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Face Lift

Warren, Richard J. F.R.C.S.C.; Aston, Sherrell J. F.A.C.S.; Mendelson, Bryan C. F.R.C.S.E., F.R.A.C.S., F.A.C.S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2011 - Volume 128 - Issue 6 - p 747e–764e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318230c939
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Learning Objectives: After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Identify and describe the anatomy of and changes to the aging face, including changes in bone mass and structure and changes to the skin, tissue, and muscles. 2. Assess each individual's unique anatomy before embarking on face-lift surgery and incorporate various surgical techniques, including fat grafting and other corrective procedures in addition to shifting existing fat to a higher position on the face, into discussions with patients. 3. Identify risk factors and potential complications in prospective patients. 4. Describe the benefits and risks of various techniques.

Summary: The ability to surgically rejuvenate the aging face has progressed in parallel with plastic surgeons' understanding of facial anatomy. In turn, a more clear explanation now exists for the visible changes seen in the aging face. This article and its associated video content review the current understanding of facial anatomy as it relates to facial aging. The standard face-lift techniques are explained and their various features, both good and bad, are reviewed. The objective is for surgeons to make a better aesthetic diagnosis before embarking on face-lift surgery, and to have the ability to use the appropriate technique depending on the clinical situation.


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; New York, N.Y.; and Toorak, Victoria, Australia

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, University of British Columbia; the Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine; and private practice.

Received for publication November 24, 2010; accepted February 7, 2011.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Related Video content is available for this article. The videos can be found under the “Related Videos” section of the full-text article, or, for Ovid users, using the URL citations printed in the article.

Richard J. Warren, M.D.; Division of Plastic Surgery, University of British Columbia, 777 West Broadway, Suite 1000, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z4J7,

©2011American Society of Plastic Surgeons