PDO Thread Lift

Non-surgical treatment to lift and tighten sagging skin tissue with Polydioxanone threads.

Anesthetic: Local anesthetic

Return to work: 5 days

Procedure time: 60 mins

Duration of results: 12 to 18 months

Treatment: One

Recovery Time: 5 to 7 days


In the past, thread lifts used to involve surgery and became associated with undesirable side effects such as infections and thread breakage. However, the thread lift procedure has radically changed. Most thread lifting procedures today are non-invasive. While there are many different types of thread lifts, such as Silhouette Soft, the PDO thread lift is amongst the most popular today. Both treatments are offered at Skinlogic.

What is a PDO Thread Lift? 

The PDO Thread Lift is a treatment which lifts and tightens sagging skin tissue, using threads made of Polydioxanone (PDO). The threads introduces them into the deeper layers of the skin.

Once introduced, the threads produce 3 effects in the skin:

  • Instant Skin Lifting through mechanical effects
  • Cellular Renewel, through Collagen stimulation, and neovascularisation to improve skin texture, fine lines and elasticity
  • Skin Tightening, by contracting fat tissue

About 6 months after the procedure, the PDO threads will disappear through simple hydrolysis because they are absorbable. The lifted facial contours will remain for about 3-6 months more, due to the cellular rejuvenation effects. Your skin cells are stimulated to produce new collagen, and new blood vessels to improve skin microcirculation. At the same time, the PDO threads cause the fat tissue to contract, producing a skin tightening and facial slimming effect.

How is a PDO Thread Lift done?

A PDO Thread Lift is a minimally invasive procedure. After numbing and infusion of local anesthetia, the PDO threads are inserted via sharp or blunt tip needles (called cannulas) into different layers of the skin. Once inserted, the threads anchor the skin and lift it upwards. The excess threads are then cut off.

Depending on the areas treated, the procedure takes 15-30 minutes. There is some discomfort during the proceudre, but because of the improved techniques, my patients are experiencing less and less pain.

Are there different types of PDO Threads?

There are many types of PDO threads. In general, PDO threads can be divided into floating, non-barbed threads (mono-filament or braided) and barbed (unilateral VS bilateral, uni-directional VS bi-directional VS z-type or cutting barbs VS molding barbs) threads.

You may have heard of fancy names like “double screw” or “tornado”, or “heart barbs”. They all refer to threads in one of the categories described above. In addition, PDO threads come in different thickness and length. These all affect their quality, tensile strength, effectiveness, and of course, price of your treatment.

Your doctor may choose to use different threads for you, depending on your skin lifting and rejuventation needs.

Is a PDO Thread Lift treatment safe?

Yes. Because PDO threads are inserted via needles and not surgery, and are absorbed in 6-8 months, many of the side effects associated with older thread lifting procedures, such as infection and thread breakage are also minimised.

What are the Possible Side Effects?

Depending on the types of threads used and areas treated, bruising may occur. Expect some mild swelling and soreness for 3 to 5 days after the procedure, and a mild sensation of tightness of up to 2 weeks. Temporary dimpling of the skin can also occur – but this resolves in a few days.

Some side effects are related to the technique of insertion, and the types of threads used. These include surface depressions, thread migration and even extrustion, facial assymetry, prolonged pain, and prolonged dimpling. PDO threads are not created equal – and your doctor’s training in the procedure is also extremely important in ensuring a good outcome with minimal side effects from your procedure.

Finally, more serious side effects, though rare, can occur. These include infection, nerve damage, formation of nodules, and damage to the salivary ducts. The face has a very complex anatomical structure. Intimate anatanomical knowledge is required to perform a PDO thread lift well, and to avoid serious side effects.

The side effects are mostly manageable – removal of threads may be required in cases such as migration and extrusion. There should be no scarring after removal, and the problems may resolve completely.

What do I need to take note of before and after the procedure?

Like other treatments involving injections, avoid alcohol, supplements such as Vitamin E, Omega Fish oils, some Chinese medicines, and gingko for 1-2 days before and after the procedure. Avoid going to the steam room, sauna, and engaging in heavy exercise such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Following 2 weeks after the PDO Thread Lift, you are also discouraged from undergoing any dental treatment (which requires you to open your mouth excessively.)

You are also advised to sleep on your back to allow the swelling to subside and to avoid the putting pressure on the face that might cause misalignment of the threads. I give the option of some simple taping on the face to ensure the best results.

What areas can be treated with PDO Thread Lift?

