Benefits and Complications of a PDO Thread Lift

There was a time when the best and most effective way to achieve a more youthful look for your face was to either have the patience to get treatment at a medical spa on a regular basis or go for the shortcut and undergo an actual facelift, a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of sagging cheeks, jowls, and neck.

Today, people who want to achieve a natural-looking facelift need not go under the knife. There are now several nonsurgical face lifting procedures available, including the PDO Thread Lift, a speedier and non-surgical alternative to the traditional facelift.  

One of the more popular cosmetic treatments today, a PDO thread lift involves the placement of threads made of Polydioxanone (PDO) under the skin, which are then tightened to pull up sagging facial tissues.

Like any cosmetic procedure, a PDO Thread Lift has its fair share of benefits and complications. Let’s take a look at some of them.

PDO threads are safe and absorbed by the body gradually

The FDA has declared the Polydioxanone threads used in PDO Thread Lifts as safe. Metabolized in water and carbon dioxide, PDO threads are absorbed by the skin and will completely dissolve within the body 6 to 12 months after the procedure. It does not trigger allergic reactions, and plastic surgeons, eye surgeons, gynecologists have been using it to close wounds for three decades.

PDO threads help produce collagen

Collagen promotes skin elasticity and helps the skin appear more youthful and healthy, and PDO threads can stimulate the skin to produce more of it.

Aside from helping produce collagen, PDO threads also trigger elastin and hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin, both of which are crucial to giving your skin a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.  

Immediate results

While patients will have to wait for the PDO threads to help stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin—which could take two to three months—before seeing the overall result of their thread lift procedure, they will usually see a conspicuous lifting and tightening of the skin right after it.

The PDO threads will also dissolve six months or so into the procedure, but as long as the collagen holds the lift, the results will remain for two years at the very least.

Different threads for different needs

The beauty needs of patients vary from person to person, and PDO threads come in different sizes to address those individual needs.

Patients who want to restore volume and rejuvenate the skin along their chin and cheeks, for instance, can opt for thin mono threads.

Bi-directional cog threads, on the other hand, are perfect for lifting sagging cheeks, jowls, and neck since they are thicker and stronger.

Goes well with other anti-aging procedures

A PDO thread lift provides great results, but combining it with other anti-aging procedures such as dermal fillers leads to a fresher and more youthful look.


Complications of PDO thread lifts

Like all medical procedures, a PDO thread lift may give rise to its own set of complications, although there are fewer of them compared to most facelift methods.

Side Effects

Although PDO thread lifts are minimally invasive, patients may still feel some discomfort or even pain after the procedure. After all, they’ve just had threads inserted into their skin. It’s typical for patients to be asked to go on a soft diet for a week or so. Doctors will also recommend taking aspirin for minimal discomfort, and acetaminophen for pain.


Infections, while infrequent, can always happen after any medical procedure. Thankfully, there are antibiotics that can help you fight it off.

The trouble with the PDO threads

PDO threads are advertised to be practically invisible, but incidents of threads becoming visible in the patient’s skin after the procedure have been reported. In some cases, patients complained of PDO threads breaking through the skin or of threads bunching up underneath it.

The threads could also disengage or break and lead to some minor facial asymmetry, which may be acceptable to some patients. When the asymmetry is downright obvious, however, patients can ask their doctor to either tighten an existing PDO thread or place a new one to get the kind of contour they want.

Varied results

Compared to a traditional facelift, a PDO thread lift is still a new one, which means we still have a long way to go before we can determine its long-term results.

At present, the short-term results vary.  Some patients have reported being supremely satisfied with the way the procedure worked out, while some of them say they didn’t notice any difference in their appearance. Of course, the results will always depend on the skill of the doctor who performed a PDO thread lift on you, as well as your own expectations.

Who are ideal candidates for a PDO thread lift?

A PDO thread lift is an option available to men and women aged between 30 to 65 years who complain of mild sagging of cheeks, jowls or neck. As much as possible, only those who have no previous history of facial surgery should avail of this procedure. It would also be great if the patient has good skin quality since the procedure involves threading a foreign material through it.

Who should not get a PDO thread lift?

Aside from people who have had facelifts, cheek or chin implants, and other facial surgery procedures done in the past, those who are excessively thin and have severely saggy skin are also not advised to undergo a PDO thread lift. The same goes for people with skin that’s severely sun damaged and hyper-pigmented.

For men and women who are looking for a nonsurgical, safe, and cost-effective facelift, the PDO thread lift might just be the one for you. Hopefully, the benefits and complications listed above can help you make a decision that might just change your life. Just remember to come to terms with what PDO thread lifts involve, and you will have enough knowledge and confidence to either back out of the whole thing or get on with it.

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