The Return of Facelift
3 December 2019 onur
As minimally-invasive aesthetic procedures have been living their golden age in the last 15 years, pharmaceutical companies introduced the next generation fillers, technology companies introduced new and revolutionary devices or aesthetic physicians introduced a fantastic invention that made plastic surgery unnecessary. And all the while, plastic surgeons have been busy refining centuries of surgical experience behind the scenes.
You know, those faces that are stretched like a sheet with modified facial expressions, those results of the surgery, in which surgical scars and symptoms betray you, were filtered by positive science. Where did the negative results come from and how could we achieve more painless, more natural, more holistic, more permanent and more effective results with less scars? Fortunately, advancing information technology has allowed plastic surgeons around the world to share their knowledge on an unprecedented level. It was no longer necessary to travel to the other side of the world to learn how an operation was performed or how it could be improved. By the way, going to the other end of the world just feels like visiting neighbors now. Against such a backdrop, “outcome” studies on surgeries consisting of long-term data were conducted to analyze how durable and safe the relevant procedure was in the long term. The deep plane surgical anatomy of the face was discovered almost inch by inch via fresh cadaver studies. In order to prevent nerve injuries, facial maps were developed and danger zones were revealed in 3D. Deep plane facelift surgery took its purest form, and we started to achieve natural results like never before by carrying the tension in the skin to the deep support tissues. As anesthesia and surgical safety protocols developed, total facial rejuvenation operations, in which the forehead, neck and periorbital area can be handled together with the face in a single session, have become possible. Endoscopic and minimal access approaches enabled shorter scars in facial rejuvenation surgeries. Options increased. All complications were discussed one by one. Thousands of articles and hundreds of books were written on treatment and prevention strategies.
And finally came a level where the faces shaped by facial rejuvenation surgery were not initially singled out as an “operated” face by those unfamiliar with this work. There was a change in Ms. Brown, but what was it? It was definitely not surgery! Because if she had surgery, her face would have changed a lot. She would have looked like someone else, or her face should have looked younger but her neck should have looked old. Or her eyes should have gotten smaller. Ms. Brown was reluctant to say that she had surgery, and because the society perceives plastic surgery as “unnatural beauty”, she told curious people that the secret of her beauty lied in “small touch-ups”. This trend led to a rise in demand for small touch-ups, but as I mentioned in my previous post, the goal of rejuvenation was not likely to be achieved with such small touches.
Facial rejuvenation surgeries started to rise again in the USA after a 15-year hiatus. ASAPS data shows that they have become one of the top 5 most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures for the first time after so many years. This is one of the most interesting developments of 2017 in the field of plastic surgery. For years, while minimally-invasive procedures were on the rise, there was a perception that surgical procedures were out of date, declining and outdated.
Three different theories are put forward to explain the reasons for this change. The first theory, the “rebound” theory, suggests that when people looked back on the total time, total money, total swelling-bruising time and total effort they spent on minimally-invasive procedures for years, they saw that what they got offered no real return on investment. Therefore, they began to prefer clearer, more precise and more effective methods. The second theory, the “gateway” theory, suggests that minimally-invasive plastic procedures got people through the door, accustomed them to aesthetic procedures, put their feet in the water, thus making it easier for them to dive into the water later. Probably both theories are valid to some extent, but the close contact with minimally invasive procedures is not the only reason for the rise in facial rejuvenation surgeries.
The third theory, the “supply-increases-demand” theory, suggests that the striking results enabled by surgical procedures reached large public masses through the ever-developing and widespread visual media, seeing a service that was on neither the agenda of people nor the list of needs to increasingly sculpt its own demand.
It is impossible to know which theory is more accurate, but it is certain that facial rejuvenation surgeries are back and will definitely stay here for a long time.