Hundreds of Americans flock to cosmetic and plastic surgery centers around the country each year for facelift surgery or neck and facial contouring procedures to rejuvenate their appearance.
While these procedures can help reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, the underlying structure of the face remains the same.
A recent study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggests that in addition to skin tightening procedures, plastic surgeons must modify the angles of the jaw line in order to create a more youthful look.
The study involved the review of 120 facial CT scans, and plastic surgeons measured the changes that affected the facial bones over time. Researchers measured the length, width and angle of the jaw bone for each scan, and compared the results of different age groups: 20 to36 year olds, 41 to 64 year olds and patients who were 65 years and older. Previously, similar studies only took standard x-ray measurements into account.
Howard N. Langstein, M.D., professor and chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center, points out that “The jaw is the foundation of the lower face, and changes to it affect facial aesthetics…these measurements indicate a significant decline in the jaw’s volume as a person ages, and therefore less support of soft tissue of the lower face and neck.”
The loss of bone mass, in addition to the loss of elasticity and collagen, contributes to the sagging of the skin and decline of soft tissue leads to less support around the jaw line and upper neck area, which results in a softer, more rounded appearance. Plastic surgeons can correct this either by using facial implants, soft tissue fillers, or a combination of both to create a more defined jaw line.
(Source: Medical News Today)