Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

Forget What You Have Heard About “Thread Lifting”


There is a lot of misinformation out there about PDO threads. Some people have heard of the old “thread lifts” which utilized permanent, non-absorbable threads. This procedure was fraught with complications, had to be anchored to the skin, and were eventually pulled by the FDA. Other people are not quite sure what PDO threads are and figure that they must be a very serious and invasive procedure due to their nickname, “thread lift”.


The truth is, PDO threads area great way to tighten sagging skin, reduce wrinkling, and create new collagen. They are classified as “Collagen Stimulators”. The PDO threads that we use at the USF Cosmetic & Laser Center are NovaThreads, which are FDA approved and produced in the USA. NovaThreads are hypodermic needles or blunt cannulas preloaded with an absorbable suture that is inserted into the skin.  The sutures are made of PDO (or polydiaxanone) and are one of the safest materials that can be used in the body (the same material that is used in cardiac surgeries). So the problems and complications that were due to the old sutures non-absorbable nature are no longer an issue.


After Nova-Threads are inserted, your skin gently reacts to the sutures creating a “selective inflammatory response” to produce collagen and strengthen the skin. Your skin will fully absorb the Novathread within 4 to 6 months of being inserted and the new collagen that was created will be left in its place. Skin is left tightened with less wrinkling and improved elasticity.


The types of NovaThreads used for a procedure depends on the severity of the skin laxity, thickness of the dermis, and age of the patient. Either a combination of straight/twist threads can be used for mild collagen production and skin tightening, or barbed threads can be used when increased lifting is needed. The best thing about NovaThreads is they can be completely customized to a patient’s needs and can be used almost anywhere on the body.


So remember, Botox and dermal fillers are great but we also need to address the big “C” when talking about skin rejuvenation. And that’s…collagen! Don’t let the old stories of “thread lifting” turn you off. NovaThreads (PDO threads) are a great way of helping our skin produce the collagen that they need to remain youthful, beautiful, and vibrant.

Anna Stouffer, MS, NP-C