Different orientations of tension vectors applied during face-lift surgery in cadavers achieved different structural changes to key points across the face, according to recent study results.
Researchers performed anatomic dissections on 10 fresh-frozen cadaver heads (mean age, 73.3 years; five men) in an academic tertiary care center. In sequence, three rhytidectomy procedures were performed: vertical tension vector plication (vertical lift), superolateral tension vector plication (superolateral lift) and superolateral tension vector plication combined with midline platysmal plication (superolateral lift with platysmal plication).
The amount of lift at four standard key points was measured and recorded, and differences in the lift were analyzed after each procedure.
At all four points, significant effects were observed (P<.001), with vertical lift achieving the highest mean total lift (7.24 mm; 95% CI, 6.49 mm-7.99 mm), followed by superolateral lift (5.16 mm; 95% CI, 4.41 mm-5.91 mm) and superolateral lift with platysmal plication (3.14 mm; 95% CI, 2.39 mm-3.89 mm). After superolateral lift, platysmal dehiscence increased by 1.8 mm (P=.002), while it decreased by 1.7 mm after vertical lift (P=.002).
“Our study has particular relevance to the ongoing evolution of facial rejuvenation techniques,” the researchers concluded. “Although modern face-lift surgery offers patients outstanding results, continued efforts to understand the anatomic correlates of aging and of facial rejuvenation allow further refinements of the techniques and improvements in patient outcomes.
“This study helps the face-lift surgeon and student understand the underlying structural anatomic changes associated with different face-lift techniques, which ultimately result in different cosmetic outcomes.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.