How Far Has The Facelift Come?

When I first started working at NewBeauty, my mother told me that my late Grandma Bea would've been thrilled about my new job. I had always known that she was glamorous and gorgeous-a former model, in fact-but it was then that I learned she had undergone several cosmetic surgery procedures long before I was born, including a chin implant, rhinoplasty and, before all else, a facelift.

I imagined that a facelift in the '60s, which is when the procedure first started gaining acceptance, must have been particularly primitive; but I've since learned that the kind of technique Grandma Bea probably received, the basic skin flap method, is still preferred by many modern surgeons. However, the facelift has, indeed, seen amazing evolution in the last few decades.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, early facelifts were never performed with necklifts, for fear of jeopardizing blood supply; today, however, the risks are better-understood and managed, so they are often performed simultaneously. Liposuction wasn't used in conjuction with facelifts until the late '70s, when surgeons began defining the chin and jawline through "spot suctioning."

Although the skin-flap method is still used, most facial plastic surgeons rely on the SMAS technique; but many spin-off techniques have been developed over the years, such as the endoscopic lift and short-scar facelift.

Even the incision and suturing techniques have been refined to prevent too much tension and a consequent too-tight appearance, which has led to the more natural-looking results of today.

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