In a new meta-analysis study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS, Director of New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, debunks the long held dogma that the Deep Plane facelift technique has a higher facial nerve injury rate than other facelift methods surgeons currently perform.

In the study, Jacono and his team systematically reviewed 4,273 studies published in plastic surgery literature and included the results and complications of 41,141 facelift patients in those studies. The most feared complication of a facelift is a facial nerve injury that affects the ability to animate and express the face—for example, the ability to smile.

Using a statistical model called a meta-analysis with logistic regression, the study calculated that the Deep Plane technique, which lifts under the facial muscle called the SMAS, has the exact same temporary facial nerve injury rate of .69% as a superficial based facelift that simply stitches the surface of the SMAS muscle, called a SMAS Plication.

In all cases the nerve injuries resolved spontaneously without treatment as healing progressed, and no patient had permanent facial nerve injury. The SMAS facelift techniques that had the highest rate of temporary facial nerve injury were the High Lateral SMAS facelift and the Composite facelift, at 1.85%, but these injuries resolved spontaneously as well, explains a media release from New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery.

“Unlike other facelift techniques, the Deep Plane facelift lifts the skin, facial fat, and muscle together as one unit and repositions all the deep facial musculature, creating a more natural and longer-lasting outcome,” says Jacono, who has performed facelifts with many different techniques, but prefers the Deep Plane approach, according to the release.

“Deep Plane surgery is performed only by a small percentage of plastic surgeons, but regarded by many leaders to be the most advanced approach to facelifting,” he continues. “The older SMAS Plication technique of the past 40 years has more limited ability to create long-lasting outcomes.”

“Today’s facelift patient is often confused by conflicting information given to them regarding techniques and facial nerve injury rates. I’m happy to finally be able to set the record straight and reveal that all facelift approaches have a comparable and safe complication profile. Technique should be selected based on quality of results and not the complication profile,” he concludes.

[Source(s): New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, PR Newswire]