Lifting the lid on PDO threads
Aesthetic Dentistry Today talks to Huw Jones about PDO threads and what this treatment can offer aesthetic professionals looking to introduce it into their clinic
Polydioxonone (PDO) threads are becoming an ever-popular choice of treatment amongst patients looking for an effective non-surgical face lift. Dr Huw Dr Jones discusses the benefits of threads and what his training courses offer, as well as a broader view of how threads have impacted the anti-ageing treatment menu.
You were one of the first doctors in the UK to use collagen injections to treat wrinkles. How has the aesthetic market moved on since those days in terms of treatments available?
I first used collagen injections (Zyderm and Zyplast) for correction of lines and wrinkles in the late 1980s. Since then we have seen the introduction of a variety of other fillers, with hyaluronic acid (HA) the most popular due to their reduced incidence of sensitivity and great range of selectivity.
Whilst this has been a great development, I feel the most important change has been the comprehension of how to use injections more appropriately to replace localised volume loss, rather than just ‘plumping up’ lines.
The introduction of botulinum toxins to reduce dynamic lines of expression, such as the glabellar lines, lateral canthal lines, and forehead lines, was probably the single most influential development.
When I helped set up the Boots Botox service in 2002, the demand for treatment was astronomical. The media was both damning and excited by this growth market. Since then, we have seen increasing demand for non-surgical procedures year on year.
There has also been a massive increase in the technological side of the industry. Laser, radiofrequency, high intensity focused ultrasound, and cryotechnology are now very effective and associated with lower side effects than earlier devices.
Platelet-rich plasma, microneedling, mesotherapy etc, are now widely available. And now PDO threads.
What are the main benefits, for both patients and doctors, of using threads?
Threads offer a huge range of treatment options to practitioners. Whilst cog threads give a degree of mechanical lift and tightening, the mono and screw threads are regenerative and can give a more prolonged effect by stimulating collagen production.
With the skilled placement of these threads we can achieve rejuvenation and lifting. I am currently carrying out ultrasound assessment of the PDO thread treatments with Intraline and this is confirming improved skin intensity and collagen content from as early as four weeks.
We can use threads to improve sagging jaw lines, jowels, and loose submental skin, as well as mesolabial and nasolabial folds. They can help to raise brows and reduce perioral lines. Treatments are affordable, effective and long lasting.
There has been a significant upsurge in the use of threads over the past years. What do you think is the reason for this?
Threads of various types (Gold, Aptos, etc) have a long history in cosmetic medicine, especially in Asia and Russia. In the UK, the use of cog threads alone has received a mixed reception, especially from surgeons.
Combining cog threads with mono/screw threads has improved outcomes and reduced complications. The PDO threads are biodegradable and have no history of allergy, having been used in surgery for more than 40 years. They are safe, effective
Drawing on your years of clinical experience, what do you find are the most popular indications for threads?
In my clinics, the most popular requests concern the chin (submental), the jowls and sagging jawline, the brow lift, and perioral lip lines.
What is the safety record of threads? Have there been any reported side effects?
PDO threads applied appropriately are safe. They are hydrolysed to water and carbon dioxide and these are completely and safely removed.
There have been no reported cases of allergy or foreign body formations. They can be used in conjunction with HA fillers and any other treatment modality.
There has been a steady rise in the number of non-invasive treatments in recent years. Where do you see the future of the medical aesthetic industry and in particular the use of threads?
I am a huge advocate of PDO threads. They have completely changed my management of lower face cosmetic treatments.
I place them alongside the introduction of botulinum toxin treatments and the correct use of dermal fillers as the biggest development in this field of ‘injectables’ over the last 25 years.
Dr Huw Jones has been in medical practice since qualifying in 1986, developing an interest in aesthetic treatments and anti-ageing near the beginning of his career. He has experience in the medical aesthetic industry spanning some 30 years, and has been passing on his knowledge through training since 2005.
This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Aesthetic Dentistry Today. Read more articles like this in Aesthetic Dentistry Today and gain three hours’ verifiable CPD with every issue. Click here to subscribe or call 01923 851 777. Get in touch via Twitter @AesDenToday or facebook.com/AesDenToday.