STORY by Wendy Jacobson, BS, RN, Dermaspa at Bend Dermatology
PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Wendy Jacobson
Aesthetic medicine continues to get better. Year after year more and more people are looking to non-surgical treatments to fight the signs of aging. Let me introduce you to my newest favorite procedure, the PDO Thread Lift, to create beautiful contouring and to lift the face and neck. In fact, the threads can be used to lift just about anything (eyebrows, breasts, buttocks, knees, etc.) but they are specifically fantastic for lifting the lower third part of the face that is notoriously difficult to treat with neuromodulators (Botox and Dysport) and fillers.
Polydioxanone (PDO) sutures have been used in surgical procedures for over 30 years. They are frequently used in cardiothoracic, trauma and gynecological surgeries. PDO is a FDA approved suture material for tissue approximation for the entire body. The suture material is broken down over 4-6 months via hydrolysis and stimulates collagen production in the skin due to the body’s natural healing process.
It works like many other aesthetic treatments by creating a “controlled damage zone” in the affected area. As always, find a trained, certified and licensed cosmetic provider that has experience with PDO threads to perform the procedure.
There are three types of PDO threads:
1. Smooth threads are used to create structure through a mesh technique. These tend to be 29 gauge (the higher the gauge number the smaller the tread, just like needles) or 31 gauge. We create a sort of “basket weave” effect to give the skin a more structured, tightened and smooth appearance. This technique combats crepiness and results appear approximately four to six weeks post treatment.
2. Twist threads are used to produce a more voluminous appearance. These are used in the lips and in deeper lines like the nasolabial folds and marionette lines adjacent to the corners of the mouth. Results appear immediately and get better over time.
3. Barbed threads create the most dramatic effect. The sutures have tiny barbs that provide a gripping effect in the tissue. Appropriate planning and placement followed by tensioning of the thread provides a dramatic and immediate lifting effect to the facial skin. Results can last approximately 12 months.
The ideal candidate for PDO threads is 30-65 years of age with mild to medium loose and/or sagging skin, with no prior plastic surgery in the area being treated. The client must not be taking any blood thinning medication including over the counter blood thinners (Omega 3s, Vitamin E, Ginko, Ginseng, garlic, ibuprofen, aspirin) or oral steroids. There are several other considerations that your cosmetic provider will go over with you to determine if you are a good candidate for the lunch time lifting procedure.