First Quarter 2008, Volume 22, Number 1

Medical advances in facial plastic surgery benefit all


Medical advances in facial plastic surgery benefit all

Thinking about adding some hair?

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Don’t believe everything you read about facial plastic surgery

Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery has progressed over the years to the patients’ advantage. The first surgery performed in America was a cleft palate operation in 1827 by John Peter Mettauer, MD. News of this initial success led facial plastic surgery to grow in popularity in America and other parts of the world. From general advances in the medical field to new technology and materials, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery is much more individualized, accessible, and refined today.

Developments in the field of medicine have benefited the cosmetic surgery world. The introduction of easily administered anesthesia, for example, made many more procedures possiblepain was no longer a barrier. The innovation of lasers is another technology that has been adapted to the facial plastic surgery world. It allows the physician the option for choosing different laser intensities and levels of penetration to meet the patient’s unique needs. A recent innovation is the use of radiofrequency to remove damaged tissue; the new skin regenerates, creating a softer, smoother appearance.

Facial plastic surgery methods have changed due to new tools. Endoscopes allow surgeons to make smaller incisions to reduce scarring and to reduce recovery time. Improved instrument design has helped surgeons perform procedures with increased precision and less trauma to the tissue.

Facial plastic surgery has also evolved based upon the demands from clientele. Many people are looking for minimally invasive procedures with little down time and optimal results. Facial plastic surgeons have taken traditional procedures, e.g., facelift, and modified it (mini-facelift) to meet the client’s needs. Patients are willing to accept less drastic results for the advantages of less invasive surgeries.

Various new materials have been introduced over the years. Injectible fillers were invented in the 1950s. Although there were safety concerns that affected its popularity, today, it is one of the most popular nonsurgical treatments. Besides improving safety, the length of time the results lasts has increased considerably. Fillers provide plumpness, contour, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and can last up to two years. BOTOX® is another material that is popular for several reasons. It is a simple way to treat lines and wrinkles around the eyes and between the brows. The treatment is fairly affordable and has no recovery time.

The facial plastic and reconstructive procedures of your mother and grandmother are not what you have available today. You have the advantage of board-certified facial plastic surgeons, who are continually seeking training and education to stay current in their field. (See back cover for tips on how to choose the right surgeon.) Technology, techniques, and materials are constantly being tested and approved to ensure safety, customization, and accessibility for you. Here’s to facial plastic surgery then, now, and future.