Suture Suspension Lifts vs PDO Thread Lifts


PDO Thread Live versus SSL Suture Suspension Lifts

PDO Lifts in Texarkana, Texas

PDO is short for a long chemical word: polydioxanone.  A PDO thread lift uses small threads made of polydioxanone and can be done in less than an hour, depending on how many threads are used in the procedure.  This technique is available only for the face and neck, as it is far too fragile to be used in other areas, such as the breasts.  This is a minimally invasive procedure by which the practitioner places PDO threads under the skin in a series of relatively painless needle sticks.

The PDO threads are specially designed to have small barbs that are closely spaced and operate like tiny hooks to snare a little bit of the subcutaneous tissue as the practitioner pulls the thread slightly taught in a lifting manner.  These tiny hooks allow for a visible lifting or tightening of the overlying skin. There is almost no limit to the number of these threads that can be placed so it is possible to lift virtually the entire face and neck in one session.  The larger the number of threads, the more expensive the procedure, and the longer it takes to complete the job.  The only significant discomfort is from the initial needle stick by which each thread is placed & being that the PDO threads have small barbs that serve as tiny hooks, they can also be felt just beneath the skin when washing one’s face etc.

The results are immediate and there is no downtime.  There are downsides to this technique as follows: the tiny little barbs are not very strong, so it is very easy in the first few weeks to displace the tissues accidentally by mechanical stress, sometimes by simply yawning or grimacing aggressively while working out, or by sleeping the wrong way, even by chewing aggressively as one might when eating a particularly tough piece of meat or when opening the mouth very wide as when eating an apple.  If the lift doesn’t fail in the first few weeks, the little hooks stimulate the body to form an attachment that makes the lift a little more stable.  

Within a few months, the skin actually replaces the PDO material with collagen, so there is a little bit of collagen formation along each of the threads.  However, in the best of situations, a PDO thread lift generally cannot be counted on to have a noticeable effect for longer than up to a year. Of course, it can be repeated yearly if desired. The other downside is that the lift cannot be an aggressive one, as the little barbs are just not that strong. Patients who would be candidates for a PDO thread lift are those who have a very mild sagging in their face or neck and are relatively young – anywhere from late 20’s through about mid 40’s or early 50’s.  Patients who are older than that generally require a much more aggressive lift than can be achieved/maintained with PDO threads.  For the right patient, a thread lift can provide an impressive result for not too much money, no downtime and it can be done in a relatively brief office visit – hence the terms “lunchtime lift” or “coffee break lift.” In our practice, patients have reported that there is a wait/heal time before being able to tolerate other facial treatments such as Facials, Microdermabrasion, Venus FREEZE and the like.

Suture Suspension Lifts in Texarkana, Texas

Suture Suspension Lifts are a bit more invasive, but still far less invasive than traditional plastic surgery lifts.  In a Suture Suspension Lift (abbreviated “SSL”) we use a MUCH stouter suture that allows a much more aggressive lift. We can also use the technique to lift multiple other parts of the body, including Breasts, Buttocks, Thighs, and Abdomen.  It is also much, much longer lasting, but can be more expensive, slightly more invasive, and takes a little longer to perform. 

For the SSL we attach a stout surgical suture (not a fragile “thread”) to an immovable part of the anatomy (such as the periosteum – the dense fibrous lining of bone) and attach it to the SMAS (subcutaneous musculoaponeurotic system) underlying the sagging skin.  We then lift the SMAS to the desired degree, bringing the overlying skin with it. 

The results can be very dramatic, and the lift is very long lasting, usually 10 years or more.  Although tissues continue to age as time goes by, the lifted tissue will not sag again for at least several years – contributing factors include great weight loss or loss of volume in face, neck area & we are all always aging.  Still, the SSL works particularly well for patients too old to be good candidates for a PDO lift or for patients desiring a more aggressive and more stable, longer lasting lift. 

As for downtime after an SSL lift, the placement of the sutures in an SSL lift is performed through tiny skin incisions that heal without scarring.  The effects are visible immediately but there is often a mild to moderate amount of soft tissue swelling and a temporary wrinkling of the skin between the lifted part of the face and the anchor point which is either above the ear in the hairline for a midface lift or behind the ear in a lower face or neck lift.  Patients can return to work the next day, however, and the wrinkling can be easily hidden by hairstyle. This wrinkling dissipates entirely over a few weeks. We perform PDO lifts and Suture Suspension Lifts in our office in our surgical suite. For SSL you will require mild sedation and will need a driver to take you home, whereas we perform PDO thread lifts using local anesthesia only.

At the Beauty and Wellness Center, we offer PDO thread lifts for suitable candidates. For those who either have greater degrees of sagging or who prefer a much longer lasting or more aggressive lift, we are the only practitioners this side of Dallas who perform SSL.   A plus to having the Suture Suspension Lift in our office is that we also bundle a surgical package of Venus FREEZE treatments with each surgery. Different that the PDO lift, after SSL, we are able to perform other facial modalities almost immediately that enhance the healing and overall result.

Come to the Beauty and Wellness Center – book a consultation to learn more about these procedures and for an evaluation as to what we think would work best for you.

Traditional plastic surgery is also an option for patients who desire that approach. We have excellent rapport with several of the finest facial plastic surgeons in traveling distance of the ArkLaTex  and we can refer  if you prefer.