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Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles


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The effects of aging on skin, including thinning and loss of muscle tone, result in a flabby or drooping appearance of the face. The demands of an attractive appearance and smooth skin are wanted all around the world. There are a lot of factors which influence the choice of rejuvenation techniques, including anatomy of the facial skeleton, the severity of aging changes, social and economic status of the patient, and structure of the skin. Facelifting is a facial rejuvenation procedure in which by dissection of subcutaneous layers and different suturing techniques we are able to stretch the skin and make the patient look younger. This chapter presents the technique, current concepts, complications, and indications of facelift surgery.
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Chapter 28
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
Fereydoun Pourdanesh,
Mohammad Esmaeelinejad,
Seyed Mehrshad Jafari and Zahra Nematollahi
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
The effects of aging on skin, including thinning and loss of muscle tone, result in a flabby
or drooping appearance of the face. The demands of an attractive appearance and
smooth skin are wanted all around the world. There are a lot of factors which influence
the choice of rejuvenation techniques, including anatomy of the facial skeleton, the
severity of aging changes, social and economic status of the patient, and structure of the
skin. Facelifting is a facial rejuvenation procedure in which by dissection of subcutane‐
ous layers and different suturing techniques we are able to stretch the skin and make
the patient look younger. This chapter presents the technique, current concepts,
complications, and indications of facelift surgery.
Keywords: aging, lifting, rhytidectomy, rhytidoplasty
1. Introduction
Facelifting, also known as a rhytidectomy, technically means removal of wrinkles by surgery
to give a more youthful appearance to the face. Although the history of this surgery goes back
to more than one hundred years ago, in recent decades it has become more popular because
demands of being youthful in middle and senile ages have increased among people. Due to
contemporary improvements in medical care and increased common knowledge about the
importance of healthcare, the life‐span of people all around the world, especially in the first
world countries, has been significantly increased. As a result, the common problems associ‐
ated with senility have gained more attention.
One of the main concerns is facial rejuvenation of wrinkles.
© 2016 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution,
and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
A wrinkle or rhytide is a crease in the skin. Skin wrinkles typically appear as a result of aging
processes such as glycation 1. There are other factors such as age spots, sun ray effects, tissue
sagging, and volume loss, which may also lead to an aged face. The major role of each factor
depends on the skin type of the patient. Sagging or drooping is more prominent in patients
with thick skin whereas patients with thin skin usually manifest aging with wrinkles and
volume loss.
Asian people have thicker skins than Caucasians; therefore, their chief problem is tissue
drooping and have less wrinkles in their face. Due to their relatively thick skin, the weight of
their tissue is considerably more than other groups and performing facelift surgery is more
difficult. Wrinkles begin to form in the early 30s. They usually start in anatomic regions with
the thinnest skin such as the periorbital area. As the body gets older, skin and subcutaneous
fat loses its volume and the collagen and elastic fibers lose their elasticity, which results in
superficial wrinkles.
This chapter briefly explains different approaches of facelifting as well as indications, advan‐
tages, and disadvantages of various modifications of facelift surgery, complications, and post‐
operative care.
2. History of facelift surgery
In early 1900, Hollander introduced the basic facelift surgery which only involved removal of
excessive tissue along the hairline. In 1920, surgeons undermined the subcutaneous layer,
which became the preferred technique. This method improved skin laxity, but it was unable
to address the underlying soft tissues ptosis. Surgeons found that increased skin redundancy
is not the only factor involved in aging processes and there are other factors such as ptosis of
the deep soft tissues, skeletal deformities, and changes in skin texture which play a significant
In 1974, Skoog developed a technique which elevated a subdermal flap in continuity with the
subplatysmal plane in the neck in order to address the deeper tissues. The skin and platysma
muscle were elevated together as a unit to develop a more youthful jawline for the patient.
Although Skoog's technique did not gain acceptance, it was a turning point in facelift surgery.
In 1976, Mitz and Peyronie defined the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) [1]. In
the late 1980s and early 1990s, based on Skoog's technique, Hamra introduced the deep plane
rhytidectomy followed by composite facelift in order to improve the periorbital and nasolabial
regions [2]. Owsley made this technique even better by describing the malar fat pad dissection
and suspension to improve the nasolabial crease [3]. Ramirez introduced the subperiosteal
rhytidectomy technique to improve the cheek, forehead, jowls, lateral canthus, and eyebrows
1 Non-enzymatic glycosylation is the result of typically covalent bonding of a protein or lipid molecule with a sugar
molecule, such as glucose, without the controlling action of an enzyme.
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There have been a lot of comparisons between the risks and benefits of these methods. Less
invasive methods which only included the superficial plane dissection showed decreased risk,
reduced complications, lower morbidity, decreased convalescence, and more patient satisfac‐
More invasive methods, which included deeper plane dissections, showed more stable long‐
term results, better control of the midface and similar risks and complication rates as less
invasive techniques. During the past decade, surgeons tend to reduce the complexity of facelift
procedure and patients demanded less invasive and less complicated surgeries. Nowadays,
due to younger age of facelift procedure, less invasive methods such as endoscopic technique,
minimal incision facelift surgery and suspension sutures have gained popularity.
3. Facelift anatomy
Any surgeon who wants to perform a facelift procedure must know the anatomy of the face.
The first layer in facelift anatomy is the skin. The dermal plexus of blood vessels is responsible
for the skin and facelift flap blood supply. Usually, fat is left adherent to the dermal under
surface of the flap to enhance its viability.
Figure 1. Anatomy of layers of the face. (A) Skin; (B) subcutaneous; (C) SMAS; (D) retaining ligaments; (E) deep fascia;
(F) nerve.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
The next layer is the subcutaneous layer. The fat in this layer is in close contact with deeper
SMAS and superficial dermis. This layer can be safely undermined without damaging the
anatomic structures. The subcutaneous layer has different thicknesses based on the location
and patient. It becomes thickened over the malar region and is attached to it by ligaments
running from the underlying periosteum through the malar pad and insert into the dermis.
This area, also referred to as McGregor's patch, provides resistance when dissecting because
of its fibrous nature.
The third layer is the SMAS layer. This layer separates the subcutaneous fat from the parotid‐
masseteric fascia and facial nerve branches. The SMAS layer is continuous with the galea in
the scalp, the temporoparietal fascia in the temples, and the superior cervical fascia in the neck.
SMAS is continuous with the platysma and separates two layers of fat in the face into super‐
ficial and deep layers. All of the facial muscle motor nerves are deep to this plane (Figure 1).
When this layer is stretched or pulled, it moves the entire lateral face in the desired vector. In
theory, this would allow the face to move more as a unit, thus making expression more efficient.
The fourth surgical plane is the sub‐SMAS plane. It contains the facial nerve motor branches
and the parotid duct. The parotidomasseteric fascia is the layer over the parotid gland and
masseter muscle. By operating superior to this layer, the facial nerve branches are protected.
Just as the SMAS is an extension of the superficial cervical fascia, parotidomasseteric fascia is
also an extension of the superficial layer of the deep cervical fascia into the face and the deep
temporal fascia above the zygomatic arch. By deeper and more anterior dissection beneath this
layer, the chance of injury to the facial nerve branches increases.
