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PDO Thread Lift vs. Fillers

Two cosmetic procedures, PDO thread lifts and dermal fillers, are some of the most popular ways to get youthful, rejuvenated skin. Cosmetic aestheticians have used both of these procedures for years to provide comprehensive de-aging results. However, PDO thread lifts vs. fillers have their fair share of distinctions.

While both cosmetic treatments provide satisfying results, their methods, costs, and specific applications vary. To decide which cosmetic procedure is best for your cosmetic desires, it’s important to have all of the necessary information on each procedure. In this article, we’ll outline each procedure so you can make an informed decision.

At Luminae, Dr. Phong Tran Cao D.D.S and the rest of our skilled team have extensive experience with both PDO thread lifts and dermal fillers. If you want to enhance your beauty, contact us today to set up a consultation.

PDO Thread Lift

A PDO thread lift is similar to many other thread lifts, but it differs in its usage of Polydioxanone, a biodegradable suture that rejuvenates the skin. It does this by providing additional support to skin tissue that has begun to sag and lose its elasticity. PDO threads have been used for various medical purposes for decades, and their usage for thread lifts has proven to be exceptionally satisfying for many people as an alternative to a facelift.


The main benefit of a PDO thread lift is its ability to rebuild lost collagen. Collagen is essential for skin elasticity and smoothness, and as you age, collagen production decreases, and skin begins to sag, and it becomes less vibrant as a result. PDO threads serve to stimulate the fibroblast cells in your skin that are responsible for producing proteins such as collagen. As collagen levels return to how they were in your younger years, you should be able to enjoy a more youthful skin.

A PDO thread lift is also a rather quick and convenient procedure, with most taking only 45 minutes to complete. 


The total cost of a PDO thread lift is, on average, between $700 and $4,500. This price can vary based on how many threads the aesthetician uses, as well as the specific treatment area. The cost of one PDO thread is typically $300, and because it’s a cosmetic procedure, it usually can’t be covered by insurance.


PDO thread lifts are a quick and painless procedure, making them an excellent choice for those looking to adjust their appearance without any hassle. Most PDO thread lift procedures, including those done at Luminae, will typically include the following:

  • The aesthetician will disinfect your face and apply a local anesthetic to the treatment area using a needle.
  • They will then make a small incision with another needle and insert a tool called a cannula into the incision.
  • They will anchor the thread in place and remove the cannula.
  • The procedure concludes by pulling the thread upward to create the desired lift effect cutting the thread, and ensuring it is secure.


The recovery process for a PDO thread lift adds to the procedure’s overall convenience. Once you leave the Luminae office, you should be able to resume your normal activities without making any major adjustments to your routine. The one thing to be cautious about is sleeping on your side and partaking in any intense exercise for the first 1 to 2 weeks following your PDO thread lift procedure. 

The face may be sore after local anesthesia wears off, as well as sensitive for the next few days. The patient can take an over-the-counter NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen (Motrin or Aleve) for the pain and inflammation (if there is any).


The results of your PDO thread lift will vary depending on how many threads you receive and how little collagen you had in your skin beforehand. Some people experience immediate results from their procedure, while others see them in a few days.

Most patients enjoy these results for a year or more. During this time, you should be able to notice an increased vibrance and elasticity in your skin, as collagen production is restimulated, and your skin is given the same support it had years ago.

See our article for more information about how long PDO thread lifts last.


Dermal fillers are one of the most well-known and frequently used tools for aesthetic change. These injectables have dozens of applications, but their primary use is to add volume to sagging and wrinkled skin.

Types of Fillers

There is a wide range of dermal filler substances that reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Many of them are used in various areas of the face, while others can be used in the legs, hands, and other parts of the body that experience wrinkling. 

Some of the most regularly used fillers include:


Dermal fillers are able to provide comprehensive relief to those experiencing sagging and wrinkled skin on various parts of the body. Their primary area of use, however, is on the face, where fillers can provide volume to everything from the forehead to the cheeks. With regular applications, fillers can greatly enhance a person’s appearance and provide a regularly youthful and rejuvenated look.


