Facial rhytidectomy is a complex and multi-faceted operation performed by different methodologies between practitioners. This study elucidates current international trends in facelift surgery, including patient selection, operative technique, and postoperative care.
A 43-item questionnaire was sent electronically to 7247 members of the following societies: ASPS, ISAPS, CSPS, IFFPS, and the AAFPRS. The survey focused on 3 main areas: (a) background information, (b) intraoperative technique, and (c) postoperative care.
The response rate was 11.4%. The majority of our population was from the United States (US) (73%). Most (85%) of the respondents have practices where over 50% of their procedures are considered aesthetic surgery. Statistical differences between the uses of minimally invasive adjuvant treatments (thread lifts, endotine mid-face devices, superficial and deep skin resurfacing procedures) were found between plastic surgeons (PS) and facial plastic surgeons (FPS), as well as between US, Canadian, and international surgeons. Suture imbrication (42%) was the most common way of handling the submuscular aponeurotic system. International surgeons were more likely (49.6% vs. 37.7%, P < 0.05) to use this technique than US or Canadian surgeons. Difference in handling patients who smoke and postoperative management differences were also found between the groups queried. No differences were found between FPS and PS in the handling of the submuscular aponeurotic system, treatment of platysmal bands, treatment of ptotic submandibular glands, or treatment of submental fat deposits (P > 0.05).
Differences exist between FPS and PS, and between US, Canadian, and international surgeons with regard to facelift techniques and perioperative management. These differences need to be addressed in order to measure outcomes across specialties and between techniques. This data will additionally be helpful for less experienced and younger surgeons who wish to define best practice patterns.