TRIED & TESTED: 'I had a thread lift. Here are my honest thoughts.'

It’s no secret that I love cosmetic procedures. And for good reason too. Want glowing skin? Facials are your answers. Hoping to add volume back to your face? Fillers can help. Looking to soften any wrinkles? Anti-wrinkle injections, baby. 

This isn’t to say that skincare isn’t important – it is. Vitamin C and retinol have single-handedly changed the way my skin looks and feels. 

That being said, my belief is that the two go hand in hand. Just like peanut butter and chocolate, they complement each other.

Watch: Check out Alisha Bhojwani's tear tough filler experience. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

So as someone who's tried everything from vampire facials to Laser Genesis, I was intrigued when my clinic (SM Aesthetic Lab) offered threads. 

Advertised as a ‘mini face lift’ without the downtime, the facial treatment promises to leave you looking younger by stimulating your own collagen production - a first in the world of cosmetic procedures. That alone had me intrigued. 

So naturally, I did what any curious person would: I slid into my injector's DMs. 

The conversation went a little bit like this...

Me: “So…. Maddy, I’ve seen you guys are doing threads, and.... I’m kinda keen, will it help with lines under my eyes?”

Maddy: “PDO mono threads would! It will definitely soften the lines; do you want to come in and chat?”

Forty-eight hours later, I was at my consult armed with a long list of questions (and whether you’re pro- or anti cosmetic procedure, I’m here to honestly talk to you about my experience and results – because knowledge is power) starting with, "What the hell are PDO threads?" 

So, what are PDO threads?

PDO, also known as polydioxane, is the material that the thread is made of. They’re placed under the skin and dissolve within the first three months. 

As the body begins to break down the PDO threads, it creates collagen which tightens and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles


Results will be noticeable at four weeks with full effects seen after three to four months. 

This was all sounding very promising, but I had a few more questions.

Me: “What’s the downtime like?” 

Maddy: “As PDO threads are a minimally invasive procedure the downtime is around two weeks. For the first week, we recommend avoiding strenuous exercise to avoid increased swelling. However, every patient is different, and some might experience swelling whereas others have sensitivity or bruising. This is all normal and will resolve within two to three weeks.”

Me: “Does it matter if I’ve had filler in the past? How does it differ?”

Maddy: “Unlike filler, PDO threads doesn’t add volume. Because your cheeks are full already, this would be a great treatment to help to give you a lift and provide definition. In patients where volume loss is a concern due to ageing, a combination of fillers and PDO threads would be beneficial to treat their concerns.

"The main benefit of threads is that they won’t change the shape of your face only your skin texture – making it difficult for someone to tell that you’ve had anything done.”

I was sold. 

Definition aside, the ligament lines on my face had been bothering me for a while and if this could help then what did I have to lose? Plus, I had been going to Maddy for years and trusted her with my face.

What does the procedure involve?

The day of the treatment I was a bundle of nerves. With filler, anti-wrinkle injections and micro-needling I knew what to expect - but PDO threads was new and with anything new there’s always the fear of the unknown. 

After numbing cream was applied, Maddy began to insert the threads into my face. 

Even though most patients start with 100-150 threads, we’d opted to do a baby dose of 80 threads focusing on my nasolabial folds, jawline, and cheeks. 

Image: Supplied 


I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a high pain threshold, but I have been to get through laser eye surgery, three wisdom tooth extractions and filler appointments without much discomfort.

PDO threads was a different ballgame.

At first, I felt nothing – a slight pinch, but as we got into the double digits, I began to get quite sensitive. 

It wasn’t unbearable, but it wasn’t pain free. 

In complete transparency, I ended up grabbing one of the nurses’ hands as the final few threads went in. If you have a low pain threshold, I’d recommend you target one area at a time over multiple appointments.

To my surprise, pulling out the threads didn’t hurt at all, but boy did I bleed! And again, that’s completely normal.

Within 45 minutes the treatment was done, and they popped me under a red LED light to minimise any post-treatment bruising. I drove myself home and waited for the numbing cream to wear off. 

Image: Supplied 

After any sort of cosmetic treatment, some people bruise, others get sore. I get very... round. And true to form, that’s exactly what happened.


Image: Supplied 

The following week was a blur of puffy face selfies as I documented my very swollen face on my Instagram

Image: Supplied 

What to know before getting PDO threads.

Since being healed, here are a few things I learnt to prepare you if you decide to do PDO threads:

  1. Your face will hurt. A L O T. For a good three days the lower half of my face was very sore and tender to touch.

  2. You may also freak out a little bit (because of the pain and bruising) – and that’s okay! My top tip here is to pick a good clinic and be on good terms with the person who's doing your treatment. There were a few nights I messaged Maddy on Instagram and she helped ease my mind. Also, an at home LED mask will be your new BFF.

    Bruising. Image: Supplied 

  3. Avoid carrots, or anything crunchy for that matter because - surprise, surprise - chewing hurts.

  4. Even though they suggest two weeks for downtime, it might take a little longer, but your face will heal. Have faith! 

  5. You’ll have to temporarily give up your active skincare (for at least a week), which won’t be easy but is necessary.

  6. Avoid getting heat into the skin (no gym and physical SPF only) during your downtime because you don’t want to risk breaking the threads down before they’re ready.

  7. It takes about three months to see full results and you MAY feel twinges of pain (like teeth shocks) during that time. Let me be very clear in saying this is to be EXPECTED (and does subside). What’s happening is the sutures in your skin are dissolving and with that triggering your skin to create fibroblasts which help produce more collagen. 

  8. Take many selfies, because life’s too short to be worried about a puffy, swollen, or bruised face. 

Image: Supplied 

The verdict

Would I do it again? 

I would – but I’d focus only on my nasolabial folds to get bigger lift. 

Image: Supplied 


As my final words on threads, I’ll say this: If patience isn’t your strong suit – then this treatment isn’t for you. 

Before and after. Image: Supplied 

It won’t give you overnight results BUT is a great middle ground between fillers and surgery because it uses your body’s own tools to leave you looking refreshed and sculpted - sans chipmunk cheeks. 

What do you think of PDO threads? Have you ever tried it? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied

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