BACKGROUND Rhytidectomy is fundamentally an operation of tissue release and resuspension, although the manner and direction of suspension are subject to perpetual debate. OBJECTIVES The authors describe a method for identifying the angle of maximal rejuvenation during rhytidectomy and quantify the resulting angle and its relationship to patient age. METHODS Patients were prospectively enrolled; demographic data, history, and operative details were recorded. Rhytidectomies were performed by the senior author (AAJ). After complete elevation, the face-lift flap was rotated in a medially-based arc (0-90°) while attention was given to the submental area, jawline, and midface. The angle of maximal rejuvenation for each hemiface was identified as described, and the flap was resuspended. During redraping, measurements of vertical and horizontal skin excess were recorded in situ. The resulting angle of lift was then calculated for each hemiface using trigonometry. Symmetry between sides was determined, and the effect of patient age on this angle was assessed. RESULTS Three hundred hemifaces were operated (147 women; 3 men). Mean age was 60 years (range, 37-80 years). Mean resulting angle for the cohort was 60° from horizontal (range, 46-77°). This was inversely correlated with patient age (r = -.3). Younger patients (<50 years, 64°) had a significantly more vertical angle than older patients (≥70 years, 56°; P < .0002). No significant intersubject difference was found between hemifaces (P = .53). CONCLUSIONS The authors present a method for identifying the angle of maximal rejuvenation during rhytidectomy. This angle was more superior than posterior in all cases and is intimately related to patient age. Lasting results demand a detailed anatomical understanding and strict attention to the direction and degree of laxity.
A. Jacono, E. Ransom
Aesthetic surgery journal