Facial plast Surg 2011; 27(1): 098-111
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1270427
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Rhytidectomy: Principles and Practice Emphasizing Safety

Krista Rodriguez-Bruno1 , Ira D. Papel1
  • 1Department of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 January 2011 (online)

ABSTRACT

There is an unprecedented acceptance of rhytidectomy by today's society. No longer limited to the affluent few, middle class citizens are devoting their expendable income to achieve a more youthful appearance that is natural and inconspicuous. Despite recent difficult economic times, the mindset of the working population continues to be welcoming of rhytidectomy as a way to achieve a refreshed look while expecting minimal downtime and morbidity. To achieve these results, the current literature has described an array of techniques; however, there is no consensus on a preferred method, which reflects limitations and advantages inherent to every style of face-lifting. Each individual patient will have specific needs, and it is key for the facial plastic surgeon to select a technique that can address those areas most affected by the aging process. Whichever method used, an emphasis on safety is of the utmost importance. A solid understanding of the relevant anatomy is imperative as is the awareness of how to best avoid complications. Rhytidectomy can be a challenging procedure, and although complications are fortunately rare, they can be cosmetically devastating and poorly accepted by the elective cosmetic patient. This article aims at providing a summary of the history, the anatomy, and the currently accepted methods in rhytidectomy, emphasizing principles and practices of safety.