of PDO thread: mono, cog, and screw, which each work in a slightly different way and so produce a slightly different effect – from rejuvenating the skin and restoring volume, to pinning and lifting sagging tissue. Some of the threads have tiny barbs or cones that grip the tissue and enable a more enhanced lifting effect, while others work based on where or how they are placed under the skin.
However, whichever type of thread is used, its very presence always triggers the production of collagen around it, improving your skin’s structure and elasticity, boosting volume, and ironing out wrinkles – and this is a core part of what makes thread lifts so effective.
The thread itself dissolves and breaks down after about six months, but the result lasts longer thanks to this newly produced collagen.
PDO smooth threads vs PDO twisted threads – what’s the difference?
Smooth and twisted PDO threads are just another name for two of the thread types mentioned above. And as also mentioned, they each act in a slightly different way and produce slightly different results:
Mono threads (AKA “smooth” threads)
These are smooth, without any kind of barb. They’re placed in a criss-cross pattern that creates a scaffolding effect, which in turn provides lift and tightening. These are the most common type of thread and are used for general lifting, tightening, and rejuvenation of the skin.
Screw threads (AKA “twisted” or “tornado” threads)
These are made up of two intertwined threads with small barbs. Their spiral shape allows for enhanced anchoring to the skin as well as a greater surface area for collagen to build around, which makes them more effective at restoring volume to areas of sunken skin. As a result, these are ideal for reducing deep lines such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
Cog threads (AKA “barbed” or “lifting” threads)
These have small barbs that attach to the underside of your skin like small fishhooks. Once the thread has been anchored, it can be gently pulled to lift and reposition the skin, providing enhanced support and more effectively lifting sagging tissue.
Other types of thread lift
While PDO threads are the original and still the most popular, in recent years there are some new materials that have been developed for use in thread lift procedures: PCL threads and PLLA threads.
PDO threads have been around the longest and are the most common. They’re extremely safe, as they use the same material that’s used for cardiovascular and other surgeries. PDO sutures dissolve after about 6-9 months, after which the results start to fade, meaning the results tend to last a maximum of about 2 years.
PLLA threads were the next to be developed. These are made from Poly-L-Lactic acid, which works as a volumizer. PLLA threads last longer – for around 12-18 months – and stimulate more collagen than PDO threads, which makes them slightly more effective at increasing skin firmness and elasticity. However, Poly-L-Lactic acid is the same main ingredient that’s in Sculptra, a very effective injectable filler – and the results are typically better when used as a filler. So, at BodyTonic, we offer Sculptra fillers instead of PLLA threads – as we always opt for the treatment that will yield the better results.
PCL threads are the latest to hit the market, but it’s still early days. These take much longer to dissolve than PDO threads, which means they generate collagen production for longer and so provide more noticeable and longer-lasting results. As PCL is still a developing technology, we don’t yet use these threads here at BodyTonic, but as the technology continues to develop we may well do in the future!
What areas of the face and body can a PDO thread lift treat?
A PDO thread lift can be used to treat a wide range of areas across the face and body, with the primary focus being on addressing sagging skin, improving facial contours, and stimulating collagen production to restore volume and rejuvenate the skin’s appearance.
Here are some of the most popular areas to treat with a PDO thread lift:
PDO thread lift for the face and neck:
- Cheeks: PDO threads can lift and enhance the cheekbones, providing a more defined and youthful appearance.
- Jawline: The threads can help tighten and contour the jawline, reducing the appearance of jowls and creating a more sculpted look.
- Neck: Sagging skin and wrinkles on the neck (“necklace lines”) can all be improved with PDO threads, resulting in a firmer and smoother neck contour.
- Eyebrows: Threads can lift and reposition the eyebrows, opening up the eye area and giving a more rejuvenated look.
- Nasolabial folds and marionette lines: The threads can fill out and soften the lines and wrinkles around the mouth, restoring a more youthful appearance.
- Other parts of the face: Frown lines, forehead, eye wrinkles, smoker’s lines, downturned mouth, and other aspects of the face can also be improved with PDO threads.
PDO threads for the body:
- Arms: PDO threads can tighten loose skin and improve the appearance of sagging skin on the upper arms, commonly known as "bat wings."
- Abdomen: Threads can help tighten and firm the skin on the abdomen.
Thighs and buttocks: PDO threads can be used to address sagging skin on the inner thighs and buttocks, improving overall firmness and contour.
How to choose the right PDO thread lift
As with any kind of cosmetic procedure, the best way to choose exactly what’s right for you is with the help of an experienced professional. At BodyTonic, we offer completely free no-obligation consultations in which we’ll recommend the best options for you, depending on your unique needs and desired results.
But generally speaking thread lifts are ideal for people aged around 35-50, who have skin that is starting to sag and loosen and who want to maintain a more youthful look without having to undergo surgery. As to exactly which thread lift you go for, it will depend on your specific concerns and the results you’re looking for.
It’s not suitable for extremely wrinkled, sagging, or heavily loosened skin, as the results simply won’t be visible enough. People with very sensitive skin, very thin subcutaneous tissue, active skin infections, or who are pregnant are also not suited to this procedure.
However, for most people wanting to keep their skin looking a little firmer, tighter, and more youthful, PDO threads are one of the best and most effective options – especially when combined with other procedures such as fillers and Botox®.
How much does a PDO thread lift cost in Cleveland?
If you're interested in learning about the cost of PDO thread lifts in Cleveland, we invite you to come and visit us at BodyTonic. Our knowledgeable and friendly team of practitioners can provide you with detailed information about the pricing for PDO thread lift promotions. Also, we offer a 30-Minute Free, no-obligatory Consultation to help you get started on your PDO thread lift journey.
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