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Facial Aging and a Facelift

Over the past two years I have been working on a new, innovative facelift method that I am really excited about. It has proven to be an incredibly powerful technique that doesn�t just remove excess skin, but tightens and correctly repositions the tissues and muscles of the neck and face. It restores the angles of the face and neck in a way that is very natural and pleasing. In short it correctly puts everything back to where they were when you were younger. For now, I�m calling this facelift procedure the �Beverly Hills Power Lift�.

Facelift After PhotoFacelift Before Photo

Before we get into this technique, let me take a moment to describe the various problems that lead to facial aging, and some of the various methods that have been used to correct them.

Facial aging is a slow but steady process that begins the moment we are born. Sun exposure and cigarette smoking can accelerate the process. The soft tissues of the face gradually stretch and migrate downward with the pull of gravity. This leads to three basic problem areas. First is flattening of the upper cheeks as the natural fat pad moves down-and-in, which also causes the line that extends down from the nose to the mouth, called the Nasolabial-fold, to deepen. The second problem area is along the jaw line, where loose skin, fat and muscle begin to hang, creating those dreaded jowls. The third, and perhaps the most important problem area is the neck. Not only can fat build up here, but bands can form above the Adams Apple due to hanging loose skin and muscle. These three problem areas are what my patients here in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, complain about the most.

Many people are confused as to what exactly constitutes a facelift. A true facelift focuses on the area from the upper cheeks down to the mid-neck. Other parts of the face that are often treated at the same time are the eyelids, with laser eyelid surgery, and the forehead and brow lift surgery. For the purposes of our discussion, we'll consider those areas separately.

The old fashion facelift procedures all focused just on the stretched out, hanging skin. These techniques concentrated on removing this excess skin. They required incisions in front of the ear that extended up into the scalp, and incisions placed behind the ear that extended backwards into the hair. This can damage hair follicles and cause balding.

Plastic surgeons then began to focus on some of the deeper tissues, as we recognized that the aging process affected all of the components of the face. An important tissue layer in the cheek was discovered, called the SMAS. This is a thin layer of fascia that attaches to the important neck muscle called the Platysma. It is the Platysma that loosens, falls forward and forms those telltale bands. By adjusting the SMAS, the plastic surgeon can tighten the neck muscles and restore a beautiful, youthful angle to the neck.

The "Beverly Hills Power Lift" takes this whole concept to the next level. It allows me to shrink and concentrate the cheek and neck tissue back to the volume of their youth. Simultaneously, it allows me to lift the neck muscles, jowls and cheeks back into the position they occupied earlier in life. An added benefit is that I can keep the total incision length to about half of the standard facelift and avoid going into the hair. In total, this new technique represents a powerful advance in facelift methods, by reducing stretched out tissue, repositioning everything back to their original location and minimizing the total incision length.

For questions regarding liposuction, plastic surgery or skin care, contact Bevedrly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Warren Lent, MD, FACS, at 310.652.6500. Dr. Lent performs all plastic surgery at his Beverly Hills office located in Los Angeles, California.