PDO neck thread lift has gained popularity mainly because it is considered safer, gives immediate results, and is much cheaper, unlike surgical facelifts. But like any medical procedure, the PDO neck thread lift has specific side effects.
Still, there is a lower risk of experiencing side effects or complications than facelift surgeries. For example, there is an approximately 20% risk of complications in PDO thread lift procedures that can be easily corrected.
In addition, different researchers have shown that most side effects have been experienced with barbed thread lifting than non-barbed threads. The side effects of a PDO neck thread lift procedure are in the categories of contour irregularities, transient/ self-resolving irregularities, sensory effects, infections, inflammations, injuries, and bitemporal alopecia.
The side effects include:
Although the PDO thread lift procedure is non-invasive, it is not entirely pain-free. Most patients complain of discomfort and pain during and after the procedure. However, the pain is minimized by administering a local anesthetic during the process.
After the procedure, you can experience discomfort and pain for about 24 to 48 hours, and you can use ice on the area for about 20 minutes to reduce the pain. You may also experience brief nerve–like stabbing pain which is likely to resolve itself after some time.
To avoid increasing the pain, one should observe some thread lift aftercare like limit movements so that the threads remain in position. This involves avoiding activities such as heavy exercise for a week, involving extreme movements that may affect the neck area. If you experience severe pain three days after the procedure, you should consult a physician.
2. Thread migration
Thread migration is caused by inserting threads poorly. It can happen some weeks after the thread lifting, and most patients may feel it coming out.
However, sometimes thread migration may occur during the procedure especially with threads that have no cog below the skin. In some cases, the migration might even cause the thread to protrude in some areas.
To lower the chances of this happening, insert a cog thread in both directions to increase the chances of strong anchoring.
Ensure that the threads remain bi-directional when cutting cog for fixing. Without this, the cog threads will remain unidirectional which increases the risk of migrating.
Threads can break due to long-term storage. Exposing PDO threads to moisture will lead to them easily breaking and losing their strength. This leads to breakage during insertion due to poor storage and eventually leads to loss of its fixing ability; thus, the thread may migrate. So, health practitioners must ensure they use PDO threads in good condition.
This is the skin discoloration caused by bruising; after the procedure, you may have some swelling and bruising for one to two days, depending on your healing process. This occurs if a blood vessel is injured during the procedure or its wall is damaged, causing blood to seep out into surrounding areas.
In some instances, a deep nerve may be injured during the procedure causing permanent immobility, though this is very rare. The most definite sign of ecchymosis is a moderately large portion of flat discolored red, blue, or purple skin. Other symptoms may include pain, increased sensitivity, and swelling.
Ecchymosis can be resolved at home by icing the area several times a day for half an hour or keeping the site elevated, and resting may assist in reducing bruising. This is by absorbing the blood within your tissues. However, if one experiences severe pain or lump on top of the bruise, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately.
If you still feel the pain after three days, you should consider booking an appointment with your physician. Most ecchymosis cases are treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain and swelling.
Infections like abscess formation with open wounds may occur after a PDO thread neck lift though chances of occurring are meager. To prevent infections, an aseptic technique is used during the procedure. This involves using a betadine or chlorhexidine preparation, sterile fields such as drapes for cogs and barbs.
After the threading procedure, a painful lump may develop, caused by thread buckling or curling beneath the skin. This can cause infection, especially if the swelling is warm, red, or fluctuant. To treat this, subcision treatment may be performed; this treatment will release the thread from the skin.
Another form of treatment is to remove the thread entirely. The incorrect placement of threads may also cause infection—severe infections cause massive debridement, which will require the implant’s removal. In most cases, antibiotics are prescribed to address the infection.
5. Skin Dimpling
Dimpling is a complication where the skin forms a dimple at the point along the suture thread. The complication occurs when the thread is placed too close to the surface of the soft tissue. In a severe dimpling complication, where the anchor thread is hooked to the dermis too tightly, the correction may involve cutting the thread off to reduce the tension on the dermis. This will allow the skin to rise, thus resolving the dimpling of the skin.
Bipolar radiofrequency is is a technique for skin tightening also used as a treatment. It heats the PDO threads, unzipping and softening the area where it was placed. A Microcannula is used in therapy to open up the area around the thread, loosen the thread and get rid of the dimple created.
One side effect of this is swelling which can occur after this treatment, but it heals with time.
One of the ways to prevent dimpling is the correct placement of the thread; the thread should be placed deep enough and not too superficial this will also prevent other side effects.
