They say age is just a number. But what if that number starts showing up all over your face in the form of deeper lines, looser skin, loss of volume? And what if you want to do something about it to look as youthful as you feel, but don’t want to go under the knife? The good news is that there are many minimally invasive options that can make a big impact…. Let’s start with PDO threads.
You may have heard the term “thread lift” or seen social media photos referencing PDO threads, which have grown in popularity in recent years for their ability to offer great results with little to no downtime. But here are a few reasons we at W love them and use them regularly in our practice.
PDO threads…. What are they, what do they do and why would I want them?
In case you’re unfamiliar, PDO (polydioxanone) threads are fully dissolvable threads inserted under the skin using a small cannula (blunt edge tool that causes less bleeding/bruising) and are used to address loose or sagging skin and loss of elasticity and volume. These threads not only offer an immediate lifting effect by contracting tissue for skin tightening, but they also stimulate collagen production for a longer lasting youthful effect. Over time, these threads add up to better skin texture, fewer lines and greater skin elasticity. They’re FDA-approved and the whole treatment takes only about an hour (30 minutes for numbing and another 15-30 min for the threads to be inserted and tightened.) PDOs have been used safely for decades and, at W Aesthetics, this treatment is only performed by trained, highly skilled nurse professionals so you’re in the very best hands.
At W, we specifically love NovaThreads, which are US-made and the first FDA approved absorbable PDO sutures. NovaThreads are extremely precise, come in multiple options including Smooth, Lift and Volumize and, most importantly, we and our patients have seen beautiful results from them. As far as which thread is right for you, we will consult with you to hear your aesthetic concerns and goals and will recommend the type of thread we feel will give you optimal results. But as a quick overview, Smooth threads are generally used to treat superficial lines, while Lift barbed or molded threads are used for just that…to lift looser skin and address areas that show signs of sagging or drooping. Finally, Volumize threads are often used for smile lines or helping to define the lip border, marionette lines and nasolabial folds.
But no matter which thread we use, the process is the same. As mentioned, we insert the thread under the skin using a cannula, gently pull the exposed end taut to tighten loose skin. The threads begin to dissolve over time and should be fully absorbed within 4-6 months. They also stimulate the body to produce its own collagen and result in added skin structure which can last on average 6-18 months, depending on the size of thread and where they are placed. Needless to say, we love this treatment for both its instant and long-term results.
Although PDO threads aren’t new, they’ve become even more of a go-to recently for those wanting a little lift and youthful skin restoration, but who want to look like themselves and appreciate a very natural result. So we thought it would be helpful to answer a few questions we often hear when it comes to PDO threads.
Where can PDO threads be used?
That’s the great part…. they can be used virtually anywhere on the body, including the neck, cheeks, jowls, brows, jawline, nasolabial folds, crows feet, under eye and marionette lines. But while the upper neck, brows, cheeks and jowl areas tend to be the most popular, PDO threads can even be used on the upper arms, knees, stomach and thighs to offer lifting and skin tightening in those areas as well.
Who is a good candidate for a PDO thread lift?
In general, anyone with minimal or beginning signs of aging, such as looser or somewhat drooping skin, loss of skin elasticity or those wanting an overall subtle lift without surgery. However, to make certain you are a good candidate for this treatment, first we will consult with you individually to make sure it’s safe and in your best interest to perform a PDO thread procedure.
What do PDO threads cost?
It varies based on the areas treated and number of threads used. Once we consult with you and decide what will give you your best result, we can give you a more specific idea of cost.
What should you do before and after a PDO thread lift?
Like filler and many other aesthetic procedures, we recommend that you avoid alcohol and blood thinners like ibuprofen (Advil, aspirin etc) for at least a few days before your PDO thread treatment and may also want to limit high-intensity workouts, steam rooms or saunas and natural supplements such as Vitamin E, Ginko and fish oils. Anything that thins your blood or increases your heart rate could lead to greater risk of bruising and swelling, so best to avoid them for a few days before. Also, if you are prone to bruising, taking an Arnica supplement for 5-7 days before treatment may also be a good idea.
After your PDO treatment, it’s important to avoid workouts and an elevated heart rate for the first 7-14 days, however, you can take leisurely walks. We also recommend sleeping on your back for 2 weeks to avoid putting pressure on the treated areas and avoiding dental treatments for 2 weeks as well. You can read more about what we recommend before and after treatment on our site under “Nonsurgical Thread Lift.”
Common side effects that can happen after a PDO thread lift are some discomfort, soreness in the treated areas, bruising, bleeding and minimal swelling. These should not be cause for concern, but if you are feeling intense pain or side effects that seem abnormal, please do not hesitate to contact us. However, anything outside of those listed is rare and most of our patients experience minimal pain and virtually no downtime.
Can a PDO thread lift be combined with other treatments?
Yes, neuromodulators such as Botox or Dysport and dermal fillers can be used in conjunction with PDO threads to relax lines or add extra volume to the lifted areas.
If you have any other questions related to PDO threads, we encourage you to call our office and schedule an in-person consultation. We would love to see you and let you know if PDO threads might be a good option for you.