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Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1996 Nov-Dec;20(6):463-70.

Subperiosteal minimally invasive laser endoscopic rhytidectomy: the SMILE facelift.

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Plastic and Aesthetic Surgical Center, Lutherville, Maryland 21093, USA.


Current concepts of total facial rejuvenation involve a comprehensive integrated approach to achieve a balanced youthful appearance. Recently introduced endoscopic-assisted techniques allow us to rejuvenate the face through small, remote incisions. Previously, we have considered only young patients with good skin turgor as candidates for minimally invasive procedures, but the advent of the resurfacing laser has allowed us to expand our indications for single stage minimal access rejuvenation. Full facial immediate laser resurfacing at the time of standard rhytidectomy has been avoided due to risk of flap necrosis. Subperiosteal minimally invasive endoscopic assisted techniques do not substantially interfere with facial blood supply. We can now perform endoscopic-assisted full facelifts combined with immediate laser resurfacing to reposition the tissues in a more youthful position and then tighten the skin envelope. Extended endoscopic-assisted subperiosteal forehead lift is performed through three to five scalp incisions; subperiosteal midface lift is performed through a crow's foot or intraoral incision. Cervicoplasty, if needed, is performed through a small submental incision. Full face laser resurfacing is done using a Coherent Ultrapulse laser. To date we have performed eleven subperiosteal minimally invasive laser endoscopic (SMILE) rhytidectomies. There has been no evidence of flap necrosis with this technique. Postoperative recovery has been no different from patients treated only by full face resurfacing, except perhaps for the slight increase in early facial edema. We believe the SMILE facelift is a viable alternative to standard techniques. The limitations of this procedure still need to be elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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