Men: Plastic Surgeons Offer Options for Aging of the Face and Neck

LOS ANGELES, Calif (May 4, 1998) — Nearly 89,000 facelifts were performed in 1997, and almost 11% of facelift patients were men, according to statistics compiled by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). However, men seeking to correct the signs of facial aging present unique challenges for surgeons, often requiring modifications to surgical techniques used for female patients, say plastic surgeons who presented research and case studies on male facelifts at the ASAPS annual meeting in Los Angeles.

"In men, I generally use an incision just along the hairline in the temple and sideburn region when performing a facelift," says Fritz E. Barton, Jr., MD, of Dallas, Tex, who was among a panel of leading experts on male facelift. "This type of incision allows me to avoid shifting the hairline and, I believe, produces a more natural-looking result in a male patient."

In both male and female patients, a facelift involving significant correction of the neck requires incisions are placed in front of and behind the ear. Plastic surgeons have developed various techniques for hiding these incisions, often within natural lines and creases.

Women's hairstyles generally make it easier to conceal the incisions. A new facelift method presented at the ASAPS meeting, called the "omega" technique, was originally developed for the male patient with a short or crewcut hairstyle. It can also be particularly useful for female patients with very short hair or those with long hair who sometimes wear it pulled back or up, says the technique's originator, plastic surgeon John William Little, MD, of Washington DC.

The incision technique was given the name "omega" because it resembles the inverted final letter of the Greek alphabet. According to Little, this configuration results in the absence of a visible scar behind the ear.

Little says the omega technique has certain disadvantages such as increased operating time, greater expense and more risk of complications. However, these trade-offs may be acceptable to some patients, particularly men, in exchange for avoiding any telltale scarring in the visible hairless area behind the ear.

About ASAPS
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 non-surgical 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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