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Factoring face shape into surgical facial rejuvenation

Article-Factoring face shape into surgical facial rejuvenation

Google the terms “facial shape and hair dressing” or “facial shape and makeup” and you’ll see the impact of facial shape within hair and cosmetic services is well understood. That’s not as much the case in the surgical world, where few studies have examined how facial shape factors into facelifts, rejuvenating brow or eyelid surgery, according to Richard J. Warren, M.D., clinical professor of plastic surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Dr. Warren presented “Tailoring Facelift Technique to Facial Shape” yesterday at the 11th annual Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology multispecialty aesthetic symposium in Las Vegas.

When it comes to performing the many surgical procedures that make older people’s faces look younger, plastic, cosmetic, facial plastic and dermatologic surgeons need to consider each patient’s facial shape, Dr. Warren says.


“We’re dealing with fat. Whether we’re moving, taking away or adding fat, we’re changing the shape of the face,” he says. “We better think about what kind of shape the person started out with before we start doing things.”

One example: During the deep-plane facelift, the surgeon typically will lift the fat in saggy jowls to the cheeks, which can widen the face. But what if the patient already has a wide face? According to Dr. Warren, you don’t want to make the midface any wider.

“…maybe what we should do is lift that jowl up but don’t overlap [with the already wide midface],” he says.

While in most cases, surgeons strive to make patients look like they used to, preserving the natural facial shape, there are instances in which changing the shape of the face results in a more youthful appearance. A patient with a long, narrow face, for example, might benefit from the traditional deep-plane facelift, because it will plump up the cheeks and result in a more youthful looking facial appearance, according to Dr. Warren.

The bottom line, Dr. Warren says: “We should modify the technique according to the shape of the person’s face.”

Dr. Warren reports no relevant disclosures.

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