Healthy Beginnings

The PDO Non-Surgical Thread Lift: The 30-Minute Facelift, Your Questions Answered

“The Botox and fillers look great,” Barb said.

Sitting in our treatment chair, she looked side to side, admiring herself in a handheld mirror, but with a slight frown on her lightly freckled face. You do this job long enough; you know that look.

“More lift,” I said. “Especially in the neck and jaw line.”

Barb took her index and middle finger, placed it on the angle of her jaw and pulled the skin back toward her ear. She performed her very own, temporary neck lift.

Barb is a great patient. She came to us almost in desperation suffering from hot flashes night sweats, irritability and problems sleeping. After our first evaluation, she began a Bioidentical Hormone Replacement regimen. Soon after, she became her old self again.

“You fixed my insides, Dr. Clearfield,” she said. “Now it is time for the outside.”

After balancing her hormones, we Botoxed the frown lines between and around her eyes, and added dermal fillers to raise her cheekbones, enhance her lips and improve her skin tone using our Vampire Facelift.

“I think you look great, Barb,” I said. Barb shook her head.

“No,” she said, tugging the loose skin under her neck back toward the angle of her jaw. “This needs a hiking.”

Barb flattened both sides of the offending skin with her index finger and middle finger. “I have got something new for you,” I said.
“No surgery,” she said. “I have to work. I can’t afford downtime.”

“No surgery,” I replied. “I have these new threads. They create a true lift.”

“Eh,” she said. “Threads? I did them 10 years ago.”

She pointed to a messy scar behind her ear.

“Those were ‘permanent’ sutures,” I said. “They were inserted behind your ear and tied together, breaking easily leaving one side uneven. These are different. These are called polydioxanone or PDO threads. PDO fibers dissolve after 4-6 months and require, at most, only a minute pea size, less than 1/10 of 1 milliliter, of anesthetic. They are not needles, so there’s no cutting. We thread them into place, advancing them over your skin like a curtain rod over a curtain.”

“What about the ties?” She replied. “You will have a terrible time getting through those scars.”

“No ties,” I said. “When we have them in place, we smooth the threads engaging the underlying dermis. If there is excess thread, we cut them in a downward motion burying them under the skin. You will not know they are there. These threads work great on the cheeks, brow, jawline, neck, nasolabial folds, marionette lines and on sagging arms, hands, thighs and abdomen.”

“You know, I lost all that weight awhile back on your Paleo Cleanse Diet and I have gobs of loose hanging skin. Can we use PDO threads for that?” She asked.

“Not only on loose hanging skin,” I said. “We can even place them in the middle of the forehead.”

“Wow,” Barb replied. “I’m up on everything cosmetic. Why haven’t I heard of this?”

“PDO threads are popular in Asia, the Philippines and Korea,” I said. “They are relatively new here, but are catching on fast. Not only do we get a bit of instantly gratifying skin tightening and lifting, but long term, the texture of the skin continues to improve.”

“Once they are in, they are in, no?” Barb asked.

The threads agitate the tissue directly underneath the surface creating micro-traumas. The body responds by kicking into gear its normal regenerative processes, specifically the migration of fibroblasts. As the threads dissolve, the fibroblasts produce collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, structural components of the skin.

“The threads absorb in about 6 months creating new collagen layers by creating a selective inflammatory response. The result is a controlled healing. The skin holds in place for up two years. We insert the sutures under the skin to tighten and lift problem areas. For skin tightening in the cheeks, under the neck, the jiggly part of your arms, hands, abdomen or legs, we use smooth fibers in a Tic-Tac-Toe-board or hashtag-like pattern. For a lift of the nasolabial folds, marionette lines or neck, for example, we use “barbed” or “cog-like” filaments to grip the skin. Once in place, we pull them both up and out, instantly repositioning the skin to where it was before the ‘fall.’”

“You are sure, no cuts?” Barb asked.

“I promise,” I replied. “No cuts. The skin tightening hashtag threads are tiny needles, inserted parallel to the skin, in the subdermal layer. When they are in place, all 5-7 needles are pulled out leaving the threads behind.”

“And the longer ones?” She asked.

“Those are cannulas, blunt-edged,” I said. “We use our less than pea sized local anesthetic here to create a tiny opening, then we insert them under the skin. When they are in place, we pull them back, smoothing the wrinkles and lines along the way. The ‘barbs” or ‘cogs’ catch the skin pulling it in the direction we want. We then cut the sutures, burying them under the skin. No knots. No skin bumps. The sutures themselves dissolve in 4-6 months all while stimulating collagen growth. The skin stays in place up to 2 years or more.”

“So, how does this new and improved thread lift hold up against fillers?” She asked.

“The thread lift will last anywhere from 18 months to a few years, and additional threads can be added anytime as maintenance. The cogs and barbs stimulate collagen continuously, resulting in continuous improvement over time.”

No need for fillers anymore?” Barb asked.

“When we combine procedures, we see even better results. We often use the absorbable suture lift in combination with fillers, Botox, PRP and our so-called Vampire Facelift creating a synergistic effect. Instead of 1+1=2 we get 1+1=5. The results can last many years and with maintenance, theoretically, will never wear off.”

“And they are safe? ” She asked.

“35 years of heart valve experience with these very same threads,” I replied. Barb settle back in the treatment chair.
“Thread me, doc.”

To find out if the PDO Thread Lift or any other facial and body rejuvenation treatments are right for you, call Clearfield Medical Group at 775-359-1222 or email