6. Thread Protrusion
Thread protrusion is experienced in many patients, and several factors lead to protrusion. First, one employs the wrong technique either during entry or when placing threads. Loss and breakage of threads can also cause protrusion especially during tightening of the cogs and barbs.
The needle or cannula protects the thread during placement. However, this does not guarantee the protection of the thread by the inserting tool. So you must carefully manipulate the tissues to avoid breakage during insertion and tightening. To prevent the complication, the thread is cut so that the end tucks back into the skin.
A plastic surgeon can correct thread protrusion by grasping the thread tightly and removing it. If the thread is placed close to the skin’s surface, it is pretty easy to remove the mono threads. In the case of Barbed and cogged threads, they are removed with difficulty. Leaving the end of the thread in a superficial plane increases the chances of a granuloma formation.
It is pretty rare for bruising to occur during a PDO neck lift procedure; it occurs due to bleeding due to damage of the dermal plexus by needle or a sharp cannula. What causes bruising depends on the technique used during the procedure. E.g a blunt cannula or needle can damage the plexus.
Using sharp needles can cause bleeding at the entry point which is caused by damaging large blood vessels. If left untreated, the chances of hematoma formation increase dramatically.
Therefore, it is advisable to use a blunt cannula. This procedure should be performed carefully since a blunt cannula can also damage tissues, especially where they are dense.
To prevent bruising, insert the thread in the subcutaneous layer. It should be done using a blunt cannula rather than inserting the PDO thread into the dermis by a hypodermic needle. Placing the thread in the correct layer prevents bleeding and bruising.
8. Facial Asymmetry
Facial asymmetry is also likely to occur after a PDO threading procedure. Therefore, health practitioners need to explain to the patient during the consultation session that if it does happen, the effect is temporary. It can be due to anesthetic, inadequate lift in one lift, or inherent facial asymmetry.
You can prevent facial asymmetry by administering the proper anesthetic during the thread lifts. However, if the lift is inadequate, the practitioner must rectify it as soon as possible.
Either non-surgical treatment or surgery can correct facial asymmetry. In addition, minimally invasive procedure therapies can correct slight facial asymmetry. This can involve using fillers such as volume to add volume to the affected area.
How can the side effects associated with PDO thread neck lifts be prevented?
Specific essential issues should be observed during and after the procedure to prevent side effects; they include:
This is essential since it prevents several side effects. The PDO thread should be placed deep enough to prevent complications. When the thread is placed too close to the surface of the soft tissues, there are higher chances of the patient experiencing difficulties such as dimpling. Another way of preventing complications is using a quality thread that will not provide the best results.
Avoiding Drinking Alcohol
After the procedure, one should avoid several things like drinking alcohol. Do not drink alcohol in the first two weeks of a neck thread lift procedure. Alcohol flushes out water and other nutrients from your body.
Also, alcohol increases blood pressure significantly. Nicotine products also increase blood pressure; thus, patients should not smoke after the procedure.
Maintaining Normal Blood Pressure
Anything that elevates your blood pressure should be avoided. And this involves activities that apply too much pressure to your neck. Prolonged exposure to heat also increases blood pressure.
Also, bathe in warm water rather than a hot shower. Drink a lot of water to maintain normal blood pressure.
Avoiding Wearing Makeup
After the PDO thread neck lift procedure, it is recommended to avoid wearing makeup in the first 12 hours. The skin will remain sensitive after the medical procedure for several hours. Allowing your skin to breathe is essential for recovery, and makeup may suffocate your skin.
In addition, applying and removing makeup may apply pressure to the affected area, which may cause complications to your skin.
Massages around the neck should be avoided during the first 7-14 days after the procedure. This is to mitigate the risk of applying excessive pressure to the treatment area. In addition, it will prevent complications like swelling or bruising.
In addition, some massages may be done with strong chemicals that may irritate the skin because, after the treatment, the skin is usually sensitive.
It is advised to apply a gentle antibiotic cream and attend follow-up appointments after the treatment to prevent side effects and complications.
PDO neck thread lift is a procedure that helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles on your face, neck area. This non-surgical treatment delivers instant results with minimal recovery time. Although, you should always follow all instructions for pre-and post-procedure care to avoid complications of thread lift.
As the popularity of the PDO neck threading lift grows, health practitioners need to identify side effects associated with the different neck thread lifts. It is so that they can perform the procedure to reduce the risk of someone experiencing the side effects. Most side effects are transient and self-resolving, except for contour irregularities, vessel injuries, and inflammatory reactions.