Also known by names such as, “thread embedding acupuncture” and the “Korean thread lift,” the PDO thread lift is a non-invasive way to tighten skin, thus reducing wrinkles. We use the PDO thread lift procedure in our Surrey clinic for those looking to get the appearance of a mild face lift, but without the investment or risks of surgery.
While thread lifting in the world of plastic surgery is not new, and there are other kinds of thread lifts, the PDO thread lift is a more recent advancement to the technique. It allows doctors to avoid complications that were formerly associated with thread lifting facelifts, such as infections. Today, there are also many types of threads that can be used to achieve different effects, based on the beauty goals of a patient.
If you are looking for a non-surgical face lift, without the serious commitment, our Surrey PDO thread lifting option may be for you. The first step to find out if it is suitable for you, is to come in for an in-person consultation. We’ll be able to take a deeper look at the condition you want to treat, and provide you with our best recommendation on how to go about it. We encourage you to book an appointment today!
What is there to love about the PDO thread lift procedure for face tightening?
The PDO thread lift is one of many tools in our arsenal for providing a good, anti-wrinkle face lift, non-surgically, at our Surrey skin care clinic. That said, it’s awesome because it can be combined with other procedures, to achieve the anti-aging, youthful effect you want. For example, it can work with laser skin rejuvenation or dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm®. Of course, these treatments may need to happen on separate appointments, to allow for healing time in between.
Unlike the old, permanent materials used in these facelifts, the PDO threads innovated in Korea are made of the same material used for medical sutures. Thus, they are completely absorbable by the body. This avoids complications after the procedure, such as infections, or the need for more surgery to remove the threads later (especially if they break!).
Of course, any fresh PDO threads that cause complications for a patient can be easily removed, if they have to be. That gives it another ‘failsafe’ in case a patient doesn’t like the results.
The PDO thread lift doesn’t only give the skin an instant ‘tug,’ to tighten up wrinkles and crepey areas. Over time, it induces collagen production, and increases skin elasticity through the process of neovascularisation (i.e. producing more blood vessels). In fact, some PDO threads are not meant to lift, so much as they are meant to create skin rejuvenation effects. And, the procedure has been used as skin therapy to stop collagen degradation from UV damage, thus resulting in anti-wrinkle effects. So, it can be a preventative measure, and not just a reactive one, to achieve a youthful look.
A PDO thread lift is not permanent, but it is long-lasting. While the threads typically dissolve within 6 to 8 months, the suspending effects of this cosmetic procedure last much longer, thanks to the increased collagen which is left behind. So, it slowly builds up its effects, and then – just like thread itself – it ‘suspends’ your fat tissue in place for about a year after (or more, in some cases).
In other words, for those looking for something cost-effective and low-risk, it’s a great middle-of-the-road solution. That is, when compared to other solutions, like shorter-term injectables or surgery.
What beauty conditions can the PDO thread lift help with?
The PDO thread lift procedure at our Surrey skin care clinic is used for the following conditions, and others which are similar:
- Early signs of aging, such as mild wrinkles around the face, or skin laxity
- Glabellar lines in the middle of the forehead (i.e. the vertical lines between the eyes)
- Sagging cheeks or cheekbones
- Contouring around the jowl, including the jawline, or other areas
- Nasolabial folds, melolabial folds or other lines around the mouth
- Marionette lines and frown lines
- Chin folds or wrinkles
- Wrinkles at the top of breasts (decollete area)
Some practitioners also use thread lifting on other parts of the body, such as wrinkled hands, arms and legs, abdomen or even the nose.
Please note: the PDO thread lift is not meant to be as dramatic of a solution as a full-on surgical face lift. It is far less costly, and avoids the risks that come with any type of incision that would be required in a surgical setting. It doesn’t change your skin tissues on a deep level, nor get rid of skin. It simply gives your skin something to ‘hang on’ to, as it is ‘pulled’ by the threads, which dissolve over time.
Also, different people respond differently to these treatments. Results can vary from patient to patient.
How does the PDO thread lift work for skin tightening?
A PDO thread lift is achieved by inserting long cannulas into the fat tissue under the skin. They may stretch the length of say, the bottom your chin, to the top of your cheekbone (or the length needed for the area being treated).
These cannulas implant a special ‘suture string’ (i.e. the ‘thread’) while they travel the length of their distance in the fat tissue. The suture is attached beneath the skin, given a slight ‘tug,’ and then left behind as the cannula slides out.
The doctor will then gently shape and guide the thread where it has been inserted, for a more natural-looking lift, without big bumps. This process is repeated with multiple threads, sometimes in a cross-hatch pattern, to achieve the result that a patient wants.
The entire process takes around 45 – 60 minutes.
The “PDO” abbreviation stands for polydioxanone, which is the type of material used in the threads that are inserted into the skin for this procedure. This material is soluble, meaning that it is absorbed by the body over time.
A PDO thread lift is, therefore, different from an insoluble thread lift, which would stay in the skin indefinitely. The dissipation effect of this Korean-style, ‘embedded acupuncture’ makes it inherently safer than leaving a foreign substance in the skin, which can cause infections.
