A PDO thread lift is a cosmetic procedure that is aimed to lift or enhance the shape of your face or breasts. A practice that has been around for a couple of decades now, thread lifts are a minimally invasive alternative to facelifts especially for those who are not ready to undergo more intrusive procedures.
Though a thread lift produces temporary and less dramatic results than a facelift, it works in improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles subtly as the procedure stimulates collagen production.
Collagen is the protein found abundantly in our bones, muscles, skins, and tendons that give skin its suppleness and structure. Loss of collagen is one of the main causes of skin ageing.
Who’s Suitable for a PDO Thread Lift?
Typically, thread lifts are for those who are in their mid-30s and early-50s. Noticing early signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles can benefit from a subtle thread lift procedure. Also, those who can’t switch to surgical procedures including general anesthesia dues to medical conditions can consider thread lift as a safer alternative.
A thread lift can address signs of ageing likely to occur in most parts of your face. Most commonly treated areas include those parts that tend to sag over time.
- Jowls and jawline
- Eyebrows and under-eyes
Because the results of thread lift procedures are less drastic than facelift surgeries, they are also used as a part of other anti-ageing procedures like dermal fillers or Ultherapy.
In recent years, the scope of thread lift procedures has increased, making it also suitable for lifting and tightening breasts after pregnancy or sudden weight loss.
How Does It Work?
PDO thread lifts are aimed at repositioning facial and neck tissues by encouraging collagen production in treated areas, giving it more volume and a youthful appearance.
This is achieved by the use of PDO or polydioxanone suture that is a durable and flexible, biodegradable polymer that comes in a variety of textures. Simply put, these medical-grade sutures are used to “stitch-up” your skin so that it appears taut.
As the dissolvable sutures are threaded into your skin, the thread grabs hold on to the underlying tissue and muscles making it easy to be pulled tight. From the moment the barbed thread is inserted, your body’s healing response is activated and it begins producing collagen. Collagen is primarily responsible for scaffolding and restores the elasticity of your skin by filling the gaps in the sagging portions.
While a thread lift procedure results in tighter, more structured looking skin, the effect is temporary. Overtime (around a year), the effect begins to decrease as the suture starts dissolving. However, a second “rejuvenation” effect is noticed to stay in place for over 3 years after the procedure.
Efforts are being made to understand the long-term effects of thread lifts and provide longer-lasting results with the help of technology and advanced medical applications.
How Much Does A PDO Thread Lift Cost?
The cost of a thread lift varies widely depending on where you live, your surgeon’s level of experience, the scope of the procedure, the number of threads used and the areas you target with your treatment. Since it’s a cosmetic procedure, thread lifts are not covered by insurance. However, some clinics do offer to pay the final amount over about 3 to 48 months.
On average, a thread lift costs around 40% of what a facelift would cost. For a thread lift, you can expect to pay somewhere between $500 (3,271 CYN) to $5,000 (32,710 CYN). To pick an average, let’s go with $2,250 (14,719 CYN).
While opening the door for a thread lift, you can either target just one area or several areas at once. Charges are higher if the target areas are more, or larger, for example, thread lifts for tightening breasts are more costly.
Sometimes, additional therapies like Botox or Juvederm are suggested to enhance the effects of the thread lift. These are important to consider as this could raise the cost of your expenses.
The Procedure of PDO Thread Lift
There are a few precautions you may need to follow before a thread lift procedure. For at least 5 days before the procedure you will be needed to avoid consuming food that will increase the risk of bruising or bleeding, like:
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Ibuprofen and Advil
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Green tea or green tea extracts
While the procedure might be slightly different depending on the area targeted, the techniques used are the same.
After being briefed over the potential complications and scope of recovery, you will be asked to recline in the room where the procedure will be performed. Disinfection is then done by alcohol after which, local anesthesia is applied to the skin.
A cannula or thin needle is inserted into your skin through which the threads are inserted underneath the skin. Inserting the threads can take up to 30-45 minutes. Multiple threads can be inserted through the same point in the skin.
Once the thread is inserted, the thread is released while the cannula is removed. You may feel slight pressure of tightening under your skin at this point.
This procedure is repeated until the desired lift is achieved, with as many as 1-15 threads inserted depending on the area being treated.
The threads are then massaged to ensure that the tissue is smooth and so dimpling (or pulling where the threads are inserted) is present.
Within a few minutes of the needles being taken out and the skin is massaged, you are free to go home.
Recovery After a Thread Lift
Recovery after a thread lift procedure is minimal, with the person being able to resume normal activity within a week of the procedure. For a week after your thread lift, you would be advised to avoid saunas and high-intensity workouts.
Swelling, dimpling, and bruising are normal and when mild usually get resolved in a week. To reduce the swelling faster, it’s prudent that you sleep sitting up for a few days, and avoid pulling or tugging your skin, or making exaggerated facial movements. Also, in the place where the threads are placed, you can feel some resistance while moving your face.
Any minor swelling or after-effects of the procedure subside in a week or 2 and you may resume regular activity once again.