New & Improved: Facelifts Through the Years


When it comes to fighting back against signs of aging, few procedures are as effective as the surgical facelift. Not only is the procedure incredibly popular among men and women, but it also provides long-lasting results, ensuring that individuals can enjoy a more youthful appearance for years to come. 

Becoming one of the country’s top facial rejuvenation procedures didn’t just happen overnight. Rhytidectomy has a long history – over 100 years, to be exact. Over that time, the surgery has changed tremendously. Here’s how: 

The Introduction of Facelifts

Little is known about the first facelifts, due in part to the taboo around cosmetic procedures at the time. What we do know, however, is that these first procedures are thought to have been conducted during the first decade of the twentieth century. 

Unlike today’s rhytidectomy, the first facelifts were very limited in scope. Surgeons focused on making small, discreet incisions from which excess skin could be removed. This “skin-only” approach improved appearances subtly yet did not address the supportive facial tissues the way that today’s facelifts do. Additionally, this first form of facelift lacked consistency. While some surgeons were able to tighten facial skin successfully, others neglected to pull back, tighten then remove the excess skin properly. In these scenarios, patients were left with somewhat of a too tight, “windswept” look and pixie-like ears.

A Facelift Update

As new reconstructive techniques were developed in the years after World War I and World War II, early facelifts gradually evolved, improving patients’ results. By the 1970s, the procedure had grown to include more modern considerations, such as fat contouring and muscle tightening. By going beyond the traditional approach, which only focused on the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), Dr. Paul Tessier revolutionized the procedure. He thus ushered in the first iteration of modern rhytidectomy.   

Improvements continued rapidly after that point. In the 1990s, the facelift procedure underwent another update. This time, it was the introduction of the deep plane lift, a more invasive form of facelift pioneered by Dr. Sam Hamra. Unlike the SMAS system, this form of facelift also focused on tightening muscles. While effective, the invasive nature of treatment and lengthy recovery made it an option almost exclusively for patients with deep sagging.

Today’s Facelift

Facelifts will undoubtedly continue to evolve as innovations in plastic surgery and alternative cosmetic treatments are made. The introduction of liquid facelifts is an excellent example of what the future of this popular treatment holds. 

Also known as non-surgical facelifts, this procedure brings together a number of non-invasive treatments such as injectables, Botox®, and facial contouring procedures into one holistic solution. In recent years, this surgical alternative has become a popular option for women who are showing signs of aging but are not ready to commit to a full facelift as well as women who cannot undergo surgery. Time will tell how this procedure evolves into a new version of the ever-popular facelift. 

Learn More at Desert Med Aesthetics

From injectable solutions to complete liquid facelifts, Dr. Cosgrove and her team at Desert Med Aesthetics offer patients a wealth of cosmetic facial rejuvenation options. Our tailored approach to some of today’s most popular treatments ensures that each of our patients has access to high-quality care and is able to achieve their aesthetic goals. To learn more about our anti-aging solutions, including liquid or non-surgical facelift, call 760-777-8772 or schedule a consultation online today!