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PDO Threads – What is it?

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Threads have really taken off in recent years. It is minimally invasive and produces results similar to the more expensive surgical face lift. Threads are used to treat jowls and sagging skin around the cheeks. It is also used to treat bands and sagging skin in the neck as well as drooping of the eyebrows. A set of threads to either side of the face and neck can provide a lifting effect that can redefine the jaw and cheek regions as well as tighten the neck.

How does it work?

The face has a complex arrangement of skin, fat and muscle that are all subject to the ageing process. The face has a unique muscular layer called the SMAS – the superficial muscular aponeurotic system. The SMAS lies below a layer of fat and skin. The skin is anchored to this muscular layer which allow us to make specific facial expressions such as smiling and frowning. As we age these anchors stretch and loosen and our skin begins to sag.

There are a large variety of threads available. The most common threads consist of absorbable sutures with tiny hooks facing in opposite directions. These threads are inserted under the skin in specific patterns and the hooks are anchored into the fat. Pulling on the threads results in lifting of sagging skin and fat. Most threads are made from polylactic acid or polydioxanone and hence are called PDO threads. These are known to trigger the formation of new collagen and elastin. Once inserted the threads are absorbed over a period of 3 months and replaced by bands of collagen that remain in place and maintain results for upto 18 months. Recently PCL threads have been introduced and these last for more than 24 months.

What is it used to treat?

Threads are used to treat jowls that develop following sagging of skin along the jawline. They can also be used to provide a lifting effect around the cheeks and temples. This subsequently can be used to reduce nasolabial folds and tighten the entire midface region. Threads can be used in the neck to tighten the neck and help to treat neck bands.

What happens during the treatment in clinic?

During your initial consultation we will conduct a thorough three dimensional analysis of your face using the latest 3D scanning cameras and demonstrate to you the regions of your face that will benefit from threads. You will have entry points of the threads marked onto your face and then a small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected at the insertion sites. After insertion and placement of the threads they are tightened with you sitting up. Once the desired lifting effect has been achieved excess threads are cut away. The procedure normally takes about 1 hour to complete.

Are there any side effects to treatment?

There are minimal side effects from this procedure. There is a small risk of bleeding from the insertion sites. There can be some swelling and bruising. This usually resolves within a week. Immediately after the procedure there is some tethering of the skin at the insertion site but this resolves within 48 hours. Risks of infection are low. After the procedure it is essential that certain activities are avoided for the first 3 weeks, including harsh washing and drying of the face, facial massages, further aesthetic treatment, contact sports and excessive facial movements during chewing. Often we will give you a compression garment to wear for the first 24 to 48 hours after which it should be worn at night for the next couple of weeks.

What sort of results can I expect?

The results of threads depend on the type and arrangement of threads used. Cog threads placed around the jawline and midface will produce an immediate lifting effect. Flat and twisted threads have profound collagen induction effects but results take around 3 months to appear. You can expect improvements in jowls with improved definition of your jaw line as well mid face improvements and tightening of the neck. The lifting effect would be expected to last for at least 18 months especially following formation of new collagen and elastin. You can also expect improvements in the skin regions overlying the threads.

The face has a complex arrangement of skin, fat and muscle that are all subject to the ageing process. The face has a unique muscular layer called the SMAS – the superficial muscular aponeurotic system. The SMAS lies below a layer of fat and skin. The skin is anchored to this muscular layer which allow us to make specific facial expressions such as smiling and frowning. As we age these anchors stretch and loosen and our skin begins to sag.
There are a large variety of threads available. The most common threads consist of absorbable sutures with tiny hooks facing in opposite directions. These threads are inserted under the skin in specific patterns and the hooks are anchored into the fat. Pulling on the threads results in lifting of sagging skin and fat. Most threads are made from polylactic acid or polydioxanone and hence are called PDO threads. These are known to trigger the formation of new collagen and elastin. Once inserted the threads are absorbed over a period of 3 months and replaced by bands of collagen that remain in place and maintain results for upto 18 months. Recently PCL threads have been introduced and these last for more than 24 months.

Thread lifts were originally developed by Dr Sulamanitze in Moscow who invented the bidirectional barbed wire thread he named the ‘Aptos Suture™’. This idea was refined by a company called KMI and eventually in 2009 the absorbable cone based ‘Silhouette SoftTM’ thread lift sutures were developed. Dr Kwon Han Jin, from South Korea, developed the Ultra V Lift procedure using PDO threads. At Rejuvence Clinic we use Ultra V Lift threads.
Researchers have conducted numerous studies initially looking at the biomechanics of the technique in human cadavers and relating this to the complex anatomy of the face. More recently numerous researchers have started to publish long term data highlighting the success of this procedure. Studies on changes involved at the cone sites on a cellular level have also been published proving the development of new collagen and elastin ensuring the lifting effect is long-lasting.

There is very minimal downtime associated with this procedure. Normally you should be able to get straight back to work and have no problems attending any social gatherings. However, be wary that bruising is possible and this should be factored in.

The results of threads depend on the type and arrangement of threads used. Cog threads placed around the jawline and midface will produce an immediate lifting effect. Flat and twisted threads have profound collagen induction effects but results take around 3 months to appear. You can expect improvements in jowls with improved definition of your jaw line as well mid face improvements and tightening of the neck. The lifting effect would be expected to last for at least 18 months especially following formation of new collagen and elastin. You can also expect improvements in the skin regions overlying the threads.

At Rejuvence we have a passion for embracing new technology and new techniques. Threads allow us to do both. Using new state of the art three dimensional scanning techniques we are able to plan treatments for clients much more accurately than was ever possible before. For further details please contact us to book a free consultation.

J Plasma is a revolutionary helium based plasma device only available at Rejuvence Clinic. J Plasma has been described by many prominent cosmetic doctors in the US as the most exciting development in the cosmetic industry in the last 10 years. J Plasma is a minimally invasive procedure that can provide phenomenal lifting and tightening of the skin on the face and neck. J Plasma Face is a plasma resurfacing procedure similar to Fraxel CO2 laser that can literally make you look 5-10 years younger and help to lift sagging skin. J Plazty Neck is a minimally invasive procedure that can tighten skin around the neck and when combined with VASER liposuction help to get rid of excess fat to achieve a sleek, slender and youthful neck. We are the only clinic in the UK to offer these incredible treatments. For further details please contact us to book a free consultation.

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