There is a sub‐SMAS loose areolar tissue plane extending from the anterior border of the
parotid to the anterior border of the masseter. Blunt dissection in this plane gives the deep
plane facelift (DPFL) dissection the ability to proceed safely even though it is almost intimate
with the underlying facial nerve branches.
As the facial nerve branches move further anteriorly, they pass over the buccal fat pad and
innervate the mimetic muscles. Facial nerve branches, parotid duct, buccal fat pad, and facial
artery and vein are all part of the plane under the parotidomasseteric fascia. Dissection over
the parotid gland must be done with great caution because although it is a safe plane, it may
damage the facial nerve branches as they course out of the parotid gland and cross the masseter
Several other structures may be damaged in a routine facelift procedure. The greater auricular
nerve and external jugular vein are in close contact with sternocleidomastoid muscle. The
greater auricular nerve innervates the earlobe and cheek. These two are always superficial to
the SMAS layer; hence, dissecting in the subcutaneous layer may preserve these structures.
4. Patient selection and evaluation
As any other cosmetic procedure, patient evaluation and selection are very important in the
whole treatment plan. The surgeon should keep in mind that failing to plan is planning to fail.
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During the asking of chief complaint and taking case history, evaluation of psychological
aspect of the patient must be done carefully. Never treat a SIMON2 patient.
At first, the surgeon and the patient must have complete understanding of the procedure and
the risk and benefits. Second of all, the surgeon must know the chief complaint of the patient.
Next, a thorough medical and habitual history must be taken from the patient. Some drugs
such as isotretinoin and vitamin E have adverse effects on healing and must be noted in the
patient's history. Vitamin E supplements and NSAIDs or aspirin should be avoided at least 2
weeks before the surgery. Smoking and alcohol consumption can further delay the healing
period and increase the skin flap necrosis. The patient must be persuaded to quit smoking 2
months before surgery.
Areas such as the jowls, prominent bands in the platysma, and a collection of submental fat
are the most improved areas in facelift procedure. Thorough examination of these regions gives
valuable clues about the treatment plan.
The face is divided into thirds. The upper third consists of the forehead and upper and lower
eyelids, which are not typically addressed in superficial plane rhytidectomy. The middle third
includes ears and cheeks. The surgeon must assess the amount of skin laxity in this region. The
initial position of the earlobe must be noted because there may be a displacement after closure.
The lower third includes chin, jawline, and neck [5].
Dedo classified neck profiles into the following subtypes [6]:
Class 1: No submental fat, good muscle tone, and a well‐defined cervicomental angle.
Class 2: Cervical skin laxity and an obtuse cervicomental angle.
Class 3: Submental fat accumulation; may require submental lipectomy.
Class 4: Platysmal muscle banding.
Class 5: Retrognathia and/or microgenia.
Class 6: Demonstrating a low hyoid.
Based on this classification, the surgeon chooses the best treatment modality possible. In some
cases, facelift surgery alone is not enough for attaining proper results, so other resurfacing
procedures must be discussed with the patient that might be needed in future. Good marking
of the patient's face and neck in upright position before scheduling for anesthesia has an
important role in facelift surgery.
4.1. Indications for facelift surgery
The appearance of wrinkles, folds, and creases on an individual's face is the primary basis for
a surgeon to agree to the operation. Skin drooping of the cheeks and jowls are among the factors
indicating a person as a prime candidate for the facelift procedure. Other factors include
2 Single, immature, male, overly expectant, narcissistic is a patient with excessive concern of their surgery and usually
exaggerates a minor physical defect.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
predominant eye bags, folds in the eye area (crow's feet and laugh lines), and a permanent
crease above the bridge of the nasal region and folds in the forehead. Ideally, the patient should
be around the age of fifty or below. Above this age may not be ideal anymore, because the
work may be more extensive than for younger individuals. This means that more surgeries
may be needed.
Another indication for rhytidectomy is the state of skin in the surgical site. Sun exposure is
one of the main reasons of wrinkles. The sun basically makes the skin look older and constant
exposure of skin to sun exacerbates this matter. Facelift can rejuvenate patients. It is important
to remember that normal looking appearance is one of the primary goals after this kind of
4.2. Contraindications of facelift surgery
Relative contraindications are poor medical health, patients who continuously consume blood‐
thinning medications, patients with unrealistic expectations, and heavy smokers. Fine
wrinkles which can be managed by nonsurgical or conservative treatment very well are
contraindications of facelift surgery. Secondary facelifts should also be done with caution
because the scar from the primary procedure may disrupt the original tissue planes and
increase the risk of facial nerve damage.
5. Facelift techniques
5.1. Subcutaneous facelift
5.1.1. Procedure
Subcutaneous facelift or skin‐only facelift was initially the major concept of the facelift
procedure. Lexer presented skin‐only facelift as a procedure in which the dissection is in a
subcutaneous plane [7]. Subcutaneous dissection is needed in this technique so that muscular
structure and SMAS remain intact. Facelift in this technique is consisted mainly of skin excision
with primary closure. This method was the most popular modification of facelift for a long
time. Although the role of subcutaneous facelift has diminished after deep layer (i.e., SMAS
layer) was presented, the skin‐only facelift is still suggested in selected patients.
This procedure is indicated in thin women with good facial skeleton as well as appropriate
skin tone. Actually, this technique is suitable when the surgeon needs to only reduce the facial
skin excess. Previous facelift surgery with SMAS plication is an indication for subcutaneous
facelift procedure. The results of skin‐only facelift are limited because of not addressing other
senile facial structures. This technique is contraindicated in obese patients, especially with a
non‐ideal facial skeleton. Besides, this procedure is not appropriate in elderlies with severe
aging changes and sagging of deep facial structures [8]. It is also important to consider that
excessive subcutaneous dissection medially especially in smokers make the skin flap at the
risk of ischemia [9].
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5.1.2. Advantages
This procedure is very simple and suitable for beginners. The dissection plane is above the
SMAS layer which contains the facial nerve, so it decreases the risk of nerve injury in this
technique. This procedure is associated with good recovery and is an appropriate technique
in secondary facelift and after that [10]. The complications of this method are not significantly
higher than other DPFL [10, 11].
5.1.3. Disadvantages
The long‐term results of skin‐only facelifts are not very good. This is a major concern for
surgeons. This issue results from two reasons. First, skin viscoelasticity property causes
loosening of tightened skin after a while [12]. Second, intact subcutaneous tissues are suscep‐
tible to ptosis after a period of time because they are not manipulated in this technique.
5.2. SMAS plication facelift
5.2.1. Procedure
Introducing and describing SMAS by Mitz changed the concepts of facelift [1]. This technique
was suggested as a new method to manipulate the subcutaneous tissues to solve the senile
changes of the face including skin wrinkles and deep soft tissue sagging simultaneously. The
fibro‐fatty composition of SMAS layer gives it greater strength against gravity than skin. The
concept of SMAS plication technique was manipulating a stronger layer which can bear more
loads than skin.
The dissection plane in this technique is supra‐SMAS. After dissecting in the subcutaneous
plane, SMAS layer is exposed. The mobile segment of SMAS layer is fixed to the posterior
relatively immobile layer (i.e., parotidomasseteric fascia) by mainly three sutures in a vertical
direction. The excess of SMAS layer could be trimmed after suturing to prevent bulging. This
technique is indicated in middle‐aged patients with thin skins and moderate to severe laxity.
