A Cut Above-Computers Revolutionize Face Lift

The Peninsula Times Tribune – February 20, 1991

Facial contouring with implants to make patients appear more youthful and attractive will be the new trend in face lifts of the 1990s, predicted Dr. Harry Mittelman. Four California plastic surgeons, including Mittelman, who are the nation’s leaders in facial contouring, have made provisons for every part of the face. Dr. Ed Terino of Agoura Hills, near Los Angeles, has perfected a malar implant that builds up cheek bones.

A submalar implant developed by Dr. William J. Binder of Los Angeles will correct a haggard and gaunt look, like Abraham Lincoln.

Dr. Larry D. Schoenrock of San Francisco and Santa Rosa designed implants that can be used on the cheek, temple, forehead and nose. They can be used for a person with a thin face and deep-set temples. The boom in facial implants results from improved techniques in using computers to design three-dimensional implants. Implants have been used for a long time, but they were described as “lumps” stuck in place, not natural-looking implants made possible by computerized design. From there, each of the four leaders followed their own interests. The implants normally are made of Silastic, a flexible semi-solid. Mittleman was interested in the grooves in the jawbone between the chin and the jowl that develop with age. Evaluating patients who had face lifts, he began developing implants to reconstruct the contour of the face. When