Facelfits Do Turn Back Time: AI & Patient Satisfaction Prove It
Published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (ASJ) in September 2021 is a series of 105 facelift patients comparing techniques including SMAS lifts and facial volume enhancement with fat grafts. Interestingly they used artificial intelligence (AI) and FACE-Q, an established thorough patient survey tool to assess the degree of age improvement and patient satisfaction.
Patients looked 5 years younger with facelift surgery when SMAS support was included. All of Dr. Graham’s facelifts include lifting the Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System (SMAS) which is the durable fibrous layer supporting the jowl fat. Skin only lifts were less effective. The results were similar to prior scientific studies, which show 5-7 year age enhancement.
Fat grafting added 2 years improvement and increased patient satisfaction. Fat grafting has become a more common adjunct during facelifts, and enhances youthful results for many patients. Their fat graft volume retention was 70% at one year, an excellent result. Dr. Graham includes this in facelift consultation whenever he observes volume and contour issues. It is never done to make one’s face fatter, but rather to restore the contour in areas of volume loss.
Satisfaction scores were highest in their cheeks (82%), then lower face and jawline, nasolabial folds, neck, and finally under chin (75%). Quality of life scores improved social function (84%), psychological well being, early life impact, overall satisfaction with outcome and decision to undergo the procedure (85%).
The study did not look at the additional benefits of blepharoplasty (eye lift), chin implant, brow lift, lip lift, or laser skin resurfacing. It also did not study non-surgical facial procedures such as Botox, Juvederm fillers, energy-based treatment of pigment or vascular changes (sun damage). We commonly offer these adjuncts too.
ASJ, 2021, Vol 41(9) 987-999. Lead author James Bradley, MD