The history of the facelift begins with the successful facelift performed by German surgeon, Erich Lexer in 1916. The demand among socialites and the aristocracy of the early 20th century for ways to stay young was high. When Dr. Lexer succeeded in lifting the skin and fat that accumulates on the face with age, plastic surgery started to become commonplace for celebrities and the elite. This early facelift remained the standard for another half a decade, however, this type of facelift left behind many telltale signs.
The 1970’s came with the next revolution in the history of facelifts. Dr. Paul Tessier introduced the SMAS technique. This involved more than just tightening the skin, but also the muscles beneath it, known as the superficial muscular aponeurotic system. When a facial plastic surgeon tightens this along with the skin, it creates a better looking and longer lasting result. SMAS facelifts are still performed today and changed the way plastic surgeons approached facial surgeries.
The following decades brought along various modifications. The deep plane facelift, non-surgical facelift, and new techniques that led to less visible scarring. Dr. Santos adds to these advancements by being one of the first facial plastic surgeons to utilize local anesthesia during his procedures to lower risk and recovery time for his patients.