There are different types of threads used in this non-surgical procedure. They are made distinctly to perform different jobs, because not all facelifts are going to be the same.
If you imagine yourself using your fingers to create the look of a beauty lift on your face, you’ll notice that you’ll need to press one finger in one spot, and another finger in another spot, and so on, to lift the skin evenly. You’ll also be applying pressure differently, and directing your skin at different angles.
Then, if you do that on another person, the pressure points and angles will be different. This is because the fat tissue on one person’s face won’t be the same as it is on another person’s. This is due to age, genetics and even the preferences of how one wants to appear.
So, to get the most natural-looking facelift possible, we need different threads to do different jobs. Some will have stronger anchors set at certain angles, some will be thinner for less pull, some will reposition without lifting, and so on. It’s a very detailed, thought-out process!
The medical terms for the types of PDO threads we use can include:
- Floating threads, including mono-filament threads and braided threads.
- Barbed threads, including cutting, molding, unilateral, bilateral, z-type, unidirectional, bidirectional and spiral threads.
They also come in different thicknesses and lengths.
A doctor will decide which thread to use on your skin. At our clinic, before beginning any procedure, we do a thorough analysis of your skin, and gather detailed information on you, to learn more about how we can best suit your needs. And this is no different for the PDO thread lift procedure we do in Surrey.
With all of that explained, it is crucial to note that a PDO thread lift is only going to be as good as the doctor performing the procedure. This is far from a ‘formulaic’ type of cosmetic treatment.
The doctor performing the job not only needs to be full aware of the insertion points, and what the cannulas are digging into, to avoid complications. They also need to understand the facial structure, plus how a lift is achieved for each person’s skin type, to get those long-term results. You wouldn’t want to come out of the procedure being ‘underdone’ or ‘overdone.’ Getting it ‘just right’ is a skill in itself.
Does a PDO thread lift hurt?
Well, yes, to a degree. However, this procedure starts with a local anaesthetic to help reduce discomfort. Even so, it is not the ‘screaming’ type of pain – don’t worry! And, it’s nothing compared to the pain of a traditional, surgical face lift. It’s possible to watch patients undergo the procedure without making a wink or a twitch! After the treatment, you may have slight bruising or pain, which should subside in a few days.
How many PDO thread lifts will I need to see results?
As noted above, PDO threads are soluble and are typically dissolved within 6 to 8 months, thanks to the water naturally found in your body.
However, there are still long term benefits to these soluble ‘suspension strings.’ Since they help to ‘shape’ your face, and produce collagen around them, they continue working several months after being dissolved. They also prolong the natural aging process your body goes through.
So, depending on how your body reacts to the procedure (which will be based on your own genetics, and the condition you’ve started with), a PDO thread lift may only need to be redone every 1.5 – 2 years.
Please note: a PDO thread lift won’t give you the same results as a traditional, surgical face lift. We may also recommend other treatments to achieve the effect you want, or a combination of treatments. The first step is coming in for a consultation, so we can get to know you, and do an analysis of your skin. From there, we can provide options we think will work for you.
Is there downtime with a PDO thread lift? What about side effects?
A PDO thread lift can take about a week to recover from, in most cases. You will be asked to sleep on your back, to give it time to heal, and let the sutures settle in place. You may also be given tape, to keep the threads in place for a while. That said, other than strong workouts (or games involving flying objects!), daily activities can be resumed, as long as you’re up for it.
Of course, you should not touch or rub your face, even if it is itchy or painful. And, definitely do not try to shape it after you leave our office! We can help you with any fixes or adjustments you may feel that you need. Though, this is usually set at the time of the procedure.
The most typical side effects would be bruising, edema (fluid accumulation, or swelling), and possible infection or pain at the needle injection site.
Depending on your body reacts to the threads, the way they were inserted, and if they were altered after the procedure (such as by rubbing or sleeping on your side) it’s possible that a lump can occur. This would be near the area where the ‘pull’ of the thread happened. However, if this issue persists, the thread can be removed at our clinic. In some cases, it subsides on its own.
During your initial consultation with us, we’ll ask you about any health conditions or medications you are taking, which may affect a PDO thread lift procedure. We’ll also go over the possible side effects in more detail.
How much is a Surrey PDO thread lift at your skin clinic?
A PDO thread lift is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. It is highly customized to your skin’s needs, based on what you want to achieve, and the area being treated. A different type, or number of threads may need to be used, even when working on the same area, but on two different people.
So, while we can’t give you a definitive estimate without seeing you in person first, we can say that the general starting range for this procedure is between $2,400 – $4,000 CAD. However, depending on the area being treated, it could be more or less. Please consider this price range as a guide only.
A PDO thread lift in Surrey is considered a cosmetic procedure. It is not covered by Medical Services Plan (MSP) in B.C. It is also not covered by most insurance companies.
Procedure results can vary from person to person.
Prices can change without notice, and are only given as a guide on this website.