Obese patients with thick skin types are not candidates for this technique.
5.2.2. Advantages
SMAS plication seems to be an easy procedure with little risk for facial nerve damage. Despite
manipulation of SMAS layer, the dissection plane is above this layer and the facial nerve plane
which let this method to be a relatively safe procedure. The surgery time is short and the
recovery would be good in this technique. This technique may have a better esthetic result in
midface area than DPFL [13]. On the other hand, the surgeon may be able to manipulate skin
movements by SMAS plication procedure comparing to MACS lift and less invasive than sub‐
SMAS procedures [14, 15].
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
5.2.3. Disadvantages
Resolving neck aging is more difficult by this technique than DPFL. This issue is related to the
inadequate release of platysma facial attachments [16]. SMAS plication is more invasive than
some other lifting methods such as MACS lift [14]. The surgeon is not able to manipulate deeply
positioned soft tissues under SMAS layer, which results in relatively short‐term outcomes
comparing to DPFLs.
5.3. Minimal access cranial suspension (MACS) lift
5.3.1. Procedure
The main concept of MACS lift was the difference in vector of traction. The skin is re‐draped
in an oblique direction in traditional face lifting. In MACS procedure, the horizontal vector of
traction is avoided and skins simultaneously with under soft tissues are moved vertically [17]
(Figure 2). MACS procedure is mainly divided into two types: simple and extended. The
simple variation of MACS technique is used to correct the lower third of the face and aging
appearance of the neck including jowling and the cervicomental angle by using two purse‐
string sutures. Extended MACS lift was presented to correct nasolabial groove and midface
and lower eyelid senile changes [18]. The incision in the latter form of MACS technique is
Figure 2. (A) The wrong direction of facelifting forms a large dog ear under the ear lobe. (B) The correct direction of
lifting in MACS technique omits the dog ear.
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extended along the temporal hairline and a third purse‐string suture is used to suspend the
malar fat pad (Figure 3).
Figure 3. (A) Incision line in MACS technique. (B) Undermining area in MACS technique.
Submental liposuction is performed before starting MACS lift. The incision is made from lower
limit of the lobule going through the pre‐auricular crease upwards. The upper limits of the
incisions in simple and extended variations are at the level of the lateral canthus and the level
of the tail of the eyebrow, respectively. This procedure is performed in the pre‐SMAS plane
above the plane of facial nerve path. Dissection is performed two fingers below the angle of
mandible. The purse‐string sutures are used to fix the deep temporal fascia in the simple
variation. In the extended variation, the third u‐shaped purse‐string suture is placed between
the anterior part of the deep temporal fascia and the malar fat pad. The skin is excised after re‐
draping in a vertical direction.
5.3.2. Advantages
There are several advantages of MACS procedure suggested in the literature. Small skin
incisions and limited subcutaneous dissection are the major advantages of this technique. The
risk of facial nerve damage is low due to supra‐SMAS dissection. The results are good and the
recovery is rapid in this technique. The surgeon is able to re‐drape the skin of the lower third
of the face, correct the senile changes of the neck, and correct the cervicomental angle [19].
The MACS lift is a shorter procedure than SMAS imbrication with high patient satisfaction
and low morbidity. The short incision in MACS lift is a major advantage in this technique,
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
especially in young patients. Avoiding the postauricualr incision in this method makes this
procedure acceptable in young patients who usually pull their hair up. The risk of hematoma
is low in this technique. Besides, hematoma is easily evacuated and usually does not track into
the neck. The dog ear formation under the ear lobe is prevented in this technique, owing to
the vector of traction [20].
5.3.3. Disadvantages
The limitations of MACS lift procedure are mainly associated with the anatomy of the patient.
The results of this technique are not very good in patients with a bulky neck and significant
skin laxity [21]. The final neck contour is unsatisfactory in bulky neck patients due to limited
skin excision and pure vertical vector of skin re‐draping. The improvement would be less
optimal in the latter group. There is a chance of skin flap irregularity regarding to the excessive
bunching of the purse‐string sutures. Avoiding the ligamentous lysis in this technique prevents
the long‐term results of MACS lift, especially if the sutures pull through. The cheese wiring
effect is also more probable in this facelift modification.
5.4. Deep plane facelift (DPFL)
5.4.1. Procedure
Deep plane rhytidectomy was suggested in place of traditional face lifting to correct aging
changes of midface (i.e., malar fat pad) and nasolabial grooves. The deep plane modification
was presented by Hamra for the first time [2]. The main concept of this technique was based
on reversing gravity's effect by manipulating deep soft tissues to make more satisfying changes
in older patients.
In the beginning of the procedure, subcutaneous dissection is performed 2 to 3 mm anterior
to the tragus. SMAS layer is then incised after a few millimeters exposure. The dissection plane
is the sub‐SMAS plane. There are three main reference points during dissection of DPFL
(Figure 4). Orbicularis oris is the first reference point which should not considered as a part of
the flap in deep plane dissection. Good esthetic results would be achieved by incorporating
most of the soft tissue into the flap. The zygomatic major muscle is the second important
reference point. Deep plane dissection is continued superiorly to the border of this muscle.
The last reference point is the zygomatic minor muscle. Zygomatic cutaneous ligament as a
major facial retaining ligament is lysed directly. It is necessary to release this ligament to
mobilize the midface completely. The final flap consists of skin, subcutaneous tissue, and malar
fat pad [22].
Patients with significant aging changes of midface and mentolabial fold are good candidates
for this procedure. This method is not suggested for patients with irrational expectations and
with poor medical health. This procedure is not suitable in secondary facelift unless the first
one was not a sub‐SMAS procedure. Although DPFL is indicated for smokers in some
investigations [23], the surgeon should be aware of increased risk of wound‐healing compli‐
A Textbook of Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Volume 3
Figure 4. Deep plane rhytidectomy. (A) Subcutaneous dissection is performed 2–3 mm anterior to the tragus. (B) SMAS
layer is then incised after a few millimeters exposure. (C) The dissection plane is the sub‐SMAS plane. (D) Dissected
SMAS layer is obvious. (E) The SMAS layer is sutured to the parotid fascia at the end.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
5.4.2. Advantages
This procedure is performed to gain good results in improvement of nasolabial folds. The
results of this technique are relatively longer than other supra‐SMAS techniques [24]. The
surgeon is able to lyse the major facial retaining ligament (i.e., zygomatic cutaneous ligament)
and assess the herniation of buccal fat pad directly. Dissecting in sub‐SMAS layer and
manipulating deep soft tissues of the face give rise to major changes and improvements of
senile faces.
5.4.3. Disadvantages
This facelift modification is associated with higher risk of facial nerve damage. Mono‐plane
dissection in this procedure does not give the surgeon the ability to move different layers
including skin, subcutaneous, and SMAS layers in various directions.
5.5. Extended SMAS lift
5.5.1. Procedure
Presenting sub‐SMAS dissection by Lemmon was rapidly accepted by cosmetic surgeons [25].
