In the olden days of facial plastic surgery, tighter meant better. The tighter your skin, the longer your facelift would last. Most people believed that if you couldn’t move your cheeks up and down, you’d gotten a truly expert procedure. But today? The opposite couldn’t be more true.
The days of tight facelifts and pulled-looking faces are long gone. The aesthetics of the day demand completely natural and un-operated looks even after getting the most substantial surgical rejuvenation. The new and improved facelift techniques are allowing the surgeons to do just that. This contrasts to the old days, when tightness and hard pulling were a basic necessity of a facelift. The reason for such drastic surgical pulling was a simple one: back in the day, facelift results lasted only for a short amount of time. It seemed like one would barely recover from a facelift and already needed to contemplate getting another one. In large part this was due to imperfections in surgical techniques with surgeons relying on pulling the skin instead of repositioning deeper facial tissue. One way for a surgeon to lengthen the duration of results was to pull the skin of the face tighter. By doing so, the longevity of the facelift would be extended, but at the price of appearing “worked-on.”
Once plastic surgeons gained more experience, better methods to perform facelifts were developed. The old mantra of “tight meaning good” no longer applies to facelifts. Having a tight face after a facelift just means that you’ve gotten your facelift with a very old-fashioned surgeon and quite possibly may get unnatural looking results.
How to avoid the tight look?
The “pulled” face happens when the muscle layer is not repositioned along with the skin. If the skin is pulled and sewn together under tension, the face will likely appear stretched and the result will look unnatural. A windblown-looking face is easily avoided by skilled facial plastic surgeons. This is because now, facelifts are performed completely differently; rather than pulling or stretching the skin, facelifts are done on a much deeper layer, called superficial musculo aponeurotic system (SMAS). This is a very sturdy, non-stretchable layer of facial tissue. When the SMAS is pulled and the stitches are placed into it, they will stay for many years. Therefore, there is no need for over-tightening and over-correcting facial laxity.
Another important change that prevents the unnatural look of the facelift is the direction of the pull. from horizontal to vertical. Whereas pulling the skin horizontally might stretch the mouth and pull the corners of the eyes sideways, creating an unnatural look, moving it vertically will create a significant rejuvenating effect, while keeping the facial appearance completely natural. Just try it yourself in the mirror!
For more information on all things facial plastic surgery, be sure to follow Dr. Konstantin on Instagram and watch his videos on YouTube. To schedule a consultation for your own facelift, contact his Manhattan-based practice today.