Suspender & Adjustable Facelift
One way to achieve a younger appearance is to undergo facelift surgery, but the scars may be visible and recurrence of skin and tissue laxity in the neck and jowls is nearly inevitable. These signs of the continuing aging process and gravity often occur a few years after the procedure but may become visible in several months depending on the facelift techniques utilized and the patient’s skin type, racial and genetic background, diet, smoking habits, and overall state of health.
Facelift scars have always been a dead giveaway for facial rejuvenation. Traditionally, when a facelift is completed, the skin is pulled tight, excess skin is removed, and the edges are brought together and closed in front of and behind the ears. The results of this procedure sometimes include an unsightly hypertrophic scar due to tension applied during closure in the effort to create a tighter look. When swelling has resolved, there may be a recurrence of the initial skin laxity, which unfortunately, often occurs rather quickly. Fortunately, a revolutionary new concept has been developed to shorten the duration of your procedure and reduce scarring.
Candidates for either of these facelift techniques are dissatisfied with one or more of the following concerns:
- Skin laxity in the mid and lower face
- Deep nasolabial folds (the crease between the corners of the mouth and the nose)
- Marionette lines
Two similar options for your facelift procedure are now available to provide more natural-looking results after your surgery. Both techniques include the same initial steps. At the completion of a facelift when the skin is redraped, excess skin is marked on the front and back of the ears. Traditionally, this excess skin is excised and the edges are brought together with sutures. The suspenders facelift and adjustable facelift options shift the tension away from the incision to minimize scarring.
Using this technique, only the epidermis (top layer of skin) is removed, leaving the dermis and subcutaneous tissue fully intact in front of and behind the ears. Two suspenders are formed from your own natural tissues. Then, a few centimeters apart in the scalp, two pockets are created through two small incisions. Small tunnels are made, and the suspenders (or flaps) are inserted into the tunnels and brought up to the level of the previously created pockets. The final critical step is one absorbable suture used to anchor the suspenders in place.
The adjustable facelift allows for a simple adjustment in the future to correct recurrent skin laxity. The final two important steps of the adjustable facelift are what differ from the suspenders method. One nonabsorbable suture is placed through the suspender tissues and left in the pocket untied. Another absorbable suture is used to anchor the suspenders in place. The second suture and the suspender carry all the tension of the procedure.
When the aging process and gravity cause a recurrence of skin laxity and jowls, the scalp incision can be reopened to simply tie up the suture connected with the suspenders to restore more youthful facial contours. This subsequent procedure is completed under local anesthesia.
Recovery from either of these procedures will be similar or easier than that of a traditional facelift due to the tension being carried by deeper tissues. However, strenuous activities should be avoided for at least three weeks.
Dr. Calabria performs these innovative techniques developed to extend the effects of a facelift and reduce the need for a second facelift operation. Bruising and swelling are expected but should dissipate within three weeks. Patients should expect minimal scarring.