Supporting the overlying skin by manipulating deeper soft tissues (i.e., SMAS layer) is the key
concept of sub‐SMAS modifications. Although SMAS plication seems to provide better results
where the SMAS layer is thin, dissection of thick SMAS layer obtains more satisfactory
This technique was presented by Stuzin et al. in 1995 [26]. The main procedure protocol in this
method is dissecting and drawing skin and SMAS flaps separately. At first, the skin flap is
dissected in the subcutaneous plane. The SMAS layer is incised, after which dissection is
continued in sub‐SMAS plane.
There are five critical landmarks during performing extended SMAS facelifting [27]:
The first point is 1 cm inferior to the zygomatic arch, which is the origin of the frontal branch
of the facial nerve. The incision to start sub‐SMAS dissection is from this point.
The second important landmark is the beginning point of releasing and dissecting the
platysmal auricular ligament. This second landmark is 3 cm below the earlobe.
The third point is 5 cm below the mandibular angle, which is the inferior extent of sub‐
platysmal dissection.
Fourth landmark is the anterior border of the sub‐platysmal dissection, which is identified by
the facial vein where it crosses the inferior border of the mandible.
The last landmark is the zygomaticus major muscle, which is the anterior limit of sub‐SMAS
dissection in the cheek.
The vector of stretching the SMAS layer is different from the skin's [28]. The vector of retracting
the SMAS layer is more vertical than the skin flap. The SMAS and platysma flaps can be rotated
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in the postauricular area to improve the jowl and cervical contour. The SMAS flap is advanced
superolaterally, perpendicular to the nasolabial fold in the malar fat pad area.
5.5.2. Advantages
The surgeon is more able to reverse the effects of the aging process by manipulating skin and
SMAS flaps separately. The outcomes of this technique are long lasting due to releasing the
facial ligaments and repositioning of the malar fat pad. As it was mentioned before, we are
capable of replacing the malar fat pad by this technique. Maximum effects on lower face and
neck can be achieved by creating a continuous SMAS‐platysmal flap. The unnatural appear‐
ance of skin, which sometimes is seen in other facelift techniques, is prevented by reducing
the tension of the skin flap due to separating the skin and SMAS flaps.
5.5.3. Disadvantages
The operation time of this technique is relatively longer than other modifications. This
procedure is technically sensitive and needs a lot of experience to dissect the soft tissue of the
face in two separate parts. The risk of facial nerve damage is relatively high is this method.
Extensive dissection of the skin places is at a higher risk of necrosis. The compromised viability
of the skin flap is a major concern in this technique. This procedure is not indicated in younger
patients with mild aging changes and youthful lower face and neck. Less invasive procedures
such as short scar facelift techniques are preferred in these patients.
5.6. Lateral SMASectomy
5.6.1. Procedure
Lateral SMASectomy was first described by Baker [29]. Lateral SMASectomy or limited SMAS
procedure is a facelift modification in which the lateral portion of the SMAS located between
the mobile and the fixed SMAS is removed.
Classical facelift procedure is begun at first until the SMAS layer is exposed. Superficial fascia
covering the anterior border of parotid gland is excised and discarded. The anterior SMAS
layer which is mobile is stretched in a superoposterior direction and fixed to the posterior fixed
SMAS layer. The vector of tracing the SMAS layer is perpendicular to the nasolabial fold.
Manipulating the SMAS layer is the key concept in determining the stability for satisfactory
results (Figure 5).
This facelift method is indicated in patients younger than 50 with moderate skin laxity and
moderate jowls. There should not be medial platysma bands present on normal animation
although submental fat may be observed [30]. This technique can be performed in microgenia
patients. This procedure is not indicated in the patients over 60 with severe skin laxity in the
neck area.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
Figure 5. Vector of elevation in SMASectomy technique.
5.6.2. Advantages
The outcomes of this procedure continue much longer than SMAS plication technique due to
the stronger fixation of SMAS layer. This technique is relatively easier than complicated
procedures such as DPFL and composite facelift. It is a simple technique with minimal SMAS
dissection and predictable postoperative results [31]. The postoperative pain may be more
tolerable than MACS lift with similar short‐term results [19].
5.6.3. Disadvantages
Manipulation of deep soft tissue is limited in this technique as in SMAS plication method. The
intact facial ligaments after performing this surgery and limited advancement of deep facial
tissues make the results less satisfactory [28]. The risk of facial nerve injury is relatively high
in the current method. Preserving the integrity of SMAS layer after removing the indicated
part is sensitive and needs experience [31]. The visible scar in this technique is a drawback
compared to the short scar facelift modifications; the operation time is longer than MACS lift
procedure [19].
5.7. Subperiosteal facelift
5.7.1. Procedure
Tessier proposed the subperiosteal facelift technique for the first time [32]. It is possible to lift
the soft tissues of the face vertically and reposition them at the level of their bony origin. This
technique rapidly developed and was accepted as a suitable procedure for lifting the upper
two thirds of the face.
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Figure 6. (A) Intraoral dissection to provide direct exposure of subperiosteal dissection. (B) Temporal incision to dis‐
sect zygomatic area subperiosteally. (C) Suturing the midface soft tissue to the temporalis fascia.
There are three main landmarks in subperiosteal facelift [33]:
The first is the SOOF 3. This landmark is located at the cross point of two imaginary lines which
pass through the lateral of the eyebrows and inferior orbital rims.
The malar fat pad is the second important landmark in this procedure. The location of this
point is at the cross of a vertical line passing through the lateral canthus and the horizontal
line passing through the superior margin of the nasal alae.
The last point is Bichat's fat pad, which is located at the cross point of the vertical line passing
through the lateral canthus and the horizontal line passing through the nasal base.
3 Suborbicularis oculi fat.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
Subperiosteal dissection is performed through the incision in the temporal area (Figure 6). The
three mentioned points are lifted and sutured to the deep temporalis fascia. The SOOF, malar
fat pad, and Bichat's fat pad are sutured and suspended to the deep temporalis fascia laterally,
centrally, and medially, respectively. Nowadays, intra‐oral subperiosteal dissection is more
popular due to decreased operation time and reduced nerve damage risk [34].
This procedure is indicated in the patients with significant aging changes. Endoscopic
subperiosteal facelift is an appropriate approach in patients with good skin tone. The other
indication of this technique is in the patient who needs other simultaneous cosmetic proce‐
dures like skin resurfacing and implant or fat transfer. This method is suitable in raising the
eyebrows, eyelid lateral corners, forehead, glabella, cheeks, and nasolabial fold.
5.7.2. Advantages
This technique includes less incisions, use of endoscope, better fixation and allows for repo‐
sitioning of the buccal and malar fat pads. Satisfactory results in correcting orbital festoons
and brow ptosis are possible by this method. The risk of facial nerve damage is very low in
this technique. Long lasting results of this method are expected due to manipulating deeper
tissues and good fixation. The vascularity of the flap is maintained by minimal dissection
and keeping whole layers together, which is an important advantage of this procedure in
smokers. The face appears more natural comparing to SMAS lifting methods.
5.7.3. Disadvantages
This facelift technique is not suitable to use as the second facelift surgery. This procedure is
relatively contraindicated in patients with a history of facial bone fractures. Irregularities of
the face make the subperiosteal dissection much harder.
