What is a PDO Thread Lift or Fine Thread Contouring?

Posted on the 12 September 2016 at 14:07

Recently, a couple of my patients very kindly gave their permission for me to use their ‘before and after’ photos to highlight the positive effects that a PDO Thread Lift (also known as Fine Thread Contouring) can give. Since then, I’ve had quite a few people asking ‘What is the PDO Thread Lift’ or ‘What is Fine Thread Contouring?’ so I thought I would put together this blog to help clarify things a little!

The PDO Thread Lift or Fine Thread Contouring (FTC) Therapy is a cosmetic technique that uses absorbable threads or sutures to lift and tighten sagging skin tissue in order to redefine the youthful contours of the face in areas that have lost definition – areas such as the cheeks, jowls, neck, and eyebrows. However, the effects of the treatment aren’t just limited to just the ‘lifting’ ability of the threads; as the threads are absorbed by the body, they promote the production of collagen in the treatment area, which helps to maintain the ‘lift’ effect after the threads have been absorbed. Often, patients can see the positive effects of a PDO Thread Lift treatment up to 2-3 years’ post-treatment.

PDO (Polydioxanone) is a material that has been used in medicine for decades and is the same material used if you have absorbable stitches or sutures placed after an injury or operation.

When a patient comes to me for treatment with PDO threads – the first thing we do is assess the potential treatment area and discuss medical history to ensure that the PDO Thread Lift is an appropriate and realistic treatment for them. If it is, the patient returns for their treatment once they are happy to proceed and feel fully informed about the details about the procedure. The treatment itself can take an hour or so to complete, in which time a number of threads are introduced into the treatment area using a cannula or micro-needle, after a local anaesthetic has been administered.

There are several different types of threads that can be used in treatments, and I have found that some of the best results can be seen from treatments using barbed or ‘cog’ threads.

These tend to result in higher levels of inflammation within the tissue following a treatment, but this carefully-controlled ‘damage’ to the skin causes a greater rate of fibroblast conversion as the area heals, which in turn causes a greater amount of collagen to be produced in the treatment area. As a result, patients who undergo the PDO Thread Lift with cog threads tend to see a longer lasting and more visible effect after a single treatment than with traditional or smooth threads.

As with all non-surgical aesthetic treatments, there is a small risk of a patient experiencing side effects following a PDO Thread Lift treatment – a risk that is reduced by ensuring that a qualified and experienced nurse practitioner or doctor carries out the treatment. Minor side effects include swelling and bruising of the treatment area, and some people experience a mild pulling sensation that can last for several weeks.

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