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A Brief History of Facelifts: More Than a Century of Refinements

Posted November 30, 2017 in Blog


Facelifts may seem like a relatively recent “invention,” but actually, they’ve been around for decades. In fact, the first facelift-type surgery was performed back in 1901 in Germany, when surgeon Eugen Hollander performed a modified procedure on a Polish patient who wanted her cheeks and mouth “lifted.” A few years later, the first book on facial cosmetic surgery was published in Chicago in 1907, and there was a landmark paper on facelift surgery in 1919. This last publication explored the technique of lifting, repositioning and re-draping skin to tighten facial contours and remove wrinkling in the skin.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Or at least, it was until the 1970s, when Swedish surgeon Tord Soog introduced what eventually became known as the “SMAS” technique, named for the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System of tissues that surround and connect all of the facial muscles.

Soog’s groundbreaking technique focused on dissecting and repositioning the facial muscles, rather than simply detaching and then tightening the overlying skin to smooth out wrinkles and lines.

The SMAS technique paved the way for further refinement by well-renowned French plastic surgeon, Paul Tessier.

Tessier developed a “deep plane” technique of restoring the youthful contours of the face. In this technique, a physician elevates and lifts the facial plane by dissecting the deep layer of tissue that attaches the facial muscles to the underlying bones, For his technical breakthrough, Dr. Tessier is widely regarded as the “father” of contemporary craniofacial plastic surgery.

The beginning of the 1990s marked another shift, as cosmetic surgeons began focusing on restoring lost facial volume while minimizing appearance of scars associated with facelift surgery. This led to a highly customizable approach that can be tailored to suit the needs and goals of the individual patient, leading to greater satisfaction and long-lasting, natural-looking results.

At The Cosmetic Surgery Center, we work closely with each patient to help them achieve their goals so they look and feel their confident best. To learn more about facelift surgery, call The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100 to schedule your free consultation today.