A few years back, Gwyneth Paltrow made headlines for endorsing a cosmetic procedure known as the facial thread lift procedure. Doctors across the country seemed dubious about the treatment for its side effects (in some cases threads would split producing an uneven face). But now, years later, and with new technological advances behind it, the thread lift is deemed a viable option for those looking to tighten up loose, crepey, aged and wrinkled skin.
What is a PDO thread lift procedure?
Thread lifting is a procedure that works to tackle sags and folds. The procedure is becoming more popular than ever before. Hailed as a solution for both women and men that side-steps the commitment, healing time and money required for a facelift, invisible fine threads placed in the skin can get to places on faces that other procedures cannot.
The thread facelift or thread neck lift is a minimally invasive procedure for the face, neck, or jowls in which threads, which have small barbs on them, is inserted under the skin via a large needle. The barbs then grab hold of the skin from underneath and pull to anchor and re-suspend the skin in a lifted, more youthful position. The best way to visualise the result is to imagine a puppeteer pulling the strings of a puppet from its head.
What are the advantages of having a thread lift instead of a traditional facelift?
For most people, the biggest advantages of having a thread lift are the significantly reduced recovery time and risks as compared to a traditional facelift, and of course, it goes without saying the affordability.
Recovery from a thread lift is comparatively easy. Thread lifts can be performed under local, rather than general anaesthesia, meaning that thread lift patients can drive themselves home and look after themselves immediately after having their procedure. While some patients will experience a little bit of soreness, bruising and swelling after having a thread lift and wish to take a few days off work, most can return to their normal daily routine immediately. This procedure is therefore ideal for people who have children at home or those who have busy, demanding careers.
Thread lifts are low risk, thanks to their non-invasiveness. There is virtually no risk of scarring, severe bruising, bleeding or other complications. In very rare cases, patients may experience slight irritation, or their sutures start to become visible under their skin. If this occurs, however, the sutures can simply be removed and repositioned.
While thread lift recovery is not particularly intensive, patients will still have to take a few minor precautions while healing (i.e. not undertaking excessive exercise for a few days, taking care while yawning, not eating tough foods, propping yourself on a few pillows to prevent swelling, trying to sleep on your back rather than on your side).
Finally, because thread lifts are much easier to perform than facelift surgery, they are much more affordable.
Who is the ideal candidate for a thread lift?
Thread lifts are best suited to patients who are dealing with mild to moderate, rather than severe, signs of skin laxity. It’s important for patients to maintain realistic expectations. While thread lifts undoubtedly produce improved visible changes, they create a more subtle and natural looking end result rather than the really drastic results from a facelift surgery. In many cases, patients maximise and enhance the overall results of their thread facelift by combining with a thread neck lift.
The ideal thread lift candidate is usually in his or her late thirties to early sixties. Thread lifts can, however, provide a facelift alternative for older patients who are unable to have surgery for medical reasons or are afraid to go under the knife.
It’s important to understand that while no lifting technique can produce permanent results, a surgical mini facelift will last 3- 5 years and a full surgical facelift around 5-10 years. Typically for the thread lift depending on the type of threads used, results can last up to three years. However, because the thread lift procedure is so low-risk and far more affordable, patients who like the results of their thread lift usually opt to have a top-up of threads when required.
Cost Comparison – Surgical Facelift vs PDO Thread Lift
- Surgical mini facelift from £4000
- Surgical full facelift from £8000
- PDO neck thread lift from £400
- PDO mini face thread lift from £650
- PDO full face thread lift from £800
- PDO full face and neck lift from £1000
*prices for surgical facelifts are taken as an average from clinics based in the UK
*prices for PDO thread lifts are from LasaDerm and are highly competitive as based in the UK for similar medical based PDO threads and not beauty threads.
Thread Lifting can be a good option for someone looking for an easy, less costly option for facial rejuvenation that produces visible but natural results that last for up to 3 years depending on the type of threads used.
What are threads made from?
PDO threads are sutures that are made from a biocompatible material called Polydioxanone, which has been specially designed for safe re-absorption by the body. PDO threads remain in place for about 3-6 months, after which point they slowly dissolve. Patients can, however, expect to keep seeing the results of their PDO thread lift for up to three years after their treatment. This long-lasting effect arises from the lingering improvement in skin condition that results from collagen infusion.
PDO threads come in several different varieties: barbed sutures, which are ideal for gathering skin (and therefore producing more lifting action) and straight or smooth sutures. Smooth sutures produce less of a lift, but they are excellent for collagen stimulation. Patients often have smooth sutures placed in strategic locations around their face (such as the corner of the mouth, under the eyes or along the brows) in order to target common problem areas where the signs of ageing become particularly apparent. Barbed sutures, on the other hand, are placed near the hairline to gently pull back the skin and lift the cheeks and jowls.
About the treatment
Having a PDO thread facelift is relatively quick and easy for the patient.
First, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the areas that are going to be treated. Then a small instrument (a thin cannula or needle) will be used to insert the threads below the skin minimising patient discomfort. This entire process usually takes 30 minutes for a facelift and about 45-60 minutes for a face and neck lift combined. The patient is free to return to their normal daily activities afterwards while taking heed of the aftercare as instructed by the doctor.
Some patients sometimes experience mild soreness and swelling for a few days after having the procedure, but this can be managed with painkillers such as paracetamol.
Because thread lifts are so low-risk and boast such a short recovery time, it’s possible to combine them with other nonsurgical procedures to create more comprehensive, noticeable results. Once your skin has healed around the threads inserted, you maybe recommend pairing your thread lift with Botox and/or Dermal Fillers to further enhance your treatment.
By combining a number of different nonsurgical anti-ageing treatments, patients can achieve a profoundly positive change in their appearance, without enduring the extended recovery time associated with surgery.
See below for a full PDO thread lift video by LasaDerm.
Choosing the correct clinic
When booking your consultation ensure to go to a reputable and trained professional. Although there are little risks regarding a thread lift, it is a relatively complex procedure, so must be carried out by an experienced professional at an established clinic. At our cosmetic clinic in Milton Keynes, all patients start the process with an initial consultation with one of our doctors, who will discuss your requirements and create a tailored treatment plan with ongoing support throughout.