The extended subperiosteal face lift: a definitive soft-tissue remodeling for facial rejuvenation

O M Ramirez, G F Maillard, A Musolas
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1991, 88 (2): 227-36; discussion 237-8
The subperiosteal face lift described by Psillakis has been criticized for not showing a more dramatic improvement over conventional brow/face lift procedures. His approach also has a significantly high incidence of nerve injury. This study reports our anatomic findings and surgical modifications, which have permitted a significant improvement in the safety of execution and clinical results using the subperiosteal face lift concept. Pertinent points of applied local anatomy and dissection techniques are as follows: First, we use extensive interconnected subperiosteal dissection that includes the entire zygomatic arch. This allows better repositioning of the deep soft tissues of the entire upper face, most of the midface, and indirectly, key structures of the lower face. Second, the upward pull of the muscles of the cheek and mouth will produce an elevation of the corner of the mouth, affecting positively the smiling mechanism, the oral frowning, and the jowls. Third, the dissection deep to both layers of the temporal fascia decreases the risk of injury to the frontalis nerve. Fourth, the temporal fascia is used as a lifter and anchoring element of the entire cheek-perioral soft tissues as opposed to the periorbital fibrofatty tissues. This will decrease the risk of injuring the frontal and zygomatic branches of the facial nerve. These modifications have been used in 28 patients. Our rate of patient satisfaction has been high, and no complications with regard to nerve injury have been observed. This compares favorably with our initial 60 patients, in whom the Psillakis or Tessier approach was used. In these patients, there was an 11 and 20 percent rate of nerve injury, respectively.

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