Prolonged operation time and recovery period are the major drawbacks of this technique. This
technique is not suitable for correcting the aging changes of the lower third of the face and
6. Post‐operative care after facelift surgery
Facelift surgery is one of the most dramatic procedures for rejuvenation. The success rate of
the surgery relies on the surgeon and the patient as well. The surgeon cannot gain satisfactory
results unless the patients follow the post‐operative care properly.
6.1. Immediately after surgery
The patient should be in complete bed rest for the first 24 hours after surgery. The patients will
be wrapped in dressings that will not be removed until 24 hours later. The patient's head must
be elevated for at least the first week after surgery. They should not sleep on the side of their
face but rather sleep supine with the back of the head on the pillow for about 2 weeks. The
A Textbook of Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Volume 3
surgeon should prescribe pain medications to prevent pain. The activities of the patient should
be restricted the day of surgery and up to a week afterwards. The patient should place ice
packs over the surgical site.
6.2. Bleeding
Mild bleeding from the surgical site is not unusual. Head elevation and applying an ice
compress with mild pressure about the face and neck usually decrease the bleeding. Elevation
of the patients’ blood pressure by bending, sneezing, lifting, coughing, straining, straining on
the toilet, and other strenuous activities are the main causes of bleeding. The patient should
refrain absolutely from activities that may increase blood pressure for 10 days after the surgery
to avoid complications from bleeding.
6.3. Swelling
Edema is a routine finding of any surgery. The amount of swelling is dependent on the
looseness of the tissues and the amount of manipulation varies from person to person. Swelling
around the eyes, cheeks, face, and down into the neck and chest are not uncommon. Swelling
starts immediately following surgery and will reach its maximum 2 to 3 days post‐operatively.
Edema will decrease after the third day. The swelling will cause the skin of the face feel tight
for a while. It may interfere with smiling before disappearing within a few weeks.
6.4. Pain
Acetaminophen may be taken every 4 hours for mild pain. NSAIDs are not recommended for
the first several days after surgery because of the increased risk of bleeding and/or bruising.
Narcotics are indicated in severe pain. The patients should avoid alcoholic beverages since it
enhances the effect of the narcotics. Pain and discomfort usually decreased after the first 2 to
3 days. Persistent pain may need attention.
6.5. Diet
Clear liquids should be initially taken after general anesthesia or I.V. sedation. Over the next
several days, a high calorie, high protein intake is very important. Supplements should be
taken regularly. The patient should not be dehydrated by taking fluids regularly. Keeping well
hydrated also prevents nausea and vomiting.
6.6. Wound care
The patients should start cleaning the skin incisions the day after surgery with soap and water
three times per day very gently and pat dried (do not wipe). The incisions should be dried and
cleaned with a 50% solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide should be mixed
with an equal amount of warm tap water and a Q‐tip should be used to clean the incisions.
The incisions should be covered with antibiotic ointment after that. Incisions should not be
allowed to become dry or crust over.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
6.7. Discoloration
Discoloration of the skin following swelling occurs in some cases. Blood spreading beneath
the tissues leads to development of discoloration. This is a normal occurrence in most patients
which occurs 2 to 3 days post‐operatively. Applying moist heat to the area could speed up the
removal of the discoloration. Bruising is rare in younger patients, and sometimes yields as a
slight yellow discoloration. In older patients, bruising can be quite significant and is repre‐
sented as black and blue discoloration. Bruising of large degree may take approximately 2
weeks to resolve.
6.8. Antibiotics
The patient should be prescribed the antibiotics on‐time to prevent postoperative infection.
6.9. Nausea and vomiting
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not give anything by mouth to
the patient for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. Anti‐emetic drugs are useful
to prevent nausea.
7. Complications of the facelift procedure
Some of the complications of facelift surgery are hematoma (the most common complication),
pre‐ and postauricular scar hypertrophy, facial telangiectasia, stitch abscess, neck hyperpig‐
mentation, pre‐ and postauricular skin necrosis, nerve damage, temporal alopecia cutaneous
sloughing or necrosis, seroma, wound dehiscence, hypertrophic scarring, contour irregulari‐
ties, dimpling, and infection [35–42].
The most dangerous complications include hematoma (rates 1.0–15%), infection (0.05–0.18%),
nerve injury (0.07–2.5%), skin sloughing (1.0–1.85%), and systemic vascular complications like
venous thromboembolism (VTE 0.1%) [37, 41, 43, 44]. It has been reported that the complication
rate in patients with a high body mass index (BMI) over 25 was 9.5%, compared to 4.7% in
normal weight patients undergoing a facelift [43].
7.1. Hematoma
Hematoma formation remains the most common major complication after facelift surgery [45–
47]. Common themes in patients who may experience hematoma following facelift include
male sex, hypertension, preoperative medications that affect coagulation such as aspirin use,
smoking, BMI, pre‐ and post‐surgical blood pressure spikes, retching vomiting, post‐surgical
activity, and nausea [46, 47].
Hematomas in face can cause tissue ischemia, long‐term edema, hyperpigmentation, and
patient complaint. The incidence of hematoma reported 0.2‒8.1% (needs a space between
reported and 0.2) in articles [35]. Studies that document the occurrence of hematoma formation
A Textbook of Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Volume 3
following facelift surgery includes the use of drains in the surgical site which have some
problems such as introducing infection into the wound, leakage, and being displaced [48, 49].
They create tracts at the site of removal, necessitate painful extraction, and risk injury to vessels
on removal.
The incidence of hematoma following male rhytidectomy is lower than facelift in females
although the incidence of hematoma in men remains higher than that in women in 30‐year‐
old patients [49]. Meticulous perioperative blood pressure control significantly reduces the
rate of postoperative hematoma formation [45]. Large hematomas can cause skin necrosis and
need to be promptly evacuated.
7.2. Infection
Infection is the second most common major complication occurring in 0.3% facelifts. Combined
procedures and high BMI are risk factors for developing major infection. A post‐facelift
infection is most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus [37, 38].
7.3. Nerve injury
Injury to the facial nerve during a face lift is a relatively rare but serious complication.
Understanding of the anatomical course of the facial nerve and the relative danger zones can
prevent this complication [50].
Two of the most feared complications of facelift surgery are motor and sensory nerve damage
and flap necrosis [51]. Different injuries can result in frontal, buccal, zygomatic, marginal
mandibular, and cervical nerve damage, including direct injury, neurapraxia, thermal injury
from cautery, compression injury from sutures, edema, or hematoma. The greater auricular
nerve is the most common sensory nerve that may be damaged during the facelift procedure.
7.4. Edema and ecchymosis
Although some degree of postsurgical edema can be seen in all patients undergoing a facelift
procedure, some of them show impressive swelling. Patients undergoing multiple procedures,
including brow lift, midface implantinsertion, lip implants, and simultaneous laser resurfacing
can swell to alarming proportions [52].
7.5. Skin slough
Skin slough is a rare occurrence following face lift. The skin flaps are monitored closely during
the postoperative course. Usually, vascular compromise is noted in the preauricular region
and may appear as a distinct area of ecchymosis [41].
7.6. Scarring
With a well‐designed and well‐executed facelift, noticeable scars are unusual, following a face
lift procedure.
