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How Does a PDO Thread Lift Work?

Do you wish you could have a facelift without actually having to get facelift surgery? Well you’re in luck. Because modern cosmetic treatments use alternate methods to get similar results without the invasive surgical procedure. One treatment available is the PDO Thread Lift, and at ProMD Health in Baltimore, MD, we’re happy to offer this fantastic facial rejuvenation treatment. Keep reading to learn how this treatment works and if it’s right for you.


What Is a PDO Thread Lift?

A PDO Thread Lift is a non-surgical, minimally invasive skin tightening treatment. Results mimic those of a facelift, but without the need for invasive surgery and lengthy recovery period.


How Does A PDO Thread Lift Work?

A few different kinds of PDO thread lift are available, but this one is used on your midface region from your chin to your cheeks. It also uses a particular kind of thread. PDO stands for polydioxanone. It is used for its ability to stimulate natural regenerative properties of the body. This is the same kind of thread used for cardiovascular surgeries. 

In general, used in a treatment, PDO is a contemporary alternative to invasive surgery. But what exactly does this look like? Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this treatment when you come to our office.


Initial Consultation

An initial consultation appointment is required to determine whether this treatment is right for you by examining your skin condition and discussing your expectations and appearance goals. We will also gather some medical information, including your basic medical history, what current medications or supplements you’re taking, any previous cosmetic treatments, and if you have any drug allergies. Additionally, we may take a photo for reference in planning your custom treatment that will stay in your medical file.


Pre-Treatment Instructions

You will be given a set of specific instructions to follow prior to your treatment. It is very important that these instructions are followed to ensure no unintended side effects develop from the treatment. Examples of some pre-treatment instructions include:

  • Avoid retinol-based products

  • Do not use blood-thinning medications

  • Do not use tobacco or smoke for 1 week

  • Temporarily stop taking fish oil, vitamin E, and ginseng

  • Drink plenty of water


Please keep in mind, these are just examples. Your list of instructions will be specific to your needs based on your health and may include a temporary altering of your diet. At this time, we will likely ask you to arrange for transportation the day of your treatment appointment.


Step 1: Numbing

On the day of your procedure appointment, after a face cleanse to rid any excess oil and dirt, numbing agents will be applied to the areas that are to be treated. For some patients, a combination of a local anesthetic and a topical numbing cream may be used to ensure your comfort throughout the entire treatment process. There will be approximately 10 to 20 minutes of waiting while the numbing agents take effect before going on to the next steps.


Step 2: Marking

The precise treatment areas are marked on your face using a temporary pen. By plotting a strategic thread placement we can minimize the amount of threads that have to go into your skin to provide desired results. Pen marks are removed easily, and we will take care of them near the end of your appointment.


Step 3: Threading

After marking is complete and numbing agents are active, the threading process will begin. The PDO thread is contained in a thin, hollow cannula and inserted into the skin’s sub-dermal layers. The thread grabs at loose tissue inside the skin and is repositioned as the needle is removed, which lifts the skin tighter. Depending on how much work is to be done, this part of the treatment may last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.


Post-Treatment Instructions

Once treatment is finished, you will be given post-treatment instructions to help you through the recovery process and ensure you react positively to the treatment. Examples of post-treatment instructions include:

  • Avoid any strenuous activity

  • Do not apply make-up or facial creams

  • Take prescribed pain medication

  • Eat very light meals or adopt a liquid diet

  • Do not chew gum

  • Limit sun exposure and heat to avoid sweating

  • Keep your head elevated

  • Limit your facial movements

  • Do not drink alcohol or use tobacco products

  • Avoid certain supplements

  • Stop taking blood-thinning medications

  • Avoid touching or rubbing your face


Again, these are just examples of the kind of instructions you may receive. Additional instructions may be provided, including directions for using ice and cold compresses on the face. It is important to be as strict as possible with the instructions you are given so that your treatment results are optimal.


The Recovery Period

The recovery period for a PDO thread lift is approximately two weeks; however, the majority of your restrictions and limitations will apply during the first 24 to 72 hours immediately following treatment. During this time, temporary soreness or face swelling can be expected, and it will fade quickly within the week. One essential part of the recovery period is keeping your head elevated constantly. This means no straining your muscles and no bending over.


Treatment Results

During the first part of your recovery period, you will start to notice that your skin has a more plump texture and a reduction in wrinkles. As time goes on, results will continue to get better. It will take approximately four weeks to fully enjoy procedure results, including diminished wrinkles and fine lines, elevated skin laxity, and a noticeable difference in skin texture.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Expect From the Treatment?

Each patient will have a varied experience as specific goals and concerns will be different for everyone. The actual procedure is an outpatient session where threads are carefully placed one at a time. This allows for a lifting and contouring of the skin. The treatment is easy, minimally invasive, and leaves no scarring, meaning you can return to a normal routine quickly.

Results will also vary from patient to patient, but typically, they are gradual. You must give yourself time to enjoy subdermal tissue enhancement results as your body responds to collagen production stimulation. Produced results may last up to two years.


Are My Results Permanent?

Unlike a surgical facelift, the results of a PDO thread lift treatment are not permanent and will gradually fade with time. This means that to maintain results, eventually another treatment will be needed.


How Long Will My Results Last?

While this treatment may not be permanent, the results are long lasting compared to other cosmetic treatments. On average, patients enjoy results for two to three years before another treatment is needed. Compare that to dermal fillers, which last an average of four months each time, and you can see how this treatment is a better long-term solution.


Can I Extend My Results?

How long you are able to enjoy treatment thread lift results depends on how old you are and how rapidly your body responds. After PDO threads absorb into the body, eventually your remaining collagen production will slow once again. Treatment results can be extended by using compatible treatments, using good skincare products, and making healthy lifestyle choices.


Are Treatments Safe?

Yes! This treatment is completely safe. It is FDA approved for correcting skin laxity, and clinical trials have determined results are efficient and reliable.


Can a PDO Thread Lift Be Combined With Other Treatments?

Absolutely. This treatment is very compatible with many of the other treatments we offer. Here are some of the treatments that patients commonly combine with this one:


Dermal Filler Treatments

Dermal fillers easily combine with this treatment. Fillers used on the chin, cheeks, eyebrows, and hallows beneath the eyes, in particular, pair very well. Dermal fillers work to elevate skin volume by helping to boost collagen production within the skin. Such treatments can also be used in the lips to enhance shape and fullness.


Neurotoxin Treatments

Neurotoxin injectable treatments combine with this treatment nicely. Neurotoxins, such as Botox, smooth out skin texture by relaxing facial muscles in the skin and work to diminish the appearance of both fine lines and deeper wrinkles. These treatments are most commonly used between the eyebrows and on the forehead.


Skin Resurfacing Treatments

Skin resurfacing treatments also combine well with PDO lifts. They are used to address cosmetic skin concerns such as dark spots, sun damage, broken capillaries, pigmentation, acne scarring, and rough or dry skin. Typically, these energy-based treatments use radiofrequency to help exfoliate the top skin layer and stimulate collagen production within the skin.


Facials and Chemical Peels

Facials and chemical peels are also treatments used for cosmetic skin concerns, most notably scarring, uneven texture, and uneven tone. Chemical peels are best used for milder skin concerns, whereas facials are good for nearly all patience for an overall skin rejuvenation. Both these treatments combine well with PDO lifts.


Other Kinds of Thread Lifts

You can combine this treatment with others just like it that work on other areas of the face. For example, sagging eyebrows can be corrected, or loose skin on the neck can be tightened to redefine the jaw.


What Are the Benefits of This Treatment?

Several benefits come with this treatment that, as a prospective patient, you may find appealing. 


For one, this treatment is long-lasting. This means that results can be enjoyed worry-free for two years or more. Another great benefit is the short recovery period. Since this treatment is not a surgical procedure like a traditional facelift, you have a comparatively minimal downtime of only two weeks. Furthermore, this treatment stimulates and sustains your skin’s collagen production for years, meaning you will benefit from gradual, natural-looking results.


Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?

During your consultation, we will determine whether or not you qualify for this treatment. We base this not only on the condition of your skin, but also your lifestyle habits, general health, and aesthetic goals. This treatment is a good choice for many, and most people who consider this treatment tend to be a good candidate. A good candidate is someone who is looking to:

  • Avoid invasive surgery

  • Improve skin laxity

  • Decrease wrinkles

  • Reduce fine lines

  • Enhance overall appearance

  • Enjoy long-lasting results


Enhance Your Appearance!

Are you curious to find out if a PDO Thread Lift can benefit you? Contact us at ProMD Health in Baltimore, MD and schedule a consultation today. We’re ready to answer your questions about this amazing non-surgical treatment for facial rejuvenation.

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