By Mariusz J.A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC (Dermatology)

Face Lift - A Treatment for Everyone?

Face Lift is a procedure that most people can benefit from. This may sound too radical but most people feel a need and desire to look their best. When skin creams and lotions, Botox, lasers, chemical peels and fillers fail - face lift may offer the solution that is difficult to resist. Of course, many people are afraid of having surgery and having a 'surgical look' but fortunately face lifting techniques have evolved considerably to offer patients less invasive methods that even the most sophisticated patient can find attractive. You can read more information on www.CosmeticProcedureGuide.ca

How The Technique Is Performed:

Face lift remains one of the most effective rejuvenating methods for the aging face. Its technique varies from simple skin excision to complex procedure including the repositioning of muscles, fat and skin. Recent trends in patients desires of having effective facial improvement while minimizing down-time have led to the development of newer, less traumatic, short scar, less recovery methods. Full understanding of the face and neck anatomy as well as the changes associated with aging process is required by the physician prior to undertaking any face lift procedure.

Two key subcutaneous structures are at the core of face-lift surgery - superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) and platysma. SMAS is a fibrous interlocking, sometimes ill-defined, structure/sheath deep to the skin fat. It extends from platysma muscle (a thin, fan-like muscle that extends from both collar bones to the jaw line) and reaches cheekbones as well as temple and scalp components. These two structures are utilized and modified in most face lift procedures.

As we age, several facial components undergo significant changes. The skin becomes less elastic that is associated with decrease in collagen support. Furthermore, there is modification of the facial fat with respect to its amount and position. In addition, there is remodeling of facial bones that in combination with fat and skin changes lead to aged facial appearance.

Most of the surgical face lifts procedures today are a variation of two-plane face lift - use of the epidermal-dermal component (full thickness skin) as well as the SMAS-platysma component. Optimal results require modification of SMAS-platysma component through resection, placation and/or suspension. It is this modification that is at the core of most face-lifts. These adjusted deep supporting structures provide durable framework over which skin can be safely re-draped. It is imperative to realize that stretching skin alone will not result in any sustained improvement and can lead to skin death, appearance of 'surgical look' as well as significant facial distortion and scarring.

The Latest Techniques:

Latest face lift techniques utilize shorter skin incisions and are primarily designed for patients with mild to moderate jowls and neck laxity. With the recent advancements in local anesthetic and, in particular, the development of tumescent anesthesia, most face lift procedures can be safely and comfortably accomplished without the need for the traditional general anesthesia. These modified procedures have accomplished several things. Shorter incisions and local anesthetic make the recovery from modern face lifts much easier than in the past. In addition, the shorter scar and resulting less significant distortion of hairline make these methods much more appealing for modern men and women.

What Every Patient Needs To Do

As with any aesthetic procedure, pre-operative consultation is an optimal time for defining patient's motivation for aesthetic improvement and developing plan of action. It is at this time that patient's desires and fears can be explored. It is important for the patient to ask pertinent questions regarding the expected degree of sustained facial rejuvenation, the length of the scar as well as modification of the temporal and post-auricular hairline. With proper patient selection and optimization of desired procedure, most patients can achieve rewarding sustained results that can benefit most if not all of us at some point in our life.

For more information about skin care, go to www.SkinCareGuide.ca.

About the author:
About the Author: Mariusz J. A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC is the Director of the Western Canada Dermatology Institute located in Edmonton, Alberta. He is also the Clinical Assistant Professor at the Division of Dermatology, University of Alberta, in Edmonton. His areas of expertise include cosmetic and laser surgery. Learn more on www.youthfulimage.com



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