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
7.7. Alopecia
There is very little information associated with development of dermatological conditions after
cosmetic surgical procedures, including hair transplantation and facelift surgery. Alopecia
occurs following damage to the hair follicles from electrocautery, excess traction or tension on
the skin flaps, and involuntary elevation or elimination of the temporal hair tuft [41].
7.8. Contour deformities
These temporary deformities are common immediately after rhytidectomy. The preauricular
and submental regions are the usual regions of these deformities occurrence which are related
to post‐surgical edema or ecchymosis [41].
7.9. Flap necrosis
Flap necrosis following facial rhytidectomy is an irritating complication, both to the patient
and to the surgeon [53]. Necrosis of the lipocutaneous flap may result in permanent scars and
prolonged recovery. Causes vary from bandage compression, sleeping position of the patient,
flap sutures under tension, inherent healing difficulties, and no detectable cause. Although
smokers or patients with compromised health are more common to encounter this complica‐
tion, flap necrosis may happen in the best conditions [52].
7.10. Systemic complications
Major complications included deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, blood
transfusions, stroke, important anesthetic complications, and death [41].
8. New trends in non‐surgical rejuvenation
Understanding the facial anatomy and its changes through aging has led to development of
different facelift techniques that focus on being less invasive and less traumatic and also
providing long‐lasting results [54]. Numerous non‐invasive face rejuvenation techniques have
been investigated over the past decade to improve the results of the procedure and to avoid
incisional surgery. Some of the treatment options are as follows: radiofrequency (RF) and
ultrasound therapy that are useful in skin tightening/laxity. Also, there are numerous lipo‐
suction techniques/devices and injectable cytolytic drugs for submental fat reduction. Frac‐
tional lasers and RF devices, chemical peels, micro‐needling, intense pulsed light (IPL),
injectable fillers, pigment and vascular lasers, liquid nitrogen therapy are useful in superficial
dyschromias and rhytides/crepe skin. Moreover, neuromodulators may enhance platysmal
banding. Various types of fillers and volumizers including autologous fat, hyaluronic acid
(HA), and injectable poly‐L‐lactic acid (PLLA) calcium or hydroxylapatite (CaHA) are used.
A novel bimodal technique to restore volume loss facial structures for panfacial lipo‐atrophy
with PLLA has been introduced [55, 56].
A Textbook of Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Volume 3
A novel, minimally invasive, RF device employing a bipolar micro‐needle electrode system is
introduced, varying the pulse length allowed for fractional sparing of dermal tissue. In some
studies, bipolar mode delivering energy directly within the dermis using five micro‐needle
electrode pairs is used with real‐time feedback of tissue temperature for treatment control.
Superficial cooling is achieved with a Peltier device [57].
The thermaCool TC (Thermage Inc.) is a RF device to induce tightening of the addressed skin
problem via a uniform volumetric heating into the deep dermis tightening, resulting in a
“nonsurgical facelift”. RF produces a uniform volumetric heating into the deep dermis.
Gradual tightening is produced by this technique in most patients with no adverse effects [58,
Laser, light, and RF energy sources have succeeded in treating the second category of skin
aging; however, the surgical facelift is still the gold standard in treatment of laxity associated
with intrinsic aging [60].
Laser resurfacing was presented in the 1980s with continuous wave carbon dioxide (CO2)
lasers; however, because of many side effects, including scarring, short‐pulse, high‐peak
power, and rapidly scanned, normal‐mode erbium‐doped yttrium aluminium garnet lasers
and focused‐beam CO2 lasers were developed to remove skin in a precisely controlled manner
[61]. Laser skin tightening is an FDA‐approved method for the reduction of fine wrinkles and
skin laxity. Laser skin tightening is a non‐surgical, minimally invasive technique that uses an
infrared light source to tighten skin through collagen heating under the skin's surface, causing
the skin to contract [62]. Facial rejuvenation using polydioxanone (PDO) thread is a safe and
effective procedure associated with only minor complications in cases of fine wrinkles, face
sagging, and marked facial pores [63].
One important advance in facial rejuvenation is the use of fiber endoscopic video‐assisted
technique in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face. It substitutes the coronal incision with no skin
resection and leads to a vertical reposition of the mobile soft tissue of the midface in indicated
cases. It needs only a small incision of the scalp just behind the coronal incision and in the
temporal area [64].
Pak et al. introduced a nonabsorbable polypropylene mesh as a newface lifting instrument,
with the nasolabial fold as the main target area. Face lifting using a nonabsorbable mesh can
improve nasolabial folds without serious adverse effects. So, this is a safe and effective
technique in midface rejuvenation [65].
Incorporation of selective fat compartment volume restoration through SMAS manipulation
allows for improved control in recontouring while addressing the problem of volume deflation
in facial aging. Facial rejuvenation is described through merging two key important points
based on lift‐and‐fill face lift: (1) lifting and tightening tissues in differential vectors according
to original facial asymmetry and shape; and (2) precious facial contouring through selective
fat compartment filling of malar locations (deep and high) and graft of nasolabial fold fat [66].
Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
9. Summary
Cosmetic surgeries including facelift operation are becoming increasingly popular, and facial
rejuvenation remains one of the most commonly requested aesthetic procedures. Many lifting
procedures can be used in order to reduce sagging of skin and subcutaneous tissues and create
a more youthful face. In the forehead and eyebrow region, the direct brow lift, temporal brow
lift, transferable pharoplastic brow lift, coronal brow lift, and the endoscopic brow lift can be
identified. The facelift is considered in the mid‐face. Classic facelifts can be divided into the
one layer, two layers, and the deep plane facelift (DPFL). The incidence of postoperative
complications associated with lifting procedures is rare, but clinically important. Hematoma,
skin necrosis of the wound edges, infection, nerve injuries are some of these complications.
Today, the tendency toward minimally invasive procedures with smaller risk of complications
and shorter recovery period are desired.
Author details
Fereydoun Pourdanesh1, Mohammad Esmaeelinejad1*, Seyed Mehrshad Jafari1 and
Zahra Nematollahi2
*Address all correspondence to:
1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti
University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Dental Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University
of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran and Craniomaxillofacial Research Center, Azad
University, Dental Branch, Tehran, Iran
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Facelift: Current Concepts, Techniques, and Principles
... Although it was shown to improve skin laxity, underlying soft tissue ptosis was not addressed. 15 Then Aufricht described suture plication of the subcutaneous fatty tissue (now known as the SMAS) to enhance cheek elevation. This SMAS-plication method was suggested to manipulate the sub-tissues and simultaneously solve senile changes of the face because the fibro-fatty composition gives greater strength against gravity than skin. ...
... This SMAS-plication method was suggested to manipulate the sub-tissues and simultaneously solve senile changes of the face because the fibro-fatty composition gives greater strength against gravity than skin. 15 A B C D This superficial fascial layer was formally nominated as the SMAS by Mitz and Peyronie in 1976. Because the SMAS is continuous with the platysma and separates 2 layers of fat in the face, when it is stretched or pulled, it moves the entire lateral face in the desired vector, which in theory allows the face to move more as a unit. ...
