Dr. Little’s Philosophies
Priorities in Facial Rejuvenation
Patient safety remains the absolute first priority. Dr. Little performs all of his surgery in the same certified facility with a proven, thirty-five-year record of patient safety and with excellent anesthesia and support services. A second type of safety—surgical safety—involves Dr. Little’s specialization in facelift, his accumulated years of experience, and his use of less-invasive surgical techniques that further minimize the already-low chance of facelift complications.
After safety, naturalness becomes the second priority. Dr. Little believes that any aspect of unnaturalness (subtle or otherwise) in the facelift result, including apparent scars, facial distortion or tightness, an altered smile, or any vague bizarreness, renders the result an overall failure; the patient’s final appearance must remain, above all else, natural…both at rest and during animation. In fact, a well-done surgical rejuvenation will often increase the naturalness of a person’s appearance, an effect that Dr. Little demonstrates in case after case throughout the consultation.
To justify the investment (on many levels) that a facelift represents, the result must also be effective, lending a convincing impression of enhanced health and vitality (as well as beauty and youth). Some surgeons defend less effective results by suggesting that a more youthful or energized result would have brought with it a certain element of unnaturalness…clearly a bad trade-off. But such is not the case. The most frequent reason, by far, that brings disappointed patients to Dr. Little after prior facelift surgery is neither unnaturalness nor surgical complication, but rather inadequate improvement of their initial aging appearance and concerns; they feel they did not receive worthwhile benefit from their facelift investment.
The rejuvenation result should hold up well over time. While aging will–of course–continue, and some aspects of any rejuvenation will settle to some degree with time, the overall improvement should remain evident for many years…well beyond a decade in most (in consultation, Dr. Little reviews multiple results between 10 to 20 years after facelift). And when further aging does reappear, the patient should continue to appear younger and fitter than had the original facelift not been performed. If the patient has had a well-conceived facelift originally, then simpler options should remain available to freshen the result (over the past twenty years, for example, Dr. Little’s has performed a second, full facelift in only a handful of his many patients).
The basic facelift should offer a predictable recovery in most patients that allows an early return to work and social activities.
Illustration: Leonardo da Vinci, “The Human Proportions According to Vitruvius,” ca. 1490, Galleria dell’ Accademia, Venice