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Most thread lifting procedures today are non-invasive. While there are many different types of thread lifts, the PDO thread lift is amongst the most popular today.

The threads are made in South Korea, and is one of the most commonly performed skin lifting procedures today.

What is the PDO Thread Lift?

The PDO Thread Lift is a treatment which lifts and tightens sagging skin tissue, using threads made of Polydioxanone (PDO). The threads introduces them into the deeper layers of the skin.

Once introduced, the threads produce 3 effects in the skin:

  • Instant Skin Lifting through mechanical effects

  • Cellular Renewel, through Collagen stimulation, and neovascularisation to improve skin texture, fine lines and elasticity

  • Skin Tightening, by contracting fat tissue

About 6 months after the procedure, the PDO threads will disappear through simple hydrolysis (they are absorbable). The lifted facial contours will remain for about 3-6 months more, due to the cellular rejuvenation effects.

Your skin cells are stimulated to produce new collagen, and new blood vessels to improve skin microcirculation. At the same time, the PDO threads cause the fat tissue to contract, producing a skin tightening and facial slimming effect.

How is PDO Thread Lift Done?

A PDO Thread Lift is a minimally invasive procedure. After numbing and infusion of local anesthetia, the PDO threads are inserted via sharp or blunt tip needles (called cannulas) into different layers of the skin. Once inserted, the threads anchor the skin and lift it upwards. The excess threads are then cut off.

Depending on the areas treated, the procedure takes 15-30 minutes. There is some discomfort during the procedure, but depending on the technique can be very manageable without pain medications.

Are There Different Types of PDO Threads?

There are many types of PDO threads – and this can be confusing for patients, and even doctors.

In general, PDO threads can be divided into floating, non-barbed threadsand barbed threads. These can be further sub-classified in several ways:

PDO Threads



Mono-filament threads

Unilateral vs bilateral

Braided threads

Uni-directional vs bi-directional vs z-type

Cutting barbs vs molding barbs

You may have heard of fancy names like “double screw” or “tornado”, or “heart barbs”. They all refer to threads in one of the categories described above.

In addition, PDO threads come in different thickness and length. These all affect their quality, tensile strength, effectiveness, and of course, price of your treatment.

You  may choose to use different threads for your treatment , depending on your skin lifting and rejuventation needs.

Is PDO Thread Lift Safe? What are the Possible Side Effects?

This treatment is surprisingly safe. Compared to fillers, the side effects are, in fact, much milder (fillers can even cause skin necrosis and blindness in rare cases )

Because PDO threads are inserted via needles and not surgery, and are absorbed in 6-8 months, many of the side effects associated with older thread lifting procedures, such as infection and thread breakage are also minimised.

Depending on the types of threads used and areas treated, bruising may or may not occur.

Expect some mild swelling and soreness for 3 to 5 days after the procedure, occasional pain “pings “ , and a sensation of tightness (mild) of up to 2 weeks. Temporary mild dimpling of the skin can also occur – an resolves in a few days.

Like other treatments involving injections, avoid alcohol, supplements such as Vitamin E, Omega Fish oils, some Chinese medicines (e.g.白凤丸), gingko for 1-2 days before and after the procedure. Avoid going to the steam room, sauna, and engaging in heavy exercise such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).<