The words cosmetic therapy often conjure images of scalpels, stitches, and swelling. But what if we said you can address skin laxity and sagging with a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment that takes just about an hour to complete? We’re talking about the PDO thread lift, an updated version of the treatment made popular in the 1990s, and it’s available at Premiere Aesthetics in Fort Myers, FL.
Does a PDO Thread Lift Really Work?
In a word, yes. This non-surgical technique is an increasingly popular way to tighten skin and smooth away mild to moderate sagging. It’s commonly used in the neck, brows, and cheeks but can also treat nearly any other part of the face, including:
- Under the eyes
- The inner eyebrows
- Nasolabial folds
- Crow’s feet
A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirms PDO thread lifts do work, stating thread lifts indisputably lift and shape facial soft tissues. Another study published by the NIH indicates this therapy yields around a 90 percent success rate. And yet another study published by The Aesthetic Society states that immediately after treatment, patients see visible improvements.
The Decline of Surgical Face Lifts
The same study we just referenced went on to say that thread lifts are especially well-suited to patients who cannot or do not want to have traditional facelift surgery. The reasons for this are numerous; some patients have an aversion to anesthesia, others don’t want the lengthy recovery period required of surgery, and still others simply aren’t comfortable with the possibility of complications and scars.
The emerging idea behind cosmetic treatments is to work with the body’s natural processes rather than manually cut, pull, and stretch skin to achieve the desired aesthetic. PDO threads are part of this growing concept that has ignited a substantial uptick in the number of therapies requested. Treatment now allows for a much more individualized approach to de-aging the face and gives you more control over the time and budget spent on treatment.
How Thread Lifts Work
We just mentioned that cosmetic treatments today work with the body, and a PDO thread lift in particular stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Once the treatment threads are in place, the body recognizes them as “foreign agents.” This isn’t bad; it is, in fact, a central component of treatment. It also reflects the body’s natural and constant efforts to protect itself from invaders.
In response to the threads, the body ramps up targeted production of collagen and elastin to heal what it perceives to be damage to the skin. These two proteins are elemental in supporting the skin, providing its firm and smooth texture, lifted appearance, and natural glow. In short, a PDO thread lift transforms and corrects your appearance on multiple levels.
The Threads Themselves
Of course, the threads themselves also deliver benefits. Made of medical-grade polydioxanone (PDO) that dissolves within the body, each thread is thinner than a strand of hair. Research confirms the technique of inserting these threads into areas of skin laxity relaxes tendons and muscles; in turn, the skin smooths out for a youthful appearance free of wrinkles and fine lines.
What to Expect from Treatment
We start your session with lidocaine injections, strategically placed to help ensure the most comfortable and pleasant treatment possible. Lidocaine reduces pain sensitivity so you don’t have to worry about feeling the threads as we place them. This is done with a fine needle or cannula that can be directed into the skin itself, underlying muscle, or deeper layers of subcutaneous fat.
The flexibility in how and where we place the threads allows us to deliver very precise results. This means we can lift and sculpt the brows, correct fine lines around the eyes, and much more. In fact, this treatment is so versatile that it can be used to:
- Treat nasolabial lines
- Erase vertical and horizontal forehead wrinkles
- Correct drooping cheeks
- Smooth marionette lines
- Lift a sagging jawline
- Soften wrinkles and folds on the neck and chin
What Happens to the Threads?
The threads anchor the skin and lift it for immediate results, not unlike a surgical facelift. And, as mentioned a few moments ago, PDO threads stay under the skin until they eventually dissolve. The body breaks them down in a way that is extremely safe, like dissolvable sutures placed after surgery.
Around the eyes, this treatment delivers the “designer” appearance so many patients lately request, in which the eyes are given a soft almond shape and tilted slightly upward at the outer corners. We can also improve upon your natural eyebrow shape and arch for a sleeker and sexier look. The bonus with this treatment is that additional results will continue developing in the coming days and weeks as collagen and elastin production ramp-up. This means:
- Smoother skin texture
- Thicker, tighter skin
- Long-lasting reduction of wrinkles and fine lines
- More radiant complexion
When Will Collagen Increase?
The natural synthesis of this protein starts after about 10 days. Results then peak at around six months and can last up to two years as your body continues producing higher levels of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid (HA). That’s right – HA goes hand-in-hand with the other proteins mentioned to give skin an overall more refined appearance. You can therefore add improved hydration and bouncier, softer skin to the list of benefits offered by this treatment.
