PDO vs PLLA vs PCL threads

Comparison of PDO, PCL and PLLA thread

Thread lifts have become increasingly popular procedures for patients seeking less invasive options for facial lifting. They are known for their ability to deliver results comparable to surgical procedures, albeit semi-permanent.

The threads come in various materials and shapes: PDO (Polydioxanone), PLLA (Polylactic acid), PCL (Polycaprolactone). All threads are used in aesthetic treatments to tighten, volumise and lift the skin, and some of the threads have several materials combined in them such as APTOS threads. But which thread to choose and why would they be used in different parts of the body? Then, in the following article, we’ll show you the differences between PDO threads, PLLA threads, and PCL theads.

What’s PDO Thread?

PDO Thread Lift is the latest and revolutionary treatment for skin tightening and lifting as well as V-line lifting. These threads are made of PDO (polydioxanone) material which is similar to the threads used in surgical stitches.

PDO (Polydioxanone) is very thin and fine thread. It is made of absorbable materials so naturally absorb in the skin. PDO would continuously stimulate collagen synthesis under the skin. When inserted into the skin, it acts as a “scaffold” for the skin which helps to “hold” the skin against the effects of gravity. These “mesh” of threads can also shape the face by lifting and supporting sagging structures.

face thread lifting

PDO threads are most commonly used in aesthetic practice, lasts 6-12 months, during which they are completely absorbed within 6-8 months and stimulate collagen production for another 4-6 months.

PDO threads are effective in improving pores, fine wrinkles, by collagen formation in the dermal matrix to increase the thickness of thinning skin and can be used for acne scarring and body skin laxity.

Body PDO Threads are used to tighten sagging skin on the stomach, buttocks, back, inner thighs, and upper arms, treat cellulite and stretch marks. It has been shown to improve lymph drainage, has a lipolytic effect and elastin production.

What’s PLLA Thread?

Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA — same as the filler known as Sculptra), another material often chosen for surgical sutures, is even more effective at simulating collagen production with a thread lifetime of more than two years.

PLLA is naturally found in the body and has been approved by the US FDA for use as a filler component Biodegradable (into CO2 and H2O). Once dissolved, the material breaks down into lactate, glucose, carbon dioxide and water, and has become one of the commonly used materials by advanced threadlift doctors for treatment. Even after the thread has dissolved, collagen production can last for up to one more year.

What’s Thread lifting PCL?

PCL (Polycaprolactone), also known as Vitamin Thread, is one of the safest material for bioresorbable medical devices with CE and FDA approval for several decades. It has been used for various medical purposes such as sutures and medical implants.

PCL has a very long maintenance period and is excellent in collagen regeneration. Unlike PLLA, it does not wrinkle or break easily due to its soft material. The slow rate of degradation of such threads also makes it a good material to deliver Vitamin C at an expected rate to the surrounding tissues. Vitamin C is proven for preventing pigment formation, lightening pigments that have formed and has anti-aging effects (prevents the formation of free oxygen radicals generated by UV rays). It is also very potent at stimulating collagen production. Once dissolved, the material breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, and is fast becoming the latest in-thing for dark eye circles reduction. Even after the thread has dissolved, collagen production can last for up to one more year.

PCL threads are more powerful than PDO or PLLA threads. Best used for jawline tightening, nose lift, and mid-face tissue replacement.

PDO vs PCL vs PLLA thread

Biodegradation period6-8 months16-24 months14-18 months
Tensile Strength2 stars3 stars1 stars
Hardness2 stars1 stars3 stars
Safety3 stars3 stars3 stars
Material ColorVioletWhiteWhite
ApplicationFace lifting, Nose liftingFace lifting, Nose liftingCollagen regeneration, Volume up, Skin firming
Comparison of PDO, PCL, and PLLA thread

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