- Best Results1-2 sessions
- Treatment Recovery5-8 days
- Procedure Time15-90 minutes
- Skin SpecialistNurse
- Duration of Results6-12 months
- AnaestheticNumbing & blocks
- Back to Work1-4 days
PDO Thread Lift
PDO thread lifting is a non-surgical way to tighten the jowls, jawline & neck areas. Threads can improve elasticity, skin tone & reverse mild to moderate sagging without surgical incisions or addition of volume. PDO monofilament thread lifting is best combined with other skin tightening procedures such as HIFU or Ultherapy- Ultraformer & radiofrequency devices.
FactsFacts on PDO threads
- PDO stands for polydioxanone
- This is an absorbable suture monofilament thread
- PDO threads are broken down over 6-7 months
- Threads stimulates collagen production & contraction
- This can tighten & lift areas such as the marionettes, jawline & neck
- Threads are best combined with heating devices such as RF & HIFU
- Candidate selection is important for good results
What are thread lifts?
Thread lifting is a useful procedure to improve skin tone & to achieve tightening in the mid to lower one-third of the face, including the neck & jawline. Threads achieve this via a process called neocollagenesis or fibrosis, meaning stimulation of dermal collagen. This results in skin contraction & lifting.
What is the difference between monofilament & barbed/suspension threads?
Monofilament, as the name suggests, is made from a super-thin (0.1 mm) smooth PDO thread. In contrast, barbed or suspended threads have little hooks, cones, or serrations that grip tissue after insertion.
In contrast to suspension threads, monofilaments do not have knots or tie-down areas. This makes recovery infinitely faster with monos. This page refers to monofilament threads.
What areas & concerns can be addressed with monofilament PDO threads?
Mono PDOs are best for the mid to lower face. They can improve mild laxity, wrinkles & marginally improve volume loss. Areas treated include –
- The jowls- mild sagging & laxity
- The jawline
- The neck- mild laxity & wrinkles
- The upper lip- mild wrinkling, sun damage (elastosis)
See the section on injectables for a more detailed explanation.
What does the procedure involve?
Preplanning to see if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure is paramount. I have many ways to lift & tighten. They include surgery, lasers, HIFU, RF energy, dermal fillers, deep peels, suspension & monofilament threads.
Your skin will be anaesthetised & cleaned prior to the procedure. In some cases, we use a nerve block to numb the area prior to threading. Each thread is meticulously inserted in the correct depth & direction. A typical session consists of 30 to 200 individual threads, depending on the clinical indication.
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Do threads work on everyone?
Nope. As with any procedure there are good candidates for thread lifting & unsuitable patients. Threads do not work well if you have thin, sun damaged & loose skin. Threads work best in patients with thick collagen bundles with little sun damage & mild skin laxity.
Why are combination treatments best?
Threads work best in combination with heating devices. This is termed synergistic treatments. Examples include threads with RF or radiofrequency or HIFU, also known as Ultherapy or Ultraformer.
Heating of tissue stimulates collagen production & contraction, in turn compounding the effects of monofilament threads. If your skin has photodamage (sun damage), threads work best with lasers or deep chemical peels.
What can’t threads achieve?
Threads cannot achieve the same amount of skin tightening compared to surgery, hence its use for mild to mild/modest skin laxity. Additionally, threads do not improve skin quality (texture), no do they give predictable increases in volume, as compared to dermal fillers.
Remember, rejuvenation is about the balance of improving skin texture/palate, tone & volume. Skin directed procedures targeting these key aspects give the best results.
How long does it take to perform monofilament Mint threads?
A typical treatment takes between 20 to 40 minutes to perform, depending on the number of threads & the area/s treated.
In some cases, I also combine deep peels, lasers, & skin tightening devices like Tempsure or Ultherapy. This may extend your procedure time to 90 minutes or more.
Does it hurt?
Yup. The question is how to make the procedure tolerable. We use a mix of numbing cream, nerve blocks, & laughing gas. This means the procedure is comfortable.
