Santa Barbara Facelift
Dr. Lowenstein often fields questions about avoiding an over-done look in facial surgery. He feels it important that patients understand that the over-pulled, over-tightened facial plastic surgery so often seen in Los Angeles and Hollywood is NOT the type of results that our Santa Barbara patients should expect.
Dr. Lowenstein’s techniques for facial rejuvenation include procedures to address the neck, lower face, mid-face and cheek to provide a natural and refreshed appearance. Eyelid and brow surgery (discussed here) can be combined with these procedures to provide a comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation.
What is the basis of the Santa Barbara face lift?
The Santa Barbara face lift reflects a modern three demential understanding of detailed facial anatomy. Repositioning and sculpting of fallen facial tissue provides an individualized rejuvenating procedure. The Santa Barbara Face Lift is designed to make patients appear as more youthful, rested versions of themselves.
What is the biology of facial aging?
Studies of facial anatomy have mapped out specific regions of volume that give the face its younger appearance. Specialized layers of connective tissue envelop these areas, and maintain their position in our early years. The main connective tissue is called the SMAS, and is in continuity with the broad, flat muscle of the neck called the platysma. As we age, we lose volume in our face, while the connective tissue of both the skin and the SMAS weakens. Facial tissues tend to droop over the jawline, producing unwanted wrinkles and jowls. Similarly, these mechanisms cause excess skin and banding in the neck as the underlying platysma muscle is unable to retain it’s youthful contour.
What is the difference between pulling and sculpting?
In a Face Lift to restore the facial appearance to it’s youthful version, attention must be paid not only to the overlying skin, but particularly to the volume below it. Pulling the skin alone results in an awkward and temporary result. These telltale signs of facial plastic surgery are avoided with Dr. Lowenstein’s face lift in Santa Barbara. It is a sculpting of the tissue underneath the skin, made up of the SMAS and the platysma, that provides the appearance of an optimal face lift.
How does a face lift improve the neck?
The platysma, as it ages, can form bands in the neck as it’s supportive structure weakens. As part of the Santa Barbara Face Lift, the platysma muscle is tightened under the jaw and laterally in the neck, effectively supplying a corset or sling to reshape this area. In some patients, resection or sculpting of fat either with liposuction or with direct fat removal is performed to further contour this area.
How does the cheek age?
As we get older, the youthful fatty tissue that lies over the cheekbone area falls. This tissue is called the malar fat. The bright, youthful appearance of our cheeks lessens as there is less volume over the apex of the cheek bones, and falling malar fat can produce unwanted shadows in the cheek below the eyes. Volume loss also affects the fat in the lower part of the mid-face, called the buccal region. This produces a more hollow appearance, which is also a sign of aging. As the volume loss in the mid-face progresses, the overlying skin, which used to drape smoothly over the youthful face, sags and worsens the shadow of the nasolabial fold below it.
What is the Nasolabial Fold?
The nasolabial fold, sometimes called the nasolabial crease, is a highly misunderstood region of the face. It represents a tight connection between the skin and the underlying facial structure. While injection of soft tissue filler into the nasolabial folds can help soften their depth, significant injections here are not recommended. The worsening of the shadow of this crease occurs because of loss of volume and elasticity in the cheek above, and the sagging and falling of this tissue.
Are soft tissue fillers the answer?
A puffed out, over-filled nasolabial fold that has been treated with excessive injectable does not produce a youthful, or even natural appearance. The nasolabial folds appear worse as we age because the cheek above falls downward as we get older, causing a worsening shadow in the crease. The fix for this problem is not to fill the area below the fallen tissue, but instead to lift the cheek back to its youthful position.
How does the mid-face or cheek lift work?
Dr. Lowenstein’s cheek lift reverses signs of aging by re-suspending each specialized area of volume to its proper position. The malar fat is replaced over the cheek to provide the beautiful contour that we see in every magazine cover-girl. The buccal tissue is additionally lifted, reducing the skin excess and laxity over the nasolabial crease and thereby reducing the shadow of the nasolabial fold.
How is a mid-face or cheek lift performed?
Dr. Lowenstein’s cheek lift is performed through a lower eyelid incision, and most often incorporates lower eyelid rejuvenation as well. The natural fat of the cheek is accessed through this small incision. Elevation of the soft tissue of the cheek, called the malar fat, produces two excellent results: rejuvenation of the soft tissue of the cheek, and improvement of the shadows of the nasolabial folds.
Facial rejuvenation is a specialty of Dr. Lowenstein. Either procedure can be performed alone, or in combination to provide a composite rejuvenation to the aging face. For more information about an individualized approach to rejuvenating your appearance, call us to schedule an informative appointment with Dr. Lowenstein at Montecito Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara.
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