PDO Threads – What is it?
A face lift is a major surgical procedure involving a general anaesthetic, long operating time, prolonged downtime with significant bruising, swelling and pain and not to mention costs a lot of money. The majority of us are not prepared to go down that route. However, as we age and develop sagging skin, we all want to do something to provide a little lift and rejuvenation.
PDO thread lifts are a non-surgical alternative to the traditional face lift. Of course the results of a PDO thread lift are not comparable to that of a full face lift. However, at a fraction of the cost, quick treatment time, no general anaesthetic, minimal bruising and pain and practically no downtime it is a fantastic option for many.
PDO threads and more recently, PCL threads, were originally developed in South Korea. Threads are essentially special surgical sutures used for stitching in operations. These threads, when inserted underneath the skin, are absorbed over a period of 3 months and replaced with strands of collagen and elastin. PDO and PCL threads are essentially collagen induction agents. Collagen provides skin with its tensile strength. As we age we lose collagen and elastin and this results in it sagging.
PDO threads come in a variety of lengths and shapes. Flat threads are single and straight and inserted in a net like fashion to create a mesh of collagen. ‘Twisted’ and ‘screw’ threads consist of multiple threads weaved together and result in larger amounts of collagen production. ‘Cog’ threads are similar to the ‘Silhouette SoftTM’ or the ‘Aptos SutureTM’. They consist of little hooks arranged in 360 degrees orientation, that, when inserted, grip the underside of the skin and can be used to tighten and pull providing an immediate lifting effect. They also are absorbed within 3 months and replaced with collagen strands.
Using a combination of ‘cog’ and ‘screw/twisted’ PDO threads it is possible to carry out a non-surgical face lift. ‘Cog’ threads can be inserted below the skin over the cheek regions heading down towards the angle of the mouth and even jaw. These threads are then anchored just in front of the ear either side and can be tightened to provide a lifting effect to the whole of the mid face and even sharpen up the jaw line. This is then combined with a mesh arrangement of ‘screw/twisted’ threads running across the ‘cog’ threads to reinforce this lift. Over 3 months all threads are absorbed and replaced with strands of collagen, maintaining the lifting effect for up to 18 months and also helps to rejuvenate the skin.
©Individual results may vary.
PDO thread lifts are a non-invasive procedure and is not particularly uncomfortable. At Rejuvence we normally apply topical anaesthetic cream to the face first. After this has been left on for 15 minutes we mark up the thread insertion points and then inject a little local anaesthetic here. This can sting initially but once it takes effect we are able to comfortably insert the PDO threads. In the cases, where we are not combining PDO threads with PRP, we can use larger amounts of local anaesthetic to completely numb the region.
PDO thread treatments normally last for upto 18 months. PCL threads last a little longer – upto 24 months. As mentioned above, all threads are absorbed within about 3 months and replaced with collagen. In cases where a lot of lift has been achieved with ‘cog’ threads, it is important to realise that this initial lift will not last for very long. Many clinics use multiple ‘cog’ threads to give excellent lift initially but are wound too tight and there is a sudden drop after a few months. At Rejuvence we prefer a combination of ‘cogs’ and ‘screw/twisted’ threads. The ‘cogs’ provide some immediate lift and the remaining ‘screw/twisted’ threads provide a long-term collagen mesh framework that will tighten over time and reinforce the ‘cogs’.
PDO thread lifts are a relatively safe procedure with few complications. However, it is important to be treated at a reputable clinic by an aesthetic practitioner who knows what they are doing and have a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the face. Following the procedure it is possible to have some bruising and swelling. We routinely provide complimentary Dermalux LED sessions after our PDO thread treatments. This helps reduce the amount of bruising and can speed up the healing process. Sometimes threads can migrate out of the skin and this then needs to be removed. Rarely, ‘cog’ threads are placed too superficially and can be seen and/or felt under the skin. There can also be puckering of the skin. In each of these cases, normally things resolve on their own but if need be we can remove the threads.
At Rejuvence Clinic we are well trained and experienced in the use of PDO threads for facial rejuvenation. Our prices are extremely competitive and we believe in combining PDO threads with PRP and Dermalux LED. Please contact us for a free consultation.