Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000

New & Improved: Facelifts Through the Years

It may be hard to believe, but modern facelift surgery has been around for over 100 years. Here, we’d like to explain the history of the facelift and explain the new, amazing innovations practiced by modern experts like Dr. Florence Mussat.

Read on to learn about the gradual development of the facelift, or schedule your facelift consultation today!

The Facelift and Plastic Surgery Are Born

The earliest recorded facelift was performed by Eugene von Hollander on a Polish aristocrat in 1901. For this procedure, he is reported to have used elliptical skin excisions in natural skin folds adjacent to the hairline and ears to provide the lift she was seeking.

A few years later, the brutality of the First World War lead to innovations and improvement of facial restoration procedures. As the demand for reconstructive techniques rose, along with American economic wealth, increasing numbers of patients sought facelift surgery. Advances in anesthesia and surgical techniques became more widely used in this time and would continue to expand.

The More Natural Look of the 1920s

By the late 1920s, facelift surgery had progressed past the reconstruction methods developed during WWI. By changing the incision and lifting the skin off of the underlying fat layer, excess skin could be removed.

Understanding Deeper Dissection in the 1960s

In the 1960s, surgeons began to better understand the importance of dissecting deeper facial layers. It was this discovery that led to our modern knowledge of facelift techniques.

Another facelift milestone was reached in 1968. Swedish cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Tord Skoog, changed the world of plastic surgery with a technique to manipulate the platysmal muscle of the neck and lower face without detaching the overlying skin.

SMAS Becomes the New Trend in 1976

It was not until 1976 that Dr. V. Mitz and Dr. M. Peyronie described the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System, now known as SMAS. SMAS lifting techniques include pulling muscles and connective tissue over the bones of the face. This knowledge allows surgeons to use more than just the skin’s tension to restore the youthful lines of the patient’s face.

By the 1980s, SMAS became the standard approach to the facelift for several decades.

Deep Plane Rhytidectomy in the Late 1980s

The major weakness of the SMAS techniques is the ability to effectively rejuvenate the midface and malar fat pad, and this lead to the development of “deep plane rhytidectomy,” which elevates the midfacial soft tissues.

Minimally Invasive Techniques of Today

Shortly after the popularization of deep plane rhytidectomy techniques in the late 80s and early 90s, more minimally invasive techniques gradually gained popularity. Modern facelifts are completed in less time, have decreased risks, require less downtime, and can be performed under local anesthesia in the surgeon’s office.

When appropriate, modern-day, highly-skilled surgeons still address the SMAS during facelift procedures. However, alternative techniques such as autologous fat transfer or dermal fillers are now available as well.

Even less-invasive non-surgical skin-tightening techniques, such as InstaLift, have been developed in recent years. Each of these targets collagenous tissue, such as the papillary and reticular dermis, and offer viable alternatives to patients unwilling to undergo surgery.

Your Facelift Consultation with Dr. Mussat

Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Florence Mussat, has the broad expertise to give you a full facial rejuvenation through a customized facelift, erasing years from your appearance!

Please contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Chicago, IL, office, or give us a call at (312) 751-9000.