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PDO Threading: A Non-Surgical Face Lift

What is PDO Threading and How does it work?

Thread Lifts are a relatively new form of non-surgical face lift. If your face has loosening or sagging skin and you want a tighter, fresher more youthful look, this treatment may be suitable. There are no cuts or incisions, just injections. Polydioxanone (PDO) threads are a special medical grade thread that is thinner than hair, made of protein. Research has confirmed that PDO relaxes tendons and muscles, whilst a foreign body reaction improves the blood flow to the area stimulating neocollagenesis (the production of new collagen in the skin). It also stimulates elastin and hyaluronic acid, both substances are vital to maintaining firm, youthful looking skin.

Thread Lift VS Facelift

Thread Lift Pre & Post Care

Before Thread Lift Facial Treatment

One week before your PDO Threading procedure:

  • Avoid alcohol of any kind, as well as smoking. This will help speed your recovery and provide better treatment results.
  • Stop taking Vitamin E, supplements such as Fish Oil, Krill, Garlic, Chili Ginseng, Ginger & Green teas.
  • Any Aspirin based products such as Ibuprofen, Neurofen, Naprosen/Naprogesic should be avoided. Inform Dr. Akef if you are taking any anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Naprosyn) or blood thinning medication (e.g. Warfarin).

After PDO Threading Facial Treatment

To achieve the best possible result from your surgery, follow these instructions carefully:

  • When you arrive home, make yourself comfortable and relax for the remainder of the day. Feel free to move around but avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 2 – 3 weeks.
  • If your stomach is feeling settled, you can start to consume small, soft meals. If you feel nauseous, do not eat solid food, just drink small amounts of clear liquids until the nausea passes. Call us if it continues.
  • During the first few days after your procedure, take your pain medication as needed, preferably after eating to avoid nausea. Most patients find narcotic pain medication unnecessary during the day after 2 – 3 days.
  • *Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin) or Tylenol are in the post-operative period, and for an additional 7 – 10 days. Aspirin should be avoided for 2 weeks before the planned date of your facial face lift.
  • Most of your discomfort should occur in the first 24 – 48 hours following the procedure and will decrease each day thereafter. You may resume normal activities as you feel well enough to do so. This includes bathing and caring for yourself and lifting routine objects. Contact us if you have any questions.
  • Take medications according to the instructions.
  • Eat soft foods or drink liquids for 7 – 10 days after surgery.
  • Keep head elevated (45-degree angle) when resting in bed.
  • Do not touch or wash your face for 12 hours following the procedure. Don’t pull down on your facial skin for 3 weeks.
  • Keep facial incisions clean as discussed in the incision wound care handout.
  • Limit facial motion for 24 hours. Limit talking or extreme expression.
  • Apply ice for 30 minutes, 4 – 5 times a day. for 5 days.
  • Do not chew gum for 2 weeks. Do not drink through a straw.
  • No make-up or facial creams for 48 hours.
  • Do not massage the face for 3 weeks, especially with a wash cloth when cleansing. Do not pull down on your face.
  • Bending over or any position which places the head lower than the heart is to be avoided for at least 7 days. Avoid straining.
  • A day or two after surgery, the hair can be washed again using lukewarm water and baby shampoo.
  • Notify the doctor of any severe swelling in the neck or cheek areas or if the pain becomes severe on one side only.
  • Rest for the first 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it safe?

    PDO threads have over a decade long safety track record in surgery and wound closure. PDO threads gained FDA approval.

  • What happens during treatment?

    Lidocaine injection applied to the entry points following which threads are introduced into the skin through a fine needle– into either the skin itself, the muscle, or the subcutaneous fat. The treatment results in an immediate improvement in appearance but the results will improve over following days and weeks as the PDO stimulates neocollagenesis, increasing the amount of collagen in the skin. The appearance of the skin improves in terms of overall texture, becoming thicker, tighter and firmer as fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.

  • Which areas can be treated?

    This is a very versatile treatment which can be used in any part of the face and neck to treat sagging brows, nasolabial lines, vertical and horizontal forehead wrinkles, drooping cheeks, marionette lines, sagging jawline, plus wrinkles and folds on the chin and neck.

  • What results can I expect?

    Thread lift treatments result in an instant and natural looking improvement in the appearance of the skin. A process of natural protein synthesis that begins after about 10 to 14 days. Over the subsequent weeks results will continue to improve, peaking at around 6 months and lasting for up to 2 years as your own body produces collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Making this form of non-surgical facelift a very long lasting treatment. The thread itself is completely biodegradable and dissolves within 12 weeks, after which new collagen has formed around the thread to continue to support results, maintaining a smooth and supple texture of the skin.

    Treatment may not be suitable if:

    • You have active acne/broken skin or are prone to cold sores.
    • You have taken anticoagulation medications such as aspirin/warfarin/heparin or have consumed alcohol within 48 hours of treatment (we advise you to continue taking prescribed medications but stop taking some complimentary supplements such as evening primrose oil, Vitamin D, A and E, fish oils, flax seed oil, magnesium, garlic and ginko prior to treatment).

    Treatment is not suitable if:

    • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • You have an autoimmune disease, diabetes or infection.
  • What is the down time and/or time of recovery?

    There is minimal downtime and no general anesthetic risks. The specialized needles allow small areas to be tackled effectively. As there are no incisions, stitches are not required and scarring is unlikely.

  • What are the side effects?

    Less commonly reported side effects : Pain/tenderness, thread protrusion, puckering of the skin, bleeding/bruising/hematoma, infection, granuloma, swelling/inflammation, Migration (cogs), Asymmetry, facial nerve trauma, stinging/itching, redness at insertion point, allergic reaction, pulling sensation.