  • Undereye area
  • Eyebrows
  • Crow’s feet
  • Cheeks
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Naso jugal folds
  • Wrinkles around mouth
  • Jaw line
  • Jowls
  • Neck

What results can I expect after the treatment? 

Your skin is immediately lifted after a PDO thread lifting procedure, as the threads provde support to lift skin in its new position. You may look slightly tighter than the final result, but in about 1 week, you will begin to look much more natural.

The rejuvenative effects kick in after 1-2 months – you will notice better skin texture, firmer and smoother skin. Your doctor may concentrate more on either skin rejuvenation, or skin lifting during your procedure. Depending on the technique and which is used, the results will vary from person to person.

In about 9 months after the treatment, the threads would have dissolved, but the results will still continue for many more months. I recommend repeating the procedure 6-9 months after the first procedure, to allow for a long lasting result of up to 3 years.

Who is suitable for a PDO Thread Lift?

The PDO Thread Lift is an effective non-surgical facelifting treatment that is suitable for anyone looking to improve the appearance of sagging skin. This treatment is suitable for someone who is willing to undergo some injections, and who want to attain an immediate lift of the facial contours without undergoing a facelift surgery. It is best suited for men and women who are unwilling to tolerate the long downtime of a facelift surgery but want to look refresh and lifted – naturally.

Who cannot have PDO Threads?

People who suffer from the following conditions:

  • Uncontrolled Diabetics
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Previous facial surgery may be contraindicated
  • Active Acne
  • Active infection
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding patients

How does PDO Thread Lift compare with Silhouette Soft Thread Lift?

Both PDO thread lift and Silhouette Soft thread lift are excellent skin lifting procedures. However, they have very important differences. PDO better lifts skin, due to its configuration, while Silhouette Soft is better at compressing skin tissue to produce a volumising effect. Although Silhouette Soft threads are made up of Poly L Lactic Acid (PLLA), the technology is very different. They use cones instead of barbs to lift sagging skin.

Silhouette Soft’s results seem to have a longer-lasting effect than PDO’s, but because more threads are used during a PDO thread lift compared to a Silhouette Soft procedure, the PDO Thread Lift can also pull the skin back more.

In summary, the 2 procedures complement each other, and work even better, when performed together in a combination thread lift treatment.

Pre-treatment Consultation

  • On arrival, you will be asked to complete a confidential patient intake form.
  • A VISIA Skin Analysis may be conducted.
  • Your practitioner will then discuss your concerns and requirements with you in order to get a clear understanding of your expectations.
  • After a thorough examination, the most suitable treatment options and their alternatives will be proposed to you.  Treatment procedures will be clearly outlined and discussed, together with the benefits and possible risks of each.
  • To ensure a good result, it is of utmost importance to carefully select our patients for this treatment.
  • Should we find that surgery will be better, we will then refer you to a plastic surgeon.
  • Your practitioner may also provide you with a quotation.
  • Any questions you have about the process or treatment will be answered honestly.
  • Together, you and the practitioner will then decide on the treatment that is most appropriate and safe for you.
  • Any pre- and post-treatment care will be explained in detail. Written instructions may be handed to you.

You are under no obligation to book the treatment with us after your consultation, however, should you do wish to book a treatment this can be done for you after your consultation or at a later date via phone or e-mail.

At Skinlogic we can assure you that we value your health and wellbeing. You will only be seen and treated by qualified and experienced professionals.


During the Treatment

Before conducting the treatment your physician will evaluate your needs and explain where the PDO Threads will be placed using a marking pen. The treated areas will be sterilised, and you may be given a topical anaesthetic to numb the area prior to the suture’s insertion.

Due to the sutures being inserted into the sub-cutaneous tissue there is relatively low level of discomfort during and after your treatment. Once the suture has been applied, the doctor performs slight compression of the tissue to reshape it by hand and to obtain the desired lifting effect. The non-inserted ends of the suture are cut off.

The number of sutures applied depends on the skin laxity and condition.

Following the Treatment

The insertion of PDO Threads elicit a minimal inflammatory reaction, this is normal and required. After placement patients may experience side some side effects. This may include minor pain, swelling and bruising.

The retightening effect is immediate and the regenerative action is gradual – the main component of the suture (Polydioxanone or PDO) during reabsorbtion stimulates the body so that it produces its own collagen. This action, which continues over time, restores the contours of the face and offers long term results.

Your physician will provide you with post-treatment recommendations and an aftercare programme to follow to ensure the best possible result.