... Because the SMAS is continuous with the platysma and separates 2 layers of fat in the face, when it is stretched or pulled, it moves the entire lateral face in the desired vector, which in theory allows the face to move more as a unit. 15 In 1997, Baker described the lateral SMAS-ectomy as a modification to the standard SMAS-plication; the strip of SMAS overlying the anterior parotid edge is excised rather than plicated, and the mobile anterior edge of the excised SMAS is secured to the fixed SMAS edge. 16 The facial aging process is complex and dependent on a variety of factors, including soft tissue descent, skin wrinkling, volume depletion, collagen loss, and ligament laxity as well as bone loss and remodeling. ...
Background Patients desire facelifting procedures to look younger, refreshed, and attractive. Unfortunately, there are few objective studies assessing the success of types of facelift procedures and ancillary techniques. Objectives The authors sought to utilize convolutional neural network algorithms alongside patient-reported FACE-Q outcomes to evaluate perceived age reduction and patient satisfaction following various facelift techniques. Methods Standardized preoperative and postoperative (1-year) images of patients who underwent facelift procedures were analyzed by 4 neural networks to estimate age reduction after surgery (n = 105). FACE-Q surveys were employed to measure patient-reported facial aesthetic outcome. We compared (1) facelift procedure type: skin-only vs superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS)-plication, vs SMAS-ectomy; and (2) ancillary techniques: fat grafting (malar) vs no fat grafting. Outcomes were based on complications, estimated age-reduction, and patient satisfaction. Results The neural network preoperative age accuracy score demonstrated that all neural networks were accurate in identifying our patients’ ages (mean score = 100.4). SMAS-ectomy and SMAS-plication had significantly greater age-reduction (5.85 and 5.35 years, respectively) compared with skin-only (2.95 years, P < 0.05). Fat grafting compared to no fat grafting demonstrated 2.1 more years of age reduction. Facelift procedure type did not affect FACE-Q scores; however, patients who underwent fat grafting had a higher satisfaction with outcome (78.1 ± 8 vs 69 ± 6, P < 0.05) and decision to have the procedure (83.0 ± 6 vs 72 ± 9, P < 0.05). Conclusions Artificial intelligence algorithms can reliably estimate the reduction in apparent age after facelift surgery. Facelift technique, like SMAS-ectomy or SMAS-plication, and specific technique, like fat grafting, were found to enhance facelifting outcomes and patient satisfaction.
... 6 Complications, such as hematoma formation, infection, nerve damage, bruising, skin slough or necrosis, facial telangiectasia, edema, seroma, and wound healing can occur, as can systemic complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke; and anesthetic complications. 1,5,[7][8][9][10][11] Hematomas occur when blood pools beneath the skin, outside the blood vessels, and can be classified as major or minor in severity. Both types are of significant concern, as each negatively affects patient outcomes. ...
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Background Hematomas are consistently cited as the most common complication of facelift surgery, with reported incidence rates ranging from 1 to 9% despite preventative measures. A self-assembling RADA16 peptide solution (PuraSinus, 3-D Matrix, Newton, MA) designed to aid in wound healing, adhesion prevention, and bleeding control has demonstrated hemostatic control of intra- and postoperative bleeding associated with various surgical procedures, including nasal and sinus surgery. Objectives To report surgical experience using novel application of RADA16 hemostatic agent in facelift procedures. Methods Through exploring incorporation of RADA16 hemostatic agent into standard of care, 15 higher-risk facelift patients were treated intraoperatively between December 2020 and July 2021. Postoperative follow-up was on post-procedure day 1 and 3 and at approximately one week. During follow-up, potential complications were assessed subjectively, including hematoma, swelling, and bruising; postoperative observations recorded; and photographs taken. Results Among facelift patients receiving intraoperative RADA16 hemostatic agent there were no hematomas or protracted ecchymosis events. The only significant complication was one patient admitted for intravenous hydration due to post-operative nausea and vomiting. All patients had minimal bruising or a dramatic absence of bruising and experienced no hemorrhage or hematoma. Through surgical experience, technique for RADA16 hemostatic agent placement was optimized and procedural details are provided. Conclusions Intraoperative administration of topical RADA16 hemostatic agent appears to deter acute hematoma and hemorrhage formation and early experience suggests that RADA16 hemostatic agent may also attenuate post-operative bruising in facelift patients. These observations warrant further investigation in a larger randomized controlled study.
Facelift is the gold standard surgical procedure for rejuvenation of the lower face and neck. Results are excellent when performed with meticulous technique on appropriately selected patients. A thorough knowledge and understanding of facial anatomy are most important for any surgeon who performs facelift, and are necessary to perform successful surgery and to avoid complications. This chapter provides a brief review of facial anatomy and describes some facelift techniques which are used today.
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Background Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a prominent technique for facial rejuvenation with 126 713 performed in the United States in 2014. Current literature on facelift complications is inconclusive and derives from retrospective studies. Objectives This study reports the incidence and risk factors of major complications following facelift in a large, prospective, multi-center database. It compares complications of facelifts done alone or in combination with other cosmetic surgical procedures. Methods A prospective cohort of patients undergoing facelift between 2008 and 2013 was identified from the CosmetAssure database. Primary outcome was occurrence of major complications, defined as complications requiring emergency room (ER) visit, hospital admission, or reoperation within 30 days of the procedure. Univariate and multivariate analysis evaluated risk factors including age, gender, BMI, smoking, diabetes, combined procedures, and type of surgical facility. Results Of the 129 007 patients enrolled in CosmetAssure, 11 300 (8.8%) underwent facelifts. Facelift cohort had more males (8.8%), diabetics (2.7%), elderly (mean age 59.2 years) and obese (38.5%) induviduals, but fewer smokers (4.8%). Combined procedures accounted for 57.4% of facelifts. Facelifts had a 1.8% complication rate, similar to the rate of 2% associated to other cosmetic surgeries. Hematoma (1.1%) and infection (0.3%) were most common. Combined procedures had up to 3.7% complication rate compared to 1.5% in facelifts alone. Male gender (relative risk 3.9) and type of facility (relative risk 2.6) were independent predictors of hematoma. Combined procedures (relative risk 3.5) and BMI ≥ 25 (relative risk 2.8) increased infection risk. Conclusions Rhytidectomy is a very safe procedure in the hands of board-certified plastic surgeons. Hematoma and infection are the most common major complications. Male gender, BMI ≥ 25, and combined procedures are independent risk factors. Level of Evidence: 2 Risk
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Facial rejuvenation procedures can be roughly divided into face lift surgery and nonoperative, less invasive procedures, such as fat grafts, fillers, botulinum toxin injections, thread lifts, or laserbrasion. Face lift surgery or rhytidectomy is the procedure most directly associated with rejuvenation, due to its fundamental ability to restore the anatomical changes caused by aging. Various methods of face lift surgery have been developed over the last hundred years, thanks to advances in the understanding of facial anatomy and the mechanisms of aging, as well as the dedication of innovative surgeons. However, no generally applicable standard method exists, because the condition of each patient is different, and each operative method has advantages and disadvantages. Specific characteristics of the skin of Asians and their skeletal anatomy should be considered when determining the operative method to be used on Asian patients. Plastic surgeons should improve their ability to analyze the original aesthetic properties and problem areas of each patient, drawing on scientific knowledge about the aging process, and they should develop the skills necessary to perform various rejuvenative techniques. In the present article, we reviewed various face lift procedures and the current methods of modified double plane face lift, based on our clinical experience of over 30 years.
