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PDO VS Dermal Fillers

We recently stopped offering PDO thread lifts to our patients in favour of dermal fillers.

In this article we look at the pros and cons of PDO thread lifts and how dermal fillers could give you faster, more certain results with less downtime.

What are PDO thread lifts?

PDO thread lifts are used to lift your skin and give you a rejuvenated appearance.

The treatment involves injecting very fine fibres of a synthetic polymer into the skin through a needle or cannula. They are attached to your facial tissues at strategic points and then used to pull that tissue into the desired position.

The two main types of polymer used are polydioxanone (PDO, hence the name) and Poly L lactic acid (PLA). As well as being used for the mechanical lifting of tissues, they also stimulate collagen production for longer term anti-ageing benefits.

The threads gradually dissolve over around six months, although their effects can continue to be seen for up to a year as collagen levels are boosted.

What are dermal fillers?

We use hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers, which is a naturally occurring substance found in your body. Its job is to hydrate your tissue (including your skin) and to support the production of collagen and elastin.

Dermal fillers are a gel-like substance which is injected into the skin and immediately adds volume and hydration.

They are used to contour the face (for example adding volume to the cheeks, under eyes or temples), smoothing out wrinkles and folds, restore plumpness to the hands and provide a boost of hydration to improve the texture of the skin.

Comparison of the two treatments

PDO thread liftsDermal fillers
How long does the treatment take?From 1 hour, depending on the area/s to the treated.From 45 minutes, depending on the area/s to be treated.
Where can the treatment be used?Any part of the face and the neck.Any part of the face, the neck, décolletage and hands.
What are the side effects?For about 2 weeks after the treatment you may experience redness, pin prick marks, swelling and puckering of the skin. The skin will probably feel tender around where the threads were injected for about a week.Occasionally a small amount of redness or swelling, but generally there are no negative after-effects.
What precautions should you take after treatment?Avoid activities which could prolong swelling, including alcohol, vigorous exercise and extremes of hot or cold for 2 weeks.
Don’t wear make up for 12 hours and don’t have a facial for 10 days.
Sleep on your back for 5 nights.
Don’t make extreme facial expressions for 2 weeks.
Avoid vigorous exercise for 6 hours. Avoid extremes of hot or cold for 3 days.
Don’t wear make up for 6 hours and don’t have a facial for 3 days.
How soon do you see the benefits?The initial effects will be more exaggerated than the final outcome, as the tissues relax in the weeks following treatment.You’ll see the benefits immediately.
How long do the effects last?6 to 12 months6 to 12 months

The view from our experts

Both PDO thread lifts and dermal fillers can have excellent results in lifting your face and dealing with sagging skin.

However, we now offer dermal fillers instead of PDO thread lifts for two main reasons: the certainty of the results and the reduction in downtime.

Certainty of results

The results of a PDO thread lift aren’t immediately apparent since it takes a few weeks for the swelling to subside and the threads to relax. This makes it more difficult for us to ensure that we achieve the right results first time around.

In the case of dermal fillers we immediately see the results of our treatment and can ensure that we give you the best possible outcome in a single appointment.

Reduction in downtime

The recovery period from PDO thread lifts is longer and with more significant restrictions. Because it takes some time for the face to relax around the threads, and for the swelling to subside, you will need to wait around 2 weeks for it to settle.

In the case of dermal fillers, some patients occasionally have a little redness or swelling, but when this does happen it’s very mild. There is little or no downtime after treatment.

Are dermal fillers the right answer for everyone?

For the majority of our patients, dermal fillers will be the preferred choice thanks to the faster, more certain results and reduced downtime.

However, for some patients PDO thread lifts may still be a better option, depending on their skin type and the specific results required.

If you’re not sure which is right for you, or are ready to give dermal fillers a try, then please call us on 0330 024 1300 or complete our online form to request a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the options.