Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Frank Ryan, MD, has developed the Ryan Ribbon Lift, a procedure that combats the signs of facial aging. The lift is performed under local anesthesia in less than an hour. 

The procedure is named after a commercial ribbon-shaped implant, which Ryan uses. The ribbon measures 4 inches long by 0.25 wide and has dozens of tiny spikes, called tines, along one side. 

After a local anesthetic is injected, a small incision is made in the sideburn area, near the top of the ear.  A small tunnel is created from the sideburn area  toward the jawline. The ribbon is placed in the tunnel and the tines are pressed gently, but firmly, into the facial tissues beneath the skin. Because there are no nerve endings in these tissues, it is virtually painless. 

Once the tines have a firm grasp of the tissues, the end of the ribbon is pulled gently upward, bringing the sagging jowls and other sagging facial tissues up with it.  The ribbon is then sewn in place and a few stitches are made to close the incision.

The stitches are left for a week and the ribbon dissolves after a few months.

According to Ryan, patients may go home that night and resume most of their normal activities the following day.  

[Frank Ryan, MD, January 9, 2007]