PDO Threads: The Lunchtime Lift

What if I told you there’s a way to lift and smooth the look of loose or sagging skin that doesn’t involve surgery? In fact, not only is it minimally invasive, it’s cost-effective, quick, and can take years off your face instantly?

I’m talking about an exciting development in the world of facial aesthetics called PDO threads. They can lift and improve the appearance of a sagging neck, jowls, cheeks, eyebrows and more. My favorite doctor, Dr. Gerald Pierone, has even been known to use them to subtly reshape the bridge of the nose!

You’re probably wondering what PDO stands for, so let’s get that piece of business out of the way first. PDO is what the thread itself is composed of. Polydioxanone. (Even my spell check doesn’t like that word! No wonder they use the abbreviation!)

Polydioxanone is an absorbable material that doctors have used for years because it is one of the safest materials that can be implanted in the body. PDO sutures are used in cardiothoracic surgery. The body absorbs polydioxanone in 4 to 6 months and remarkably leaves behind no scar tissue.

So, how does it work for the face? The PDO threads are preloaded into a hypodermic needle.  After the practitioner numbs your face, the needle is inserted into the skin, and as the needle is removed, the thread stays behind.

 

There are several types of threads to choose from, depending upon the desired result and part of the face being addressed. The first type of thread is the smooth thread. This thread is meant to be injected in a “net” or “mesh” formation. For example, the doctor might insert three smooth threads horizontally and two vertically. As the skin heals itself around the threads, it creates new collagen—which results in naturally tighter, thicker and firmer skin over time.

Recently, Dr. Pierone put some of these in my chin, as it isn’t looking as smooth as it once did. Over time this will help build up some more collagen, ultimately resulting in a smoother appearance.

The second type of thread I want to tell you about is my favorite:  the barbed threads. They might sound a little scary, but they are magical.  Check out this post to see barbed threads in action. I can’t say enough great things about them. They work wonders!

These threads have “barbs” to provide grip under your skin. The doctor injects them, and then, this is the incredible part, pulls them tight to reposition your skin. You walk out of the office with instant, dramatic results. It’s like a non-surgical facelift! No tell-tale scars or long recovery period involved! And just like with the smooth threads, your body begins the process of building collagen around the thread, which helps secure the lift. Depending upon how much lift you require, you may need a couple of treatments with lifting threads to get to the desired result.

Picture the thread as a scaffolding that’s in place while your skin is repairing and rebuilding. Once the scaffolding is “removed” (or dissolves in this case) the underlying tissue has repaired itself to hold the re-positioned skin in place on its own.  I think of them like dissolvable stitches to hold a wound closed. Once the stitches dissolve, your skin has healed in place. The main difference being these are placed under the skin rather than on top (and there is no actual “stitching” involved).

What’s happening in the underlying tissues of the face after these threads are injected is called the “selective inflammatory response.” Inserting the thread initiates a healing response under the skin. The scientific word for this process is neocollagenesis, which means the formation of new collagen. This happens with both the smooth and the barbed threads. And, because collagen takes up to six months to grow, you see the results from your PDO thread treatment gradually get better and better with time.

Before and After PDO threads and some dermal filler–Courtesy of Dr. Gerald Pierone, One Aesthetics, Winter Park

Now, I must emphasize how important it is to seek out a highly skilled practitioner before you undergo a PDO thread treatment. These threads can do amazing things; however, they are only as good as the hands that administer them. I cannot stress this point enough. In the wrong hands, you will not get the results you are after, or worse, things could end up going all wrong.

I recently visited One Aesthetics to have the new Nurse Practitioner, Ashley Pontenberg, treat my “necklace lines” (horizontal lines that run across the neck) with Revjuvn8 PDO threads. She used smooth threads for this.

I’ve been delighted with the results so far. It’s been exactly one month. My results should continue to improve over the next six months as more collagen develops. Check out this video of my appointment so you can see just how the threads are placed. (It looks more painful than it is–I couldn’t feel a thing once she numbed me up):

(Although only one was shown in the video, Ashley placed a total of four threads going vertically.)

 

My neck before PDO threads
My neck six months after PDO threads. I will likely get one more treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PDO threads are a fantastic alternative to more invasive, painful, and expensive procedures. Most people will be pleased to discover that they need much less filler because of PDO threads. When the threads do the “heavy lifting,” you don’t have to rely so heavily on filler for lift.

 

Edit: My trip to the medical spa, Rejuvn8 at Paparazzi

 

I just added some new “before and after” photos to the Gallery of a PDO thread lift I had done at Rejuvn8 at Paparazzi just north of Syracuse, NY. I went on a little “field trip” of sorts to meet Giovanni McCarthy, the owner, and Dr. Scott Gingold, medical director. They are friends of One Aesthetics and prominent PDO thread educators.

The Rejuvn8 at Paparazzi day spa is expansive and comprehensive, and Dr. Scott and Giovanni know their stuff.  Owner Giovanni has thirty years of experience in medical skin care and aesthetics.

Whether you want to pamper your tresses, relax at the spa, or are interested in facial aesthetic treatments, this place has you covered. With three whole floors devoted to beauty and rejuvenation, there isn’t one aspect of your cosmetic needs they can’t address. There are various high-tech devices to tighten and tone the body, an infrared sauna, massage rooms, pedicure chairs, a sprawling salon floor, and “The Skin Suite,” where you can have facials, laser treatments, microneedling, peels, and more.

There’s a full-on cafe in the waiting area, and the upstairs (where I went to have my PDO threads done) is fully equipped for all types of facial aesthetics procedures (thread lifts, Botox, dermal filler, etc.)

Each staff member I met was friendlier than the next.

The Rejuvn8 at Paparazzo is a modern, upscale medical spa with a very knowledgable and welcoming staff.

 

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28863268

 

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