What Is a Thread Lift?
A thread lift is a non-surgical facelift and skin rejuvenation procedure using absorbable sutures/stitches called polydioxanone (PDO) threads, which are synthetic monofilament surgical sutures that have been used in cardiothoracic surgery, plastic/dermatologic surgery, trauma surgery, and gynecological surgery for over 30 years. PDO threads have been proven to be safe and are now FDA cleared for lifting sagging skin of the face, neck, and body, as well as improving the appearance of wrinkles and skin texture.
Collagen is a very important protein in the skin. As we get older, our bodies gradually produce less collagen, and the collagen we have decreases in amount and thickness. This leads to an 80% reduction in skin thickness by the age of 70. This contributes to the appearance of wrinkles, laxity, and a loss of volume and strength of the skin. PDO threads, when inserted under the skin, suspend it in a position where it is pulled back slightly. This lifts and tightens the face or neck. PDO threads also stimulate collagen production which leads to tighter, smoother, and more volumized skin.
PDO threads can effectively:
- Lift sagging skin of the cheeks, jowls, eyebrows, neck, abdomen, arms, and thighs.
- Redefine the contour of the face (restoring the V-shape).
- Improve the quality of the skin by increasing volume, thickness, and smoothness.
- Reduce wrinkles by stimulating collagen.
- Enhance the volume of the lips.
- Stimulate collagen production.
Types of PDO Threads
Just like it sounds, this PDO thread has tiny notches or barbs which when threaded under the skin, catch the undersurface of the skin and when pulled upward, lift the skin. Not only does this suture lift and enhance the contour of the area, but it also induces collagen formation which adds more support and volume over time. PDO barb threads are used for lifting the cheeks, jawline (jowls) and the neck. Specific areas of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and arms can be lifted as well.
These threads are loaded on a needle in a twisted coil, which when threaded under the skin, stimulate new collagen production and increase volume. Twist PDO threads are used for improving frown lines, tear troughs (crease under the eyes), nasolabial folds, marionette lines, lips, and various body areas for rejuvenation.
These threads are straight and smooth sutures that are placed in zones to rejuvenate collagen where wrinkles and laxity are present. They’re often used in an organized mesh pattern or “ladder” pattern to achieve the desired stimulation of collagen. The most common areas for smooth threads are forehead lines, crow’s feet, tear troughs, vertical lip lines, cheeks, marionette lines, neck and various body areas.
What Happens During a Thread Lift?
Once consent and photos are obtained, the skin is cleansed with an antimicrobial soap and marked with colored make-up pencils to indicate where the threads will be placed. The insertion points are locally anesthetized with lidocaine and the threads are gently inserted using a very small needle or a microcannula. Once all the threads are placed, antibiotic ointment is applied to the insertion points and ice packs are provided. We recommend icing the treated area for several hours after the treatment to help suppress bruising and swelling.
Following the procedure, swelling, bruising, and soreness (particularly if the cheeks are lifted) are common for a week. We recommend continual use of the ice packs and if there are no contraindications, take Ibuprofen or Motrin. Normal activities, including work the next day, can be resumed. Exercise should be avoided for 72 hours. If the cheeks are lifted, exaggerated facial expressions should be avoided for a few weeks.
When Will I See Results and How Long Will They Last?
Results can be seen immediately after having a lift with barb threads, however, it takes four to six weeks to see results with twist and smooth threads. Results last between eight to 14 months. It is safe to repeat the treatment as desired.
Talk to us about what specific treatment options and products we have available.