When a person ages, the fat and tissues located over the cheek bones drop to a lower level. This makes the cheeks appear flatter, while the lower half of the face looks fuller. Traditional techniques of facelift surgery lift up sagging skin by pulling up the tissues and cutting out the excess skin. Overenthusiastic pulling unfortunately creates faces with a wind-swept appearance with the corners of the lips pulled outwards and the cheeks flattened.
A new concept in facelift surgery makes use of the Endotine® implants which provide excellent three-dimensional lifting and sculpting of tissues and feature sutureless MultiPoint Technology. These bioabsorbable devices look like a set of multiple tiny prongs or hooks. They are fixed to the bone and the surgeon lifts up the sagging tissues and drapes it over the devices, resulting in cheeks that look fuller, with a more tapered lower face. Thus, there is a restoration of a heart-shaped appearance that is characteristic of a youthful profile.
After surgery, patients may be able to feel a slight lump over the area where the device is located. However, this will disappear over time because the Endotine implants are made up of biodegradable material that resorbs or dissolves in the body within six to twelve months, during which time biological fixation of tissues to a higher level has taken place.
Surgical applications at this time include open and endoscopic forehead lift (ENDOTINE Forehead™ 3.0 and 3.5, ENDOTINE Triple™), midface suspension (ENDOTINE Midface™ ST and ENDOTINE Midface™ B), browlift (ENDOTINE TransBleph™), and jowl and neck suspension (ENDOTINE Ribbon™).
The Endotine® implants, developed by Coapt Systems, Inc., were first introduced in 1994. They are FDA-approved and are now used over 400,000 times annually by plastic surgeons in Europe and the U.S.