The threads dissolve within about 12 weeks, by which time skin already looks smoother and more supple. Keep in mind the results of this treatment are highly customizable, delivering dramatic or subtle effects. Either way, however, you’ll still look like yourself, as there’s no chance of the overfilled or overdone look possible with some treatments. To be more specific, your appearance will be fresher, firmer, and softer, like you’ve returned from a relaxing vacation.
Caring For Your Skin
Some patients experience results that continue for up to nine years with just one treatment; a key factor is in how you care for your skin after therapy. By following the guidelines listed below, recovery will be fast, comfortable, and effective:
- Delay all aesthetic procedures, including peels and fillers, for seven days
- Avoid exposure to sun and heat for one week
- Skip the alcohol and anticoagulants for seven days
- Do not rub or massage the treatment site for two weeks
- Wash your face with only a gentle wash and tepid water
- Prop your head up while sleeping
- Delay dental treatment for four weeks
- Do not have heat treatments, including IPL and laser, near the treatment site for 10 weeks
The PDO thread lift may not be right for you if you have acne, broken skin, or cold sores. We may additionally recommend delaying your session if you have taken anticoagulation medications, such as aspirin, or consumed alcohol within 48 hours of your scheduled session. And women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as those with autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or active infections, should not have treatment.
A Therapy As Easy As It Sounds
We’re happy to report this therapy is not associated with anesthetic risks or the need for extended recovery periods. Thanks to the use of specialized needles, we’re able to address areas of concern in a very targeted manner without causing injury to surrounding tissues. And without the need for incisions or stitches, the risk of scarring is almost nil.
Everything You Need to Know
Barbed threads were first introduced in the 1960s for suturing wounds without having to tie knots. Their introduction to cosmetic therapies occurred in the 1990s when doctors revealed they can be used for skin suspension and lifting. All other threads for cosmetic use came after this, although they dropped in popularity after the 1990s because of complications. Namely, the early threads used were easily dislodged when a person coughed or sneezed.
Thanks to new technology, the latest generation of threads poses few if any, complications. They can be molded in a way that lifts skin and muscle without weakening the thread’s tensile strength. These threads, especially when compared to those of years ago, contain barbs that are circled around each strand’s central body to lift in multiple vectors. This delivers better, longer-lasting results with far better thread quality.
The Advantage of This Therapy Over Facelift Surgery
To have surgery, patients must be heavily sedated and depend on a driver to take them home; they must also have 24-hour assistance provided by a caretaker for at least three days after the procedure. And with small children at home, assistance must also be arranged to help them with school, homework, and meals.
All of this is on top of the one to two weeks required to stay home from work. But a PDO thread lift allows patients to drive themselves, care for their own children, and immediately return to work. Potent pain medication is rarely needed after undergoing a thread lift, making it ideal for people who have busy, demanding schedules and/or jobs. And most patients are able to resume normal activities immediately after their session.
The Ideal Candidate
Most candidates are between the ages of 35 and 55; patients over 55 generally receive more benefit from facelift surgery, although we prefer to assess each patient individually rather than make sweeping generalizations. Thread lifts are unique in that they can provide alternatives for older patients not suited to surgery for medical reasons.
Get the Most from Therapy
An attractive trait with thread lifts is the ability to combine them with other nonsurgical therapies to create broader, more visible results. Once your skin has recovered from the threads, we can make recommendations for complementary therapies ranging from dermal fillers to Ultherapy. The latter can be especially beneficial, as it maximizes overall skin firming and creates even more lifting by treating both the face and neck.
You can have a thread lift every 18 months or so to maintain your results. But keep in mind that although treatment effectively tightens skin, it’s not intended to correct concerns like age spots and acne. These require treatments that resurface and/or refine the skin in a way that strips away the top layer (dermis) to reveal fresh, unblemished cells lying in wait underneath.
Thread Your Path to a New Appearance
Thread lifts allow you to make a profoundly positive change in your appearance without enduring the rigors and recovery of surgery. They are suitable for a variety of patients and instantly lift and tighten skin in targeted treatment spots. Results are long-lasting, and even common treatment concerns like bruising and swelling are mitigated thanks to advances in the materials used. Schedule your consultation today by calling Premiere Aesthetics in Fort Myers, FL.