Plastic surgery has been a growing field in medicine for over a century. Initially, procedures were performed to correct facial defects such as cleft palate or nasal deformities. In the early 1900s, though, that all changed. It changed when a Polish aristocrat requested that a surgeon lift her cheeks and the corners of her mouth. The surgeon, Eugen Holländer, did so by excising an elliptical piece of tissue from the ear area. The tissue involved was limited to the skin, which resulted in a good, albeit windblown appearance. This is precisely how most people perceive the facelift, as a procedure that will make them look unnaturally tight. Here, we discuss how this perception is mistaken.
Steps in a New Direction
It is no secret that the field of plastic surgery has evolved significantly over time. Still, people fear that if they get a facelift, they won’t look like themselves. In the right hands, this is very unlikely. That’s because, in the 1960s, research revealed that facial aging was affected not only by the descent and loosening of the skin but also by the degradation of layers of muscle and fat beneath the surface. These layers were named the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or SMAS. Once surgeons realized their involvement in facial aging, the facelift took steps in a new direction. At first, doctors tightened the skin and the muscle. By the 1970s, the entire SMAS was involved in facelift surgery and, with that, the windblown look was eliminated.
Modern Day Facial Rejuvenation
It should be said that today’s facelift procedure is much more refined than it ever was but, even with that, patients should take their time choosing a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon who routinely performs this procedure. With an experienced surgeon, patients can discuss their concerns and discover if the traditional facelift is even right for them. Some people are better suited to a brow lift, neck lift, or eyelid rejuvenation surgery called blepharoplasty. Some people can get their desired improvements without surgery at all. This is the exciting aspect of today’s facelift, that it may not be a facelift at all.
Renaissance Plastic Surgery offers surgical and nonsurgical solutions to the common signs of aging. To explore them, contact our St. Peters, MO office at (636) 896-0600.