PDO or polydioxanone threads are specially designed threads used to lift, tighten and renew sagging skin. The PDO lift procedure is a non-surgical alternative to a facelift. The specialised PDO threads are used to lift and tighten sagging skin around the face and neck, and to stimulate the network of supportive collagen fibres within the skin. Special threads are placed carefully within the face to create a more youthful appearance without the need for surgery or extensive downtime. The results from the PDO threat lift are typically longer lasting than dermal fillers and botox.
PDO thread lifting is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require general anaesthetic and has very little downtime. Polydioxanone (PDO) threads are made of the same material as dissolvable sutures used to close wounds. However, instead of taking two weeks to dissolve, they take around six to nine months.
The PDO thread lift procedure takes around 30 minutes which is why it has come to be known as the lunch hour lift, the half hour face lift and the one stitch face lift. Following the application of some local anaesthetic, the specialised PDO threads are placed within the deeper layers of the skin and the skin is lifted. The treatment is safe and you can return to work the same day with minimal discomfort. As well as lifting, PDO threads can be used purely to stimulate collagen production in the skin and because of this, PDO threads work well in combination with other rejuvenating treatments.
During the treatment, a fine cannula (a special type of needle) is used to introduce the PDO thread into the skin. The number of threads used depends on the desired results. This can range from a single thread to around 50 threads when treating the face and neck. The fine threads are carefully guided through the skin and placed in position along the pre-marked contours. Once the thread is in position, the cannula is removed and the thread remains in place. The threads contain tiny barbs, or anchors, which lock into the skin and hold it in its new position. Any excess thread is trimmed once the desired lift has been achieved.
From the day of the procedure you can visibly see the lifting effects of the threads. After around one month following the procedure you will start to notice the rejuvenating effects. New collagen is stimulated to form around the thread, supporting the skin and improving its texture. A process called neovascularisation (the formation of new blood vessels) helps to improve the microcirculation to the skin. This results in a more youthful appearance by the reduction of fine lines months after the procedure itself. The threads have a further effect of causing the fatty tissue in the face to contract which gives the face a slimmer, tighter and firmer appearance.
Before the treatment begins you will be given a local anaesthetic. This helps to numb the area to be treated and reduces any associated discomfort. Patients report little to no pain or discomfort from the procedure.
As with a traditional facelift, a PDO thread lift can help to lift the entire face. As well as lifting, the treatment will stimulate the body to produce more collagen in the treatment area. It is particularly effective as a treatment to contour and add definition to the lower jaw, cheeks, eyebrows and neck.
You should notice an immediate improvement to your appearance, which will continue over several months as your body produces new collagen and the rejuvenating effects develop.
The PDO threads usually dissolve after nine months following treatment but the results and improvements to your appearance last for several months following this. Every person is different and factors such as your age and the degree of sagging we have corrected will have an impact on the longevity of the treatment. Results are dependent on each individual. It is possible to have a top-up treatment with additional threads around six to nine months following the procedure to extend the benefits of the thread lift to up to three years.
The sutures and cones used in a PDO thread lift are made from Polydioxanone (PDO for short), which is a polymer that has been used for surgical sutures for many years. The threads are well tolerated, strong and breakdown naturally over time.
In the hands of an experienced and highly trained practitioner, the PDO thread lift has an excellent safety record. The risks associated with the PDO thread lift are less than fillers and much less than a surgical facelift.
Minor side effects of this treatment include bruising, swelling, tenderness, numbness and slight asymmetry, although most will resolve within a couple of days. Complications are rare, and are less likely in the hands of a skilled and trained practitioner.
Naturally, we will explain all the pros and cons of this treatment with you before you decide whether to go ahead with it.
Most patients who choose a PDO thread lift are in their 30s or older, as this treatment is ideal if you have mild to moderate sagging. It would not be recommended for someone in their 20s.
Before your treatment you will need to remove all make up and any residual creams or lotions on your face. The day before your treatment it is advisable to avoid alcohol, aspirin, Ibuprofen, St. Johns Wort, omega fish oils, Gingko Biloba, Vitamins C and E in order to minimise any bruising from the procedure itself.
You can find our full treatment and price list here. We will always give you an itemised breakdown of your treatment plan so that you can be confident that there are no hidden costs.
For more information regarding the PDO Thread Lift treatment please contact us on 020 7467 3720. You can also book an appointment for a consultation with one of our aesthetic specialists by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content by Dr Sunil Chopra and Rebecca Perris