What Is a PDO Thread Lift?

A PDO thread lift is a non-surgical skin tightening method designed to tighten sagging skin. It is an excellent solution if you want to restore the appearance of youth to your face without investing the time and money required to undergo an invasive anti-aging procedure.


How Does a Thread Lift Work?

There are several types of non-surgical lifts that use threads. PDO threads are most commonly used to rejuvenate the midface between the chin and cheeks. PDO is an abbreviation of polydioxanone. PDO threads are popular because they encourage the production of collagen. It is also commonly used during cardiovascular procedures.

This type of lift works in a couple of ways. First, sagging skin will be lifted with the threads. Second, the threads encourage collagen production which increases volume in the local area. This will smooth away wrinkles and can even recontour hollow areas, like the cheeks.

Over time, your skin will break down the threads. However, your skin will remain tight, smooth, and youthful due to the extra collagen. Here’s a closer look at what to expect throughout the treatment process.

An Evaluation

Before your treatment is performed, we need to ensure it is right for you. When you come in for your initial consultation, we will evaluate your face and discuss your cosmetic concerns and desired outcomes.

Then, we will talk about your health history and the dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals you currently take. Furthermore, we will ask you about any allergies you may have to certain drugs. Finally, we will take a reference photograph of your face.


You must adhere to a number of pre-treatment preparation steps before your scheduled appointment. To ensure your treatment and recovery go as smoothly as possible, it is imperative that you adhere to these instructions in full. Some of the steps you should take to prepare for your skin tightening treatment include: 

  • Avoiding topical products containing retinol
  • Refrain from tobacco consumption for seven days
  • Refraining from blood-thinning supplements
  • Staying hydrated
  • Wearing sunscreen
  • Abstaining from alcohol consumption for one week
  • Avoiding NSAIDs

Note, the above is not a comprehensive list of instructions. Depending on your health, you may need to make other temporary adjustments to your lifestyle. For example, you may need to reduce your consumption of sodium or increase your consumption of potassium temporarily if you have high blood pressure. You may also be advised to arrange for someone to drive you home after your treatment.

Treatment Numbing

When you come in for your scheduled appointment, we will start by cleansing your face to eliminate dirt, debris and excess oil. Then, we will apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment areas.

Depending on the scope of your treatment, we may also administer a local anesthetic to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the entire process. It can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes for the numbing agents to work fully.


Once your skin is numb, we will use a temporary pen to mark strategic locations within the treatment area. Planning ahead minimizes the number of threads you need to achieve your desired aesthetic, saving you time and money. We will remove these pen marks before you leave our office.


The threading process will occur once your skin is numbed and we know exactly where we need to insert the threads for the best results. A fine, hollow cannula houses the PDO thread and delivers it into the lower layers of the skin. The thread catches loose tissue within the dermis, repositioning it as the needle is removed.

This results in tighter, younger-looking skin. This portion of the treatment process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the scope of the treatment.


Once your treatment session is complete, we will remove the marks made by the temporary pen and review your recovery guidelines. Some of the instructions included in your recovery guidelines are: 

  • Don’t apply cosmetics for 24 hours
  • Don’t chew gum
  • Avoid excessive heat
  • Keep your head elevated above your heart
  • Move your face as little as possible
  • Abstain from tobacco and alcohol consumption
  • Avoid vigorous exercise
  • Limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen
  • Adopt a liquid diet or eat light meals
  • Don’t take NSAIDs or blood-thinning supplements
  • Don’t rub or otherwise touch your face

Note, the above is not an all-inclusive list of instructions. You may be advised of other instructions, such as applying cold compresses around the treatment area occasionally. For the best possible results, you should comply with all instructions fully.


Your post-treatment recovery period will last roughly two weeks. That said, most of your post-treatment care guidelines relate only to the first 24 to 72 hours after your treatment. Keep in mind, the most important thing you must do during your recovery period is to keep your head elevated above your heart at all times.

In other words, you should not bend over to pick anything up. If you drop something on the floor, squat down to pick it up or have someone pick it up for you. It is also very important to not overtax your muscles.


During the first week of your recovery period, you will notice your wrinkles have disappeared and your skin looks plumper and healthier. That said, you should not feel dismayed if you aren’t satisfied with your results a week after your treatment. Your look will only continue to improve.

Typically, it takes 28 days for the final results to become apparent. A month after your session, your skin will be tighter, smoother and visibly healthier. You shouldn’t expect to see the final results of your treatment immediately after your session because it takes a while for your skin to produce extra collagen in response to the threads.