If I am combining treatments such as resurfacing, chemical peels or HIFU skin tightening, I often prescribe a sedative.
How safe is it?
Thread lifts have a long safety record in the context of PDO. This material has been used in surgery for many decades. Unlike barbed or suspension threads, thread puckering, granulomas & prolonged post procedure discomfort is rarely seen.
What are the side effects of PDO monofilament threads?
It’s important to differentiate the side effects from expected recovery. Bruising & swelling are not side-effects. Rare side effects include-
- Thread extrusion– occurs when threads are not inserted to the maximal depth or in areas whereby placement is shallow (forehead, neck).
- Thread show– due to superficial placement. The thread colour is blue; hence it may be visible for a week or two.
- Exaggerated granulation tissue – or excessive fibrosis can lead to lumps; extremely rare.
How long do the results from threads last?
Threads last 6 months and beyond, however in most cases results can last double this time. The exact duration of longevity is more complex as collagen stimulation has been shown to occur long after the tread dissolves. Additionally complementary procedures such as HIFU & RF can compound the benefits of threads.
What is the science behind thread lifts?
The level of insertion is in the mid to lower dermis & sub dermally in the fat layer (forehead threads are realistically in the fat-muscle layers). Threads cause a tissue reaction that –
- Stimulates collagen production. This is called fibrosis.
- Cause some breakdown of the adipose tissue, in turn decreasing tissue bulk.
- Causes some mild contraction of the fibro septal network, in turn causing contraction of the fat layer (in theory)
- Increases the vasculature of the dermis & fat, which in theory can add to fibrosis & increased collagen & elastin
How long does it take to heal from threads?
1-7 days, but the average patient will heal up within 24 hours, albeit bruising if lots of threads are performed. Expect redness & swelling for the first 12 to 36 hours. Refrain from alcohol & heavy exercise for 24 hours after threads.
Can threads be combined with Botox & dermal fillers?
In some but not all cases. Dermal fillers are usually placed in a deeper plane compared to threads. Botox injections can be placed in areas away from the threaded areas to lower the risk of diffusion. Alternatively, a injectables are placed a week or two before, or after threads.
Who performs monofilament threads?
My nurses perform this procedure. They are skilled & meticulous. Occasionally I am involved in thread lifts, usually if this is an adjunctive procedure (laser resurfacing, deep peels, neck liposuction).
What is the cost of this procedure?
Cost will vary depending on the area/s treated, the number of threads used & other adjunctive procedures such as lasers, skin tightening / HIFU, dermal fillers & injectables. For an assessment book a consultation with my nurses (or myself).
Davin’s Viewpoint on monofilament threads
Threads have had a real upsurge in popularity since the conception of barbed or suspension devices. The monofilament offers a low cost, low side effect, super easy procedure that has a good patient satisfaction rate.
PDO threads have been around in Australia for the past 5 years. They were first perfected by the Koreans in 2011. Koreans have really hit the mark with developing user friendly, effective, absorbable PDO threads for both stimulating collagen and strengthening facial structure.
Threads are non-invasive, minimal downtime procedures with a proven safety record as they are made from suture material known as polydioxanone. This is an absorbable, biologically inert substance that dissolves over 6-8 months. During this time, polydioxanone stimulates collagen, improving the structural support of your skin. Threads placed in the adipose tissue or fat layers can also stimulate collagen in the fibro septal network, further compounding the lift.
In my practice, candidate selection is paramount for predictable results. Living in Brisbane, Queensland, I see an extraordinary amount of UV damage, leading to a condition known as elastosis or collagen breakdown. Thread lifting in this patient group does bugger all. If you have broken collagen & elastin, threads will not improve wrinkling, nor will they lift. These patients are best treated either surgically or with procedures such as chemical peels or laser resurfacing. Threads are best employed as part of a synergistic program to compound collagen stimulation. I often use dermal, fibro septal & SMAS heating devices such as HIFU & RF 2-4 weeks after thread insertion. Combination treatments give good results in suitable candidates.
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