One of the principal goals of a facelift is to reduce the signs of aging in the mid and lower face. Today’s modern techniques can address a variety of concerns, from bags under the eyes, to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sagging cheeks, and the sagging neck.
Advances in medicine have given us techniques to deal with most of these signs of growing old. While procedures used in the past may have led to unnaturally stretched skin and short-lived improvements, there have been some major steps forward in recent years.
Dr. Bustillo’s goal is to provide facial rejuvenation with a long-lasting natural result. He accomplishes this using the most up to date techniques available. Because he is a facial specialist, he devotes his entire practice to surgery of the face. He is a true specialist. This sub-specialization in the field of plastic surgery means that he has an intimate knowledge of the facial aging process, the anatomy, and the techniques. This uses this knowledge to perform the deep plane facelift. Because he is one of the few South Florida surgeons using this technique, his Coral Gables practice has become a popular destination for facial rejuvenation.
To understand how this technique works, it is worth spending some time to become familiar with some of the causes of aging in the face. After all, surgery is a big decision to make, and not one that should be entered into without fully understanding as much as possible.
Why Do We Look Old?
According to Dr. Bustillo, there are three key transformations visible in an aging face. These are descent, deflation and radial expansion, and they are defined by Dr. Bustillo as follows:
- Descent – Inferior displacement of the facial soft tissues
- Deflation – Loss of facial fat
- Radial Expansion – Loosening of facial tissue
When the soft tissues in the cheek, otherwise known as the malar fat pad, begin to descend, it has a secondary effect for the whole face. A hollowness forms above the cheek and exposes bags under the eyes in the process, and the nasolabial fold is created.
Below the cheek, the platysma muscle, which originates in the neck, also descends, both in the neck and face. In the lower face, this causes the creation of the jowl, which, in Dr. Bustillo’s words is, “the sagging front end of the muscle.”
The deep plane facelift used by Dr. Bustillo elevates the cheek back to its original position, which is not something that he believes other procedures tackle sufficiently well. He also performs fat transfer to the midface, in order to further elevate the cheek area. In addition, the platysma muscle is also repositioned, so that the jowls can be reduced.
At the same time, the deflation is corrected by this repositioning of the cheek pad, or volume can be increased using fat transfer from other areas. The radial expansion manifests itself through a kind of outward push, leading to poor jawline definition. The deep plane can help restore the jawline definition.
Many of these tell-tale signs of aging can be seen in the before and after facelift gallery, in which photos are annotated to help the reader understand the transformation that has taken place in each case.
Risks and Rewards of the Deep Plane Facelift
Ever since Dr. Bustillo began practicing facial plastic surgery, his preferred facelift procedure has been the deep plane facelift. It works under the SMAS (superficial musculo-aponeurotic system), a layer of fibrous tissue under the skin which envelopes facial muscles, to reposition it and the muscles.
Other procedures simply remove strips of the SMAS, and while this is a great improvement over the so-called “skin only” facelifts of the past, Dr. Bustillo does not believe that they are as effective as the deep plane facelift as they do not address the underlying causes – descent, deflation and radial expansion.
For example, in the deep plane facelift, the lower face is also treated and the platysma muscle elevated which elevates the jowls and improves the jawline. The neck is also treated, with fat removed, and the platysma muscle tightened both below the chin and laterally.
Given that the technique involves working close to nerves and muscles, there are lots of opinions about whether it’s worth it. Sites such as RealSelf cite risks such as damage to motor nerves and sensory nerves, as well as a risk of hematoma and infection.
However, nerve damage is primarily an issue with surgeons who do not specialize in facial surgery and have insufficient knowledge of facial anatomy to carry out the procedure. Infections are dealt with by ensuring that the patient receives antibiotics both before and after surgery. Hematomas are exceptionally rare, and usually drained in the office with no further complications.
There may also be increased swelling. After all, this isn’t a minimally invasive procedure, and nor is it a so-called “mini” facelift. These may have less downtime and carry less risks, but the result is also likely to pale in comparison to a correctly carried out deep plane facelift.
The deep plane facelift has many rewards. For example, the skin is never stretched, leading to a much more natural look than is possible with other procedures. The reader can read the reviews on the website for other people’s experiences with Dr. Bustillo’s practice and the success of the deep plane facelift itself.
To find out more about how Dr. Bustillo can help rejuvenate your face with one of his signature facelift procedures and to set up an appointment in his South Florida office, simply fill out the contact form or call 305.663.3380 for more information.