Is Bipolar Radiofrequency-Assisted Liposuction Equivalent to Open Anterior Platysmaplasty in Facelift Surgery?

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Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


Background: During facelift surgery, anterior platysmaplasty (AP) has been used for decades, but it limits lateral advancement and can induce contour irregularities. Radiofrequency (RF)-assisted-liposuction in the anterior neck can avoid these disadvantages by tightening skin without open surgery. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the esthetic outcomes of facelift surgery with those of AP and RF. Study Design, Setting, Sample: A 5-year retrospective cohort study was performed on facelift patients treated by a single surgeon. Exclusions were single-side surgery, previous facelift, chin/lip augmentation/reduction, and inadequate data. Predictor Variable: The predictor variable was neck management technique (AP vs RF). Main Outcome Variables: The primary outcome variable was the change in cervicomental angle (CMA) following surgery as measured on facial photographs. Secondary outcomes included distance changes from the central CMA point in vertical and horizontal planes to repeatable reference planes. Covariates: Covariates were age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, smoking, and simultaneous procedures. Analyses: The statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank-sum, Fisher's exact, Kruskal-Wallis tests, Pearson's correlation, and linear regressions. The level of statistical significance was P < .05. Results: There were 132 patients included in the study; 67 received AP and 65 received RF. AP trended toward better performance in CMA change in the unadjusted analysis (−18.7° ± 13.8° vs −22.3° ± 13.7°, respectively, P = .08). AP and RF performed similarly in the adjusted analysis (P = .29). Techniques were similar in horizontal distance change to the CMA (P = .31). RF was associated with less change in the vertical distance to the CMA in the unadjusted analysis (−11.9 mm ± 11.0 mm vs −6.7 mm ± 8.7 mm, respectively, P = .01) and adjusted analysis (β = 4.3 mm, 95% confidence interval .8 to 7.9 mm, P = .02). Conclusion and Relevance: Utilization of the RF technique for management of the anterior neck in facelift surgery is associated with similar outcomes to the AP technique in horizontal distance to the CMA, but AP performed better in CMA change and vertical distance to the CMA.

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