Looking at some of the elements of a successful facelift
A facelift, also known as a Rhytidectomy, is usually intended to reduce the appearance of age-related wrinkles and sagging facial skin. The traditional method involves a plastic surgeon gently lifting part of a patient’s facial skin and tightening underlying tissues before repositioning the skin to look more aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, surgeons will cut away and dispose of a small amount of the skin or fat during the procedure in order to facilitate a tighter, smoother appearance. Doctors will usually take care to ensure that they make the incision in an area that will cannot easily be seen post-surgically, such as under their patient’s hairline.
While much of the basics of the facelift have stayed the same over time, the procedure has undergone important changes in recent years, potentially making it safer, longer lasting, and more effective. Scientific research, an increase in the number of operations being performed, and an ever-increasing knowledge of the human body (especially the facial musculature) have all contributed to the evolution of this highly-popular cosmetic surgery.
In particular, many modern procedures target the SMAS, or Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System, the tissue located below the skin and above the facial nerves, in order to create better and longer-lasting results.
Why SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) facelifts are popular
In the last few decades, SMAS facelifts have become popular due to their ability to create a natural, youthful look in patients. When compared with procedures that do not impact the SMAS, SMAS-based options can often better lift sagging skin and muscle, especially subcutaneous fat and connective tissues in significantly older individuals. By treating the deepest two-thirds of the face, SMAS-facelifts can also help improve the appearance of a patient’s neck.
Part of the reason why SMAS-based procedures are so effective is that shallower facelifts focus on the patient’s skin and do not sufficiently address the underlying supporting tissue. In many cases, this deep tissue may be sagging – and by focusing on the skin, a procedure could lead to problems including abnormal tension, an unnatural appearance, scarring, and overall discomfort. SMAS-based interventions provide much better support for a patient’s face and more easily allow medical professionals to contour the results.
Additionally, SMAS-based procedures do not usually require an increase in the tightness, or tension, of the skin during a procedure; this can avoid the unnaturally tight look that characterizes some cosmetic facial procedures.
Facelifts and the right vector pull
When it comes to the modern facelift, knowing which direction and angle (vector pull) along which to adjust a patient’s tissue is critical to a successful surgical outcome. As a patient ages, his or her facial skin and underlying tissue may be pulled in various angles (vectors), sometimes referred to as “vectors of aging.”
While earlier procedures often corrected these vectors by pulling a patient’s skin or muscles at a horizontal angle, most modern surgeons agree that angling the skin and muscles at a 45-degree angle will create a longer-lasting and more natural look. However, the correct angle of pull can depend on a variety of factors, including the individual and the extent of the chosen facelift procedure.
Overall, SMAS-based procedures along with an appropriate vector pull tend to achieve the best facelift results.
Thomassen Plastic Surgery is the top choice for South Florida patients looking for an award-winning plastic surgeon who provides natural-looking results. Contact us for more information about breast augmentation or the many other procedures we offer.