Dr. Antonio Tapia introduced new techniques in Spain.

Dr. Antonio Tapia introduced muscular and subperiosteal or osteal face lift techniques in Spain.

A muscle lift, also known as facial rejuvenation surgery, is a technique by which fat and muscle that have begun to sag due to the effects of gravity and the passage of time are lifted back to their original positions in order to reduce facial flaccidity.
During the aging process, a variety of factors affect the condition of different parts of the face: weakening of the bone structure and the connective tissue that holds muscles in place, atrophy of muscles used to make common expressions due to constant use and aging of the actual skin structures.
Likewise, other factors must be taken into account, such as genetics, eating habits, exercise, sun exposure, etc.

Candidate

This depends on each person’s specific aging process and on when the patient begins to notice a certain flaccidity in his or her face. The procedure is recommended for women and men with sagging muscles and facial fat, but whose skin still retains elasticity. Most face lifts are performed on patients between the ages of 40 and 60; however, there have been cases of patients between the ages of 60 and 80.

Preoperative Period

During the first appointment, the surgeon will prepare a study of the facial bone structure –features of the forehead, cheekbones, jawbone and chin– in order to determine the tissue support.

If the surgeon sees that any of these bone areas is not large enough, he or she may recommend increasing it during the face lift in order to achieve greater definition (cheekbones or chin). He or she will likewise assess the musculature covering the bone support, the fat tissue and the skin (elasticity and tightness).

Based on this analysis and appropriate clinical study, the physician will tell the patient which technique is best suited to his or her case and what the expected results are so as to ensure that he or she is aware of his or her expectations.

In general, the result is significant facial rejuvenation, thereby achieving a considerable difference between a person’s apparent and actual ages.

Surgical Technique

The surgery is performed in an operating room, usually under general or local anesthesia with sedation. Incisions are typically made in the temporal or frontal area of the scalp and are concealed around the ear, both in front and following the natural fold behind it, continuing in the hairline to the nape of the neck, where necessary, since the face lift may be short, medium or long.

These incisions allow the surgeon to detach the skin in order to reposition and tighten the structures that have shifted over the years. Said structures are located in the SMAS, the layer beneath the skin that covers face muscles and the platysma muscle in the neck and forms the base for deep-plane face lifts. For rejuvenation surgery to be effective and yield natural results, it is very important for these elements to be lifted in the same directions from which they had sagged, only backwards.

After the operation, drainage tubes are inserted to decrease the chances of bruising and inflammation and to ensure swifter recovery.

Postoperative Period

For the first 48 hours, the patient will remain in the clinic, where he or she will be monitored and receive the necessary medication. Bruises, pain and discomfort are common.

After the second day, the patient will be examined, then discharged with the medication and instructions from the specialist.

During the first week, the bandage should be left on for a few hours each day. Moreover, the patient should get plenty of rest, avoid strenuous activity and stress, refrain from smoking, receive occasional lymphatic drainage massages, moisturize his or her skin well and take special care of his or her eyes and eyelids.

The stitches are taken out the second week and all bandages are permanently removed. Most patients can resume their normal lifestyle in approximately 15 days, although bruises often remain and disappear gradually. Regular examinations are performed and the surgeon’s instructions, which will depend on the evolution of each patient, should be followed.

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