The cost of injectable filler treatments can vary based on what kind of filler is used, how much of the filler is used, geographic location, and several other factors. Hyaluronic acid, which is used in fillers such as Juverderm, costs about $620 per syringe, for example. Multiple syringes are often required to achieve the best results in any given filler treatment, and because fillers are mostly used for cosmetic purposes, treatments typically aren’t covered by insurance.


Most filler treatments follow a similar procedure, although there may be some variation depending on the exact filler or the aesthetician completing the procedure. In most cases, the procedure begins with disinfecting your face and applying any required or requested anesthetic. Most injectable fillers are painless with the anesthetic or contain their own pain reliever like Juvederm, so an anesthetic may not be necessary in some cases. The aesthetician will then inject the filler and lightly massage your face to ensure even distribution throughout the treatment area.

Most dermal filler treatments take between 15 to 60 minutes to complete, and you can usually return to your normal activities once you leave your appointment.


Recovery time for most fillers is minimal, as any swelling that appears after your procedure should only last a day or two. In the first 24 hours after your injections, it’s recommended that you avoid wearing makeup, drinking alcohol, spending long durations in the sun, and overexerting yourself physically so as not to interfere with your final results. For some fillers, it’s recommended that you lightly massage your face in the days following the initial injections to further guarantee that the filler is evenly distributed under your skin. 


Many people notice an immediate improvement in the appearance of their sagging skin after their injections, while others notice results once any swelling has completely reduced. Depending on the product you receive, you should be able to enjoy the results of your dermal fillers for at least 6 months and up to 2 years. When you notice that sagging skin and wrinkles are returning, you can return for a follow-up treatment.

Pros and Cons of PDO Thread Lifts

PDO thread lifts are effective at providing facial rejuvenation, but they may not always be the best choice for others. To make the best decision for your aesthetic needs, it’s important to fully understand the pros and cons of PDO thread lifts.


One of the most significant benefits of PDO thread lifts is their ability to rebuild collagen proteins under the skin. Not only does this contribute to a youthful and vibrant appearance, but the results appear natural because the PDO threads are stimulating the body’s own natural proteins. This ensures that the changes in your appearance aren’t distracting or dramatic, instead providing your face with a subtle refresh.


The main downside of a PDO thread lift is the cost, as a comprehensive treatment can cost thousands of dollars. It can also be very disruptive for those who live a physically active lifestyle, as the 1 to 2 weeks of downtime required can force you to clear your schedule for the sake of your PDO thread lift results. And on the topic of results, they often last longer than dermal fillers, up to 1-3 years. Whereas, fillers generally last about 8-18 months on average.

Pros and Cons of Fillers

Just as it’s vital to evaluate the pros and cons of PDO thread lifts, it’s important to compare the pros and cons of fillers so you can make an informed decision. 


Perhaps the biggest benefit of dermal fillers is their wide range of applications, as they can be used on nearly every part of the face and several parts of the body. The results for injectable fillers are slightly more immediate than PDO thread lifts, and the downtime following your treatment is also shorter than PDO thread lifts. Results are also long-lasting, with some injectable fillers providing smooth, youthful skin for up to 2 years. 


One of the main detracting factors of dermal fillers is how natural some results can look. Depending on the severity of your facial wrinkles, the sudden change of appearance may appear strange to some people at first. There can also be some additional work required for fillers in the form of periodic facial massaging immediately following treatment to ensure the injected material is evenly distributed.

Which Procedure is Right for You?

To decide whether PDO thread lifts or fillers are right for you, it’s important to first understand what kind of results you’re looking for, and how much you’re willing to spend. If you prefer a measured buildup that provides natural results, then a PDO thread lift is likely the best choice for you. However, if more immediate results that have the capacity to encompass aspects of your whole body sounds favorable, then fillers are likely more suited for you.

Schedule a Consultation with Luminae Today

To learn more about PDO thread lifts, fillers, and many other cosmetic treatments, schedule a consultation with Luminae today to speak with Dr. Phong and our team of skilled aestheticians. We believe everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin, and with our wide range of skills and experience, you’ll be in good hands. 

PDO Thread Lift vs. Fillers

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