RESTORING THE V-SHAPE
A beautiful and healthy face has a “V-shape”. With the aging of tissues and the action of gravity, this “V-shape” diminishes or inverts. The idea behind the PDO thread lift is to either create a scaffolding in order to support the tissues and keep them in the “V-shape” or, where necessary, to delicately lift the tissues and reposition the skin to recreate the “V-shape” where it’s been lost.
Although PDO lifting threads can be inserted almost anywhere, even in the body, one area where they are especially effective is the neck and jawline. The lower third of the face is challenging to treat effectively with botulinum toxin or injectable fillers, which are most effective in the upper and middle third of the face, respectively.
What are PDO threads and how do they work?
Hypodermic needles preloaded with synthetic PDO absorbable sutures. PDO (polydioxanone) sutures are surgical sutures that are used to perform cardiac surgery. All sutures are FDA-approved and PDO sutures are one of the safest materials that can be used in the body. Your skin will fully absorb the thread within 4 to 6 months without leaving any scar tissue.
While the sutures are underneath the skin, however, your skin gently reacts to the skin creating a “selective inflammatory response” to produce collagen to create a longer-lasting result: This principle is behind a lot of aesthetic procedures (such as fractioned lasers, skin tightening treatments and microneedling). Our skin is excellent at repairing itself, and by inserting the threads underneath the skin to lift the loose skin, the skin will heal itself by creating new collagen naturally!
Who is a good candidate for PDO Thread Lift?
For the right candidate, the Thread Lift can provide a pleasing, natural rejuvenation of the face with the benefit of no general anesthesia, rapid recovery and very minimal cost compared to a facelift or a necklift. Thread Lift may be combined with other, more minor surgical procedures, such as Botox, Injectable Fillers, Ultherapy, microneedling or skin resurfacing lasers.
Ideal candidates for thread lifts include:
- People with minimal signs of aging who need just a small lift. Good candidates are those patients who are starting to see some droopiness of the cheeks, jowls and/or neck and would like to see a lift effect, but do not want the risk, scars, or recovery of surgery.
- People who have had some relapse from a previous plastic surgery.
- People who do not wish to undergo a surgical facelift or necklift for various reasons such as not wanting a prolonged recovery or do not wish to spend money on an expensive surgical procedure.
Which areas can be treated with the PDO Threads?
Most popular treatment areas are the cheeks (midface), jowls, and the upper neck.
How is this performed?
- The areas to be treated will be numbed with topical as well as local anesthetic.
- The areas to be treated are then marked.
- The threads are then inserted under the skin in precise locations using a small hollow needle to lift and support droopy elements without removing any skin. The inserted thread is then able to grasp onto the droopy skin and soft tissue to reposition the skin. This requires no cuts or incisions. It’s purely done by injections.
- With the lift effect secured, the hollow needle is removed without leaving any scars.
- Depending on the desired effect of the lift, few to several sutures will be used.
- The PDO suture remains underneath the skin. Different sutures and lengths will be used depending upon the area(s) you need lifted.
What are the techniques?
There are 2 different types of PDO threads and techniques.
Type 1 Barb Threads: These sutures are used for the lift technique. These threads have tiny barbs on the entire length of the thread to gather tissue to lift the cheeks and sagging skin of where the threads are placed. This technique produces a more dramatic and immediate result. The skin will then build new collagen which will secure the lift and give the lift a longer lasting result.
Type 2 Smooth Threads: These sutures are used for the mesh technique. These threads are smaller than the barbed sutures and are smooth (no barbs on the thread). These threads are placed under the skin vertically and horizontally to create a “mesh” network. This Mesh will serve as the foundation for new collagen production in the skin. The results appear naturally and gradually to improve fine lines and to firm the skin. This method is great for scarred skin and, when in used in conjunction with microneedling, can significantly improve acne scarring. Other areas that can see significant improvement with smooth threads are perioral wrinkling (lines around the mouth) and stubborn frown lines that haven’t resolved even after Botox treatment.
What is the recovery?
Pain can be usually managed with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (Advil). You may have mild swelling and bruising for few days (smooth threads) to severe swelling and bruising for a couple weeks (lifting threads). Icing the treated area as well as Arnica tablets and gel or cream (available at some drug stores, most health food stores, and Amazon.com) is recommended for the first few days. We recommend avoiding strenuous activity during your healing phase.
What kind of results can be expected afterward and how long does the results last?
Some results of the Thread Lift can be immediate, but is even more noticeable after 2-4 weeks or when all the swelling and potential bruising has resolved. Your individual healing depends on the type/number of threads used, the treatment area, your health, your own body’s capacity for healing, and your pre & post-treatment self-care.
The results will continue to enhance as your skin produces even more collagen over the next several months, which will also make the results of the thread lift last longer than the life of the threads. More threads can always be inserted down the line to continue to improve the results and prolong the results even more. Since the insertion of the threads cause collagen induction, the results last as long as the life of your natural collagen. When it come to again, nothing is permanent (not even a facelift) as we continue to age through the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
If you choose to have a more intensive surgical procedure or facelift at a later point, this can be done without any problems as the PDO sutures will be absorbed completely without leaving any kind of scarring.
What are the side effects of the Thread Lift?
Like any procedure using a needle, there will be bruising and swelling. There will be post-op discomfort which usually resolves quickly in most patients. With the barbed lifting sutures, there may be obvious pulling or puckering around the thread until the initial inflammation settles and the thread begins to be replaced by your own collagen.
Cost of treatment
The cost of your treatment is totally dependent on the type and number of threads needed to accomplish your treatment goals and cannot be determined without a proper esthetic consult with Dr. Hughes and her team, but can range from $250-$3,000.
We charge $50 for esthetic consults alone (which will be credited toward your esthetic service(s) if you should go forward with treatment), or a consultation can be scheduled during your dental re-care appointment (your biannual cleaning/exam) at no extra charge, but please specify your interest in the consultation when you call so the appropriate appointment time may be reserved for you. We provide printed treatment options that includes treatment costs following your esthetic consult so that you understand every aspect of your treatment prior to the start of such treatment.