Facelift Practice Evolution: Objective Implementation of New Surgical Techniques

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Abstract

Background

Facial rejuvenation is an elective procedure commonly performed to combat the consequences of normal aging. The senior author’s practice initially consisted of traditional facelifts with superficial muscular apopneurotic system plication and/or superficial muscular apopneurotic system flap. After the development of the minimal access cranial suspension (MACS) technique by Tonnard et al., the senior author transitioned to an almost exclusive MACS facelift practice. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of the MACS technique versus the traditional facelift approach and objectively incorporate these results into practice.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study design was performed to identify all patients who underwent a facelift by the senior author between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2015. Patient demographics, comorbidities, type of procedure, complications, revision surgery, and objective surgeon satisfaction were among the parameters recorded. This was compared with an historical cohort of the senior author’s earlier experience.

Results

There was a statistically significant decrease in the use of the MACS facelift procedure between this study and the senior authors' seminal study. Within this study cohort, compared with conventional facelift, the MACS technique was done on younger patients, proved to have significantly shorter operative time, mean follow up, and allowed for additional concurrent non-facial procedures when compared with the traditional approach (all comparisons significant at P < 0.05). However, continued postoperative neck laxity, submental pleating, and periocular pleating were seen with the MACS technique.

Conclusions

The current study shows that the MACS technique is better suited for young patients with lesser cervical bulk or laxity and provides an opportunity for concurrent nonfacial procedures. Objective assessment with recognition of the limitations of the MACS technique versus the traditional facelift approach has led to a change in the senior author’s practice. Although the MACS lift incurs shorter procedure time and quicker recovery, it does demonstrate limitations when it comes to marked skin laxity and bulky necks/platysmal banding. Both techniques are used with in line with the respective limitations and advantages.

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