Threads and Threadlifting

Here at L Aesthetics and Longevity, we have staff members experienced in using PDO threads and performing thread lifts. We primarily use the extremely popular and effective MINT threads, but also use non-barbed Euro Threads and Nova Threads in certain circumstances. You may hear PDO threads referred to as Sugar threads because they dissolve over time in the body and break down into carbon dioxide, sugar, and water. 

What are PDO Threads, Sugar Threads and PLLA Threads and When are They Used?

Most threads in the United States are made of PDO (polydioxanone) or PLLA (Poly-L-lactic acid). These compounds are used frequently to make the sutures used in surgery and will dissolve slowly over time in the body. PLLA is the same material that the bio-stimulant filler Sculptra is made of. Currently our favorite barbed threads are the MINT threads and are PDO.

PDO threads are made of the same material as those used in open heart surgery. PDO barbed threads are used to lift and tighten and to decrease wrinkles. Non-barbed threads are used to treat wrinkles and crepeness in the skin, shrink fat, and thicken the tissue. 

Is Thread lifting New?

Threads and thread lifting have come far since the first thread lift in the United States in 1999. The procedure has been used widely and for many years in Korea and their techniques are taught throughout the world. The design has improved allowing for more strength to the threads which gives more lifting and pulling ability. Thread lifting is a relatively low risk procedure in the right hands and is a reliable non-surgical way to rejuvenate the skin. 

How Do Smooth or Mono Threads Work?

Smooth or Mono threads do not have any barbs to grab the tissue and are used to promote fibroblast activation and stimulate collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) production. Tissue contraction and decrease in fat cell size has also been noted with smooth threads. In other words, smooth threads are used to decrease the appearance of crepeness, thicken the skin, treat wrinkles, and possibly to decrease the appearance of puffiness in an area of fat such as under the chin. PDO has also been shown to cause a reaction in the skin that improves the blood flow in the area around the threads.

What are Smooth or Mono Threads Used to Treat?

Our providers regularly use smooth threads to decrease the crepey look of skin under the eyes and on the eyelids, and on the neck, thighs, arms, buttocks, and abdomen. We use them to stimulate tightening in the area under the chin, to soften forehead lines, smooth crow’s feet, and treat the lines that form around the mouth. We use smooth threads to give a slight lift to the eyebrows in clients who tend to get heavy brows after Botox or who just want a subtle lift.

What are Barbed Threads Used to Treat?

Barbed threads are used when more lifting is desired. We can realistically get about 1 to 2 cm of upward and backward lift when barbed threads are used to lift the the lower face. Generally, with a thread face lift, a 50% improvement can be expected after the first treatment and a second procedure can be done within 2 to 6 months to get another 20 to 30% improvement. 

Barbed threads are also used to lift the buttocks, breasts, skin over the knees, nasolabial folds, jowls, eyebrows, and the forehead. They are used to tighten the neck and define the jawline. 

How Long Do the Results Usually Last?

Collagen production is stimulated around the threads which causes the results to last longer than the actual thread (which dissolves in about 6 to 9 months). The results usually last from 1 to 2 years in older clients with thinner skin, but longer lasting results have been reported in patients with younger thicker skin and adequate facial volume. 

How Does a Thread Lift Compare to a Surgical Face Lift?

A thread lift is not surgery and no incisions are made. You will not be left with scars around the ears or along the forehead and there is much less downtime. The results are more subtle than a surgical facelift and typically last from 1 to 3 years depending on many factors. A traditional facelift usually lasts from about 5 to 7 years before the aging process wins out and sagging once again is seen. Jowls, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds can reoccur within 18 months after a traditional facelift depending on the quality of the skin before the lift and the patient’s lifestyle.

Can Thread Lifting be Combined with Any Other Treatments?

Threads can be combined with filler, Botox, radio frequency microneedling, and laser treatments. In fact, a combination of different treatments usually yields a better result than the use of just one treatment or procedure alone. At L Aesthetics and Longevity, threading is a part of many non-surgical “facelift” programs.

Are There Any Side Effects or Possible Complications of PDO Threads and Thread Lifting?

Side effects can happen with threading just as with any procedure where needles are placed in the skin. The more experienced the practitioner, usually the less chance of the more serious side effects. Bruising, swelling, a tight or stiff feeling, and redness may result and resolve on their own with time.  Thread extrusion from the skin, dimpling, infection, and bumps can occur. Rarely, damage to blood vessels, nerves, or the parotid gland has been reported. The threads and insertion techniques have been improved over the years since the first thread lift leading to less incidence of side effects and complications. 

Are Patients Usually Happy With PDO Threads or Thread Lifts?

On the RealSelf website, Threadlift has an 80% “Worth-it” rating with the average price reported as somewhere between $1600 and $2800 for multiple barbed lifting threads. An eyebrow lift typically costs less and smooth threads are usually less depending on the area to be treated. 

How Can I Get More Information?

Our consultations are free and our experienced practitioners are happy to meet with you and assess your specific needs. They will be able to come up with a plan tailored to your skin, desired results, and budget. If you are interested in PDO threads, PLLA threads, Sugar threads, or a threadlift facelift (sometimes called a non-surgical facelift) call one of our multiple offices and book your free consultation. 

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