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Background: Facial rejuvenation can be achieved using a variety of techniques. Since minimally invasive procedures for face lifting have become popular because of their convenience and short operating time, numerous minimally invasive surgical procedures have been developed. In this study, a nonabsorbable polypropylene mesh is introduced as a new face lifting instrument, with the nasolabial fold as the main target area. In this paper, we report the efficacy and safety of a polypropylene mesh in midface rejuvenation. Methods: Thirty-three subjects with moderate-to-severe nasolabial folds were enrolled from two medical institutions for a noncomparative single-sample study. A mesh was inserted above the superficial muscular aponeurotic system layer, reaching the nasolabial folds through a temporal scalp incision. After 3 weeks, the temporal end of the mesh was pulled to provide a lifting effect. Then, the mesh was fixed to the deep temporal fascia using nonabsorbable sutures. To evaluate efficacy, we compared the scores on the Wrinkle Severity Rating Scale and a visual analog scale for patient satisfaction between the baseline and 7 weeks postoperatively. In addition, we evaluated safety based on the incidence of adverse events. Results: The treatment was deemed effective at improving wrinkles in 23 of 28 cases, and patient satisfaction improved significantly during the study period. There were seven cases of skin or subcutaneous tissue complications, including edema and erythema, but there were no suspected serious adverse events. Conclusions: Face lifting using a nonabsorbable mesh can improve nasolabial folds without serious adverse effects. Thus, this technique is safe and effective for midface rejuvenation.
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This study aimed to compare the average amounts of facial skin and muscle lifting in two different face-lift methods, superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) plication and minimal access cranial suspension (MACS), to evaluate the effectiveness of each method in facial excursion. Thirty-six face-lift surgeries were performed on nine cadavers between October and December 2010. Both SMAS and MACS surgeries were done on each side of the cadaver faces. The average amounts of skin and muscle lifting up and out in three defined anatomical landmarks were compared between the two methods, SMAS plication and MACS lift procedure. Nine fresh cadavers with the mean age of 53 ± 6.7 years entered the study. Seven (77.8 %) were males and two (22.2 %) were females. The average amounts of lifting of the anatomical landmarks up and out were significantly greater in the SMAS plication method compared to the MACS lift procedure (P values <0.05), whereas facial symmetry was not significantly different between the two methods. The overall amounts of facial skin and muscle lifting by the SMAS plication method were greater than the MACS lift procedure. However, it does not justify ignoring the benefits of the MACS lift procedure in terms of less invasiveness and quicker recovery. This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each submission to which Evidence-Based Medicine rankings are applicable. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .
This article outlines the author’s philosophy on facial aging that he uses in a surgical technique that is unique because it requires no SMAS tightening, incision above the auricle, deep-plane dissection, subperiosteal dissection, or stitches in the face above the mandibular border. The fatty nasolabial and labiomandibular prominences are excised using sharp dissection or curette to flatten these areas. Various case studies with extensive follow-up are provided. In the author’s experience, this surgical technique has snorter recovery time, higher patient satisfaction, fewer complications, excellent longevity, and a more natural aesthetic result than deeper and more extensive techniques.
There is an increasing trend shifting the aesthetic focus downward from the face with a significant number of new treatments aimed at the aging neck and below. Clinical characteristics of neck youth include clear skin texture and tone without laxity or fat, in addition to a well-defined cervicomental angle and distinct mandibular border. Similarly to treating facial aging, the neck requires a comprehensive assessment of all factors involved in the aging process - loss of volume, increased skin laxity, worsening texture and clarity, and crepe skin/wrinkling - as each requires a combination approach for improvement. It is essential to address each above factors for more than minimal improvement. A multitude of options including neuromodulators, energy based devices, surgery, and injectable agents for fat reduction are available in our armamentarium and understanding these options solo, or ideally in combination, is essential for best practice and optimal results. Herein, we describe synergic approaches to the treatment of neck aging. J Drugs Dermatol . 2015;14(11):1215-1228.
Thread lifting is a minimally invasive technique for facial rejuvenation. Various devices for thread lifting using polydioxanone (PDO) are popular in aesthetic clinics in Korea, but there have been a few studies regarding its use. To describe PDO thread and techniques adopted to counteract the descent and laxity of the face. A retrospective chart review was conducted over a 24-month period. A total of 31 thread lifting procedures were performed. On each side, 5 bidirectional cog threads were used in the procedure for the flabby skin of the nasolabial folds. And, the procedure was performed on the marionette line using 2 twin threads. In most patients (87%), the results obtained were considered satisfactory. Consensus ratings by 2 physicians found that objective outcomes were divided among "excellent," "good," "fair," and "poor." Texture wise, the outcome ratings were 13 as excellent and 9 as good. Lifting wise, ratings were 11 as excellent and 6 as good. The incidence of complications was low and not serious. Facial rejuvenation using PDO thread is a safe and effective procedure associated with only minor complications when performed on patients with modest face sagging, fine wrinkles, and marked facial pores.
Injury to the facial nerve during a face lift is a relatively rare but serious complication. A large body of literature has been dedicated toward bettering the understanding of the anatomical course of the facial nerve and the relative danger zones. Most of these prior reports, however, have focused on identifying the location of facial nerve branches based on their trajectory mostly in two dimensions and rarely in three dimensions. Unfortunately, the exact location of the facial nerve relative to palpable or visible facial landmarks is quite variable. Although the precise location of facial nerve branches is variable, its relationship to soft-tissue planes is relatively constant. The focus of this report is to improve understanding of facial soft-tissue anatomy so that safe planes of dissection during surgical undermining may be identified for each branch of the facial nerve. Certain anatomical locations more prone to injury and high-risk patient parameters are further emphasized to help minimize the risk of facial nerve injury during rhytidectomy.
Hematoma continues to be the most common complication after rhytidectomy. Perioperative hypertension is a known risk factor, and meticulous control of this has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of postoperative hematoma development, thus improving outcomes and decreasing patient morbidity. Despite this, there are few well-described hypertension management regimens in the literature today. A retrospective chart review of 1089 patients undergoing rhytidectomy performed by a single surgeon was conducted. A predetermined antihypertensive protocol was used in all patients that included the routine use of transdermal clonidine. A target systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or less was the goal of therapy, and close hemodynamic monitoring was used throughout the entire perioperative phase. The incidence of postoperative hematoma was then assessed. The overall incidence of postoperative hematoma was 0.9 percent (10 patients). Of these patients, five were female (0.05 percent) and five were male (5.2 percent). Preoperatively, 170 patients were noted to be hypertensive, with a systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg. Postoperatively, 355 patients were found to be hypertensive (p < 0.001). Of the patients who developed a postoperative hematoma, eight patients (80 percent) had documented hypertension (systolic blood pressure >140 mmHg) in the postanesthesia care unit (p = 0.045). Male sex was found to be a significant risk factor for the development of hematoma (p < 0.001). Meticulous perioperative blood pressure control significantly reduces the rate of postoperative hematoma formation. The use of a specific protocol developed by our senior author and primary anesthesia provider contributed to our very low hematoma rates. Therapeutic, IV.