I have discussed in a previous post that there are 4 elements to the aging process of the face:
1) volume loss
2) tissue descent
3) bone loss
4) skin damage/discolourations
PDO Thread lift, like surgical Facelift, is aimed at tissue descent, as opposed to fillers which are aimed at volume loss (although sometimes inappropriately used to correct tissue descent).
A traditional Facelift (briefly, as their are many types + styles) uses external incisions placed in front of the ear and along the hairline to remove extra skin plus some element of suspension of the deeper tissues of the face (known as the SMAS). These procedures are considered the gold standard for rejuvenation as they see the maximum lift, last the longest but also cost the most, have substantial downtime and permanent scars.
A PDO Thread lift is not meant to replace a Surgical Facelift. They are not equivalent procedures, thread lift will not last as long as surgery, but will have less downtime, no scars, less risk and are substantially less expensive than surgery.
PDO is polydioxanone, this is a synthetic, absorbable suture material that has been used in plastic surgery for at least 20 years. These sutures slowly dissolve away as they are broken down by the body over 6-8 months time producing collagen in their place.
Barbed or Quill PDO suture is what I have used to close tummy tuck incisions for at least 15 years. These sutures have small hooks on them that lock into the tissues giving extra strength and hold. When used for a PDO Thread suture lift, the suture is carefully placed under the skin of the face/neck through small needle punctures. There are no external incisions or sutures, minimal downtime with only some bruising, swelling and tenderness.
PDO thread lift doesn't remove any skin, and so works best when there is a 1cm or less extra skin. Results can last 3-5 years if you maintain and protect your skin. Sometimes a small amount of carefully placed filler is needed to address the volume loss component of facial aging.
PDO Thread lift is an excellent option for those who want natural, subtle rejuvenation and understand that it is not the same as a surgical facelift + are willing to tradeoff longevity of results for less downtime, less risk and less expense.