PDO Thread Lifting 101

Facial Thread Lifting is a quick, minimally invasive treatment for people with aging facial features; but who are not ready for a surgical facelift, which removes large areas of excessive skin, fat and tissue. A thread lift can help lift the face – inserting threads through small punctures to the skin which later become invisible - and can be used anywhere on the face where a gentle lifting is desired.

Areas which can be treated include the outer brow, the cheeks, for sagging in the main cheek, naso-labial (nose to mouth) and lower eye areas, the jaw line for jowls, and the neck for sagging skin - “chicken neck”. The threads leave no scars, are simple to insert, and have minimal down time.

What happens during a Thread Lift operation?

The procedure

This procedure is usually performed using a local anaesthetic. Implantation and positioning of the threads is quick and takes approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the number of areas being treated and the type of threads used. Two kinds of threads are usually used for treatment – free floating barbed threads and/or suspension or smooth threads.

Free floating barbed threads

Using a hollow guiding needle, the barbed threads are inserted into the subcutaneous fat under the skin, through small incision points made by the needle. The needle containing the thread is then positioned to provide the required correction and removed. The microscopic cogs on the threads then attach to the underside of the skin and gently lift the skin and secure it in the desired position. The excess thread is trimmed.

Suspension or smooth threads

Suspension threads are inserted into the skin using a standard needle, but in order for them to sustain a lift they do need to be attached to the so called “anchoring point”. The anchoring points are stable points of the scalp or face, and they are different for the different areas of the face and body.


One treatment per area is usually all that is required to achieve the desired effect, often with immediate visible results, even more so after about 3 - 4 weeks. However, the results continue to improve over a 3 - 6 month period as your own collagen begins to grow around the threads aiding the lifting effect. The effects of a thread lift using barbed threads are said to last up to 3 years.

Who is ideal for this procedure?

This procedure does not produce changes as drastic as the traditional facelift and is not permanent, lasting a few years; therefore, it is best suited to younger patients (generally 30 to 60 years old).

How long will it take to recover from a Thread Lift?

Recovery is generally quick, with most patients returning to work the next day. However, you may find that your facial movement is limited for the first two weeks.

1. You can resume normal activities (light walking, watching television etc.) after the procedure but you should take it easy during the first few days.

2. You should not talk or smile excessively or make exaggerated facial movements for the first few days.

3. You should not sleep on your face for the first week.

4. You should not massage, rub or apply pressure to your face for one month as this could disturb the threads.

What are the risks and potential complications from Thread Lift surgery?

Although not as invasive as other lifting procedures, the area treated will often be sore with some swelling or puffiness for a few days, with possibly bruising which will last about a week.

Side effects and risks are minimal and rare but may include:

  1. Patients may develop a pucker; this can again be remedied by your doctor lightly massaging the area.
  2. Scarring from the insertion of the needle is minimal but is nonetheless possible, particularly in patients with dark coloured skin.
To learn more about the advanced Korean thread lifting technique, sign up for the Hands-on Korean Thread Lifting Master Course now!
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