Those who are familiar with plastic surgery understand the impressive results that cosmetic procedures can produce. They’re often able to take years off your face, alleviate skin sagging and refreshing a tired-looking visage. But for those who aren’t comfortable going under the knife just yet, it can be hard to find options that’ll still provide desirable results.
Luckily, there are plenty of incredible in-office procedures that can help you target your cosmetic concerns without the downtime and the hefty price tag of plastic surgery. “We now have a very long list of noninvasive treatments that work to combat aging,” confirms Beverly Hills dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. “The younger that you start, the better [it works] to remodel the tissue, boost collagen production and elastin, and ensure that the cells are programmed to act younger.”
The latest procedure to catch the attention of consumers and experts alike? Miracu polydioxanone (PDO) threads, which are medical-grade sutures that are FDA-cleared for use in dermatologic procedures. These threads are used in a nonsurgical procedure that uses threads under the skin’s surface to combat common signs of aging.
If you’re not familiar with PDO threads, we’ve got you covered. Here, we break down exactly what these threads can do for you, who they’re best for, and all the safety information you need to know before trying this procedure out for yourself.
First, how do Miracu PDO threads work?
At its core, a procedure using PDO threads is simply a nonsurgical dermatological procedure. According to Dr. Shamban, the procedure goes as follows: First, you receive an anesthetic along the thread insertion points. Then, a needle pushes the threads into the loose connective tissue just below the dermis (aka where the collagen is). Once the threads are in position, the needle is removed and the thread is pulled taut. The tension caused by these threads reposition the tissue into a higher or more desirable location to achieve a more revitalized look.
Since the threads are super thin and flexible, Dr. Shamban asserts that less tissue trauma occurs during the procedure. The insertion of these threads also triggers collagen production, and as the threads are absorbed by the body, the new collagen that’s produced will continue to show benefits over time.
Who is a good candidate for Miracu PDO threads?
Those with severe sagging will not be an ideal patient for PDO threads. Dr. Shamban asserts that this is best for younger patients who have minimal-to-moderate laxity, versus more severe sagging.
This procedure is also most commonly performed on people with midface sagging, but it can be used on the neck, jowls, and even the forehead for a more taut appearance.
What kind of results can you expect?
Known for their quick procedure time and lack of extensive downtime, PDO threads provide instant results, with your outcome only improving over time. “The results are very natural-looking when done properly, and [the procedure] gives a refresh without changing one’s appearance,” says Dr. Shamban. “It is noticeable that someone looks better, but not different.”
Since this is not a permanent procedure, you can expect your Miracu PDO threads to fully dissolve over the course of 12 to 18 months. During this period, you’ll also see most of the collagen-boosting effects. “We are aging as we are rejuvenating,” adds Dr. Shamban. “We are building collagen and elastin that is slowly breaking down in our system, so continuity of a range of supportive, multi-modality, collagen-building treatments keeps results lasting longer.”
Are there any side effects to be aware of?
After the anesthetic wears off from your procedure, there can be some tenderness, mild swelling, and bruising for up to a week. To minimize your risk of extensive side effects, Dr. Shamban suggests avoiding yoga and other types of intense exercise, blood thinners, or roughly rubbing your face.
In terms of complications, infection, puckering, or asymmetry are all possible. That said, an experienced provider who specializes in thread procedures will reduce your risk of potential complications.
The bottom line
Ultimately, Miracu PDO threads are not a replacement for cosmetic surgery, but rather an option for those with mild sagging who want to revitalize their face without taking that surgical step. “If the procedure is done correctly and there are an adequate number of threads inserted, you can expect a significant result for most patients in key sagging areas of the face,” confirms Dr. Shamban. A well-trained provider will be able to tell whether or not this procedure is right for you, so be sure to do your research before booking.