Finesse in Facial Rejuvenation: Volume is Key Latest Concepts in Facial Shaping Addressed at ASAPS Annual Meeting
NEW YORK, NY (May 16, 2003) — As aesthetic plastic surgeons continue to use refined surgical techniques and new technologies to enhance facelift results, volumetric shaping has become essential to achieving finesse in facial rejuvenation. The latest methods and materials for adding volume to create a more youthful facial appearance will be discussed by leading experts at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), May 16-21 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
Traditionally, facelifting procedures have focused on pulling tissues up and back while removing excess skin, producing a tighter, flatter look, says ASAPS Past President Robert Singer, MD. "Today, aesthetic plastic surgeons strive for more natural-looking results, and there are many more options that help us attain that goal."
For example, he explains, as facial surgery has evolved, a better understanding of what constitutes a younger-looking face has emerged. A youthful face not only lacks wrinkles, but has volume in specific areas that give it a more aesthetically pleasing shape. Repositioning of the deeper facial tissues, as well as elimination of excess skin, is now a standard part of most facelift techniques. In addition, because people lose fat in certain areas of the face as part of the normal aging process, patients often can benefit from procedures to restore this lost volume.
Dr. Singer, who moderates the facelift panel, notes that surgeons can use a variety of methods to attain the same, or similar, endpoint. Some aesthetic plastic surgeons believe that facial implants provide the best and most permanent volumetric changes, while others prefer to sculpt facial contours by repositioning tissues, adding fat taken from another area of the body, or using other types of soft tissue fillers. One technique incorporates the use of Gore-Tex cable sutures to suspend tissue and create a fuller cheek. However, the La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon says that, "all of the current techniques are based on the same basic premise, which is to use the underlying facial structures for support, to add volume where it is needed, and to redrape the skin over this new 'scaffold' to create a fuller, more attractive face."
One area of the face that can be particularly problematic is the "tear trough," the area directly below the lower eyelid which, with aging, often appears sunken in. According to panelist William Little, MD, aesthetic plastic surgeons have been able to more successfully treat this area within the last few years. "In a youthful face, it's difficult to see where the lower eyelid ends and the upper cheek begins, because it blends together seamlessly," says Dr. Little, a Washington, DC plastic surgeon and ASAPS member. "Plastic surgeons' new emphasis on correction of mid-face sagging and on repositioning, rather than removing, lower eyelid fat when performing a facelift, has made a difference in the quality of results."
Dr. Singer emphasizes that most patients want to look like a fresher, younger version of themselves. "Most patients have realistic expectations," he says. "They just want to look in the mirror and see the clock turn back a little."
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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