Known as the lunchtime lift, PDO Thread Lifts are considered an alternative to facelift surgery. It is less invasive, less expensive, and can be performed in under an hour. Carolyn Pampalone, RN, BSN, and owner of Naya Aesthetics and Day Spa, offers up the eight things you need to know to find out if PDOs are right for you.
What are PDO threads?
A PDO — or polydioxanone — is a biodegradable, colorless polyester suture. These have been used in various types of surgeries, including open-heart surgery, since the 1980s. These threads are used to tighten and lift sagging skin.
The process works like this: Once the thread is inserted, the barbs on the thread grab hold of skin tissue, creating tension which allows the practitioner to pull the skin back with a tightening effect. Then, over time, the results are enhanced further as your body produces collagen around each thread, resulting in a slower aging process as well as tightening the skin.
Common treatment areas include cheeks, jowls, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, neck, abdomen, chest/décolleté, brows, forehead, and knees. They are also used to improve the appearance of scars.
Who are the best candidates for PDO threads?
Those with mild to moderate sagging skin will have the best results. But some use this as a preventative measure to slow the aging process. This means anyone from their twenties to their sixties could consider the procedure.
It’s a great option for people who want more than Botox or fillers but don’t want to go under the knife.
So, who shouldn’t have the procedure? Those who have excessively sagging skin, heart problems, or are immunocompromised are not good candidates.
What can I expect from PDO threads?
Remember, this is not a facelift. The procedure won’t last as long and the results won’t be as dramatic.
But the tightening results are instant. Threads can last from up to 24 months. The increased collagen production will kick in at about six weeks and can last up to three years. And this procedure is so popular due to the small amount of downtime.
What should I ask my practitioner before getting threads?
Before all aesthetic treatments, vet your practitioner. Ask what their qualifications are? How many procedures have they done? And ask to see some of their before and after photos.
And don’t forget to ask about the types of threads your practitioner uses.
Not all PDO threads are the same quality.
Some practitioners use what are known as PCL threads or PLLA threads. But these are not considered as high quality as PDO. At Naya, we use exclusively PDO threads, including Miracu, MINT, and Nova brands, considered the best products on the market. The PDO threads used at Naya are FDA cleared, and the best performing threads on the market. There are unfortunately poor quality and non-FDA cleared threads being used by some providers, which will not give an effective result, so this is an important fact to consider.
What should I expect during my procedure?
Before your treatment starts — plan for 45 to 60 minutes — your practitioner will apply a topical numbing agent and local anesthetic to the treatment site. Then they will make a small insertion point through which cannulated threads are inserted. The cannula is then removed, and the thread is left suspended in place to lift the skin. Due to local anesthesia, most patients are very comfortable throughout their procedure.
How can I prepare before my appointment?
Be sure to tell your practitioner about any medications you are taking, including supplements. A week before, avoid blood thinners, NSAIDs (such as Advil), and supplements such as garlic, fish oil, or curcumin/turmeric. The night before, avoid alcohol.
What do I need to do after I get my threads?
If you can get a day off work, do it. Even if this is known as a “lunchtime lift” it is good to have some downtime so you can rest, and heal. You will get strict aftercare instructions during your visit, but the following are some basics.
You are going to be sore. Just how sore depends on your pain tolerance, as everyone is different. Typically the first three days are the most uncomfortable, but some patients can experience discomfort for up to two weeks depending on where the threads are placed. Swelling is typical and is expected for up to two weeks. Bruising may also occur, and can also last for up to two weeks.
You will alternate cold and warm packs for the first few days to help with swelling and healing. Pain can be managed with acetaminophen; avoid ibuprofen to limit bruising until day three, post-treatment. For the first few nights, sleeping with your head elevated will help limit swelling.
Over the next seven to 10 days, avoid the jacuzzi or sauna, as this drastically increases your risk for infection and complications. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for three to five days. Don’t hold your mouth open wide while eating or chewing, and try to hold off on any dental treatments for four weeks after your procedure.
But the most important is to prevent infection of the incisions. So keep the site clean and don’t massage your face. Avoid facials or treatments to this area for two to four weeks, per your comfort.
Book here for an appointment or to talk more with the Naya Spa team.
Carolyn Pampalone, RN, BSN, is a healthcare practitioner, and the owner of Naya Aesthetics and Day Spa.