FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a PDO Thread?
A PDO (polydioxanone) thread is an FDA-approved, biodegradable medical suture that has been used in surgical procedures for decades. It is a polyester material thinner than the breadth of a hair and is absorbed by the body. PDO thread lifting is an increasingly popular anti-aging treatment. This treatment involves the use of PDO threads, which lift and reposition soft tissue and support the skin by triggering the production of collagen in treated areas of the face or body.
What Areas Are Able To Be Treated With PDO Threading?
PDO threading can be performed on many areas. This treatment is typically used to improve the appearance of the following facial features:
Crow’s feet Nasolabial folds Sagging cheeks Sagging jawline Chin wrinkles Neck folds
PDO Thread Types
PDO thread types vary based on their intention and makeup.
The two main types of PDO threads are: 1) smooth/mono and twist threads and 2) lifting or barbed threads.
Smooth/Mono & Twist Threads
PDO smooth/mono and twist threads do not have barbs and easily glide under the skin when they are placed, via a sharp cannula, in the deep dermal or subcutaneous tissue. They are a single filament thread designed to stimulate collagen and support the skin, rather than immediately lift or reposition the skin. They are smooth, without barbs or anchors, and resemble a human hair. These threads are typically inserted often in either a row or a pattern that resembles a mesh/net to form a support structure around which the body builds new collagen. These threads do not have a pulling or lifting effect but rather help improve skin texture through biostimulation of collagen. Areas typically treated with smooth threads include
the forehead, under-eye area, around the mouth, laugh lines and neck.
Like smooth/mono threads, lifting or barbed threads are also inserted underneath the skin. The difference is that they have barbs that hook themselves to the surrounding soft tissue, pulling the soft tissue in the desired direction and holding it in place. These threads are generally used to reposition volume to help improve the appearance of sunken and sagging facial areas. They also stimulate the body to produce collagen around them, thereby strengthening and tightening the skin.
PDO Thread Benefits
PDO threading effectively rejuvenates the skin and combats signs of aging, especially sagging tissue. The treatment stimulates the body’s’ natural healing mechanisms, boosting the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.
You can expect the following benefits from the treatment:
Tightened, firmer skin
Improved skin texture
Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
Improved facial contours through repositioning of superficial fat pads Results lasting up to a year
PDO Threads Risks and Side-Effects
PDO threading typically requires minimal to no social downtime. Patients usually resume most of their routine activities right after the procedure (Understanding that treated areas must remain product and makeup free for a minimum of 12 hours).
Threads are FDA approved and considered very safe due to their minimally-invasive nature and serious side effects are rare.
Common and expected side effects include:
Occasional quick nerve pain,“shocks or zingers”
These side effects are usually mild and subside within one to 3 weeks.
Rare, more serious side effects include:
Protruding PDO threads
Allergic reaction Facial asymmetry Puckering of tissue Visible thread
PDO threading is NOT considered safe for:
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
People suffering from autoimmune disease
People on immunosuppressive therapy
People with active skin infections, acne, or cold sores People with poorly controlled diabetes
People with known allergy to suture material or lidocaine People with unrealistic expectations
PDO thread procedure explained
PDO threading starts the provider deciding the best treatment pattern or vectors to achieve desired results. You will be cleansed and drawn on to guide thread placement. The application of a topical numbing cream and/or a lidocaine injection will be placed in the area/ s to be treated. This helps prevent discomfort during insertion of the threads and pain of injected lidocaine is brief and minimal.
Next, the provider inserts a hypodermic needle or cannula (blunt-tipped needle) containing a PDO thread into the treatment area. The cannula is removed and the thread is left in the tissue. The procedure can last from 30–90 minutes depending on areas treated.
After the needle or cannula is removed, the PDO thread stays under the skin to support and lift the area. The body reacts to the perceived injury by building more collagen around the thread. This process counters collagen loss, one of the main causes of skin aging.
The number of PDO threads per treatment depends on the treatment area size and how much lifting and tightening it needs. Some areas require as few as three threads, while others as many as 20.
PDO threads dissolve within six to nine months, but the lifting effect is visible for at least one year.
PDO Threads Aftercare
Since PDO threading is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment, it requires minimal aftercare.
After your treatment, you want to avoid the following:
Intense activities that cause sweating for 48 hours
Dental work for six weeks
Shaving the treated area for several days
Rubbing/massaging the treated area
Sleeping on your front or sides for two weeks
High impact exercise for up to 2-3 weeks (depending on type of threads used)
Exaggerated facial expressions
Application of makeup or facial products on or near treated areas x 12 hours
PDO Threads Pricing
PDO threading cost ranges between $200 and $5,000, depending on the patient’s individual needs and what type of threads are used. A consultation is the best way to determine pricing specific to you!
How Long Until I See Results?
The results of PDO lifting/barbed threads are immediate. The tissue is visibly tightened and repositioned right after the treatment. As the body builds new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in the months following the treatment, the face becomes plumper and acquires a more youthful look. The PDO thread effects peak at about six months after the procedure. Effects of smooth/mono treads are seen in skin quality and peak at 4-6 months following last treatment of the series.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Patients typically need between one and four treatments for best results with smooth/mono threads. These treatments should be spaced apart by 4-6 weeks. Barbed/lifting threads typically need to be retreated at 12-18 months. Many patients chose to prolong the effects of PDO threading for several years with annual maintenance treatments.
How Do I Know if I’m a Good Candidate?
A consultation is the best way to discuss if PDO thread treatments are right for you.
What treatments are often and can be paired with PDO threading for optimal results?
PDO threading results in a refreshed, plumper look, but the effects are not as dramatic as those after surgical face lifting, nor should this be the expectation. For the most optimal outcomes, PDO threads can be paired with other cosmetic procedures including:
Botox/Dysport is an injectable neurotoxin that decreases movement of dynamic muscles that cause wrinkle formation. Botox injections are mainly used to smooth out the upper section of the face: the forehead, crow’s feet, and wrinkles between the brows. You can have a neuromodulator treatment before or after PDO threading.
Fillers are hyaluronic acid (Juvéderm/Restylane/Versa/RHA) or poly-L-lactic-acid injections (Sculptra) that add volume to depleted facial areas. You can achieve a volumized, more contoured look with dermal fillers before or after the PDO thread lift.
Laser/Microneedling/Peels and Medical Grade Skincare
Laser and other heat treatments can be used right after mono threads to increase collagen stimulation. Avoid these treatments after lifting/barbed PDO threads for a minimum of one month-Clear & Brilliant/IPL, up to 3 months for more aggressive lasers. Microneedling and chemical peels can be performed two weeks after smooth/mono threads and should be avoided for at least one month following barbed/lifting threads. Medical grade skincare can and should be resumed 12 hours after treatment.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for the Procedure?
How to prepare for the procedure will be explained during the consultation session and you will be provided with pre & post instructions in writing.
Typically, the following is advised:
• Discontinue the use of anticoagulation supplements (fish oil, vitamin E, Gingko Biloba, etc.) • Avoid blood-thinning medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, excedrin, aleve, heparin, warfarin)
• Avoid alcohol at least 5-7 days prior to treatment. Do not smoke.
• Take antiviral medication as directed if treatment will involve the perioral area.
• Come to your treatment appointment with your hair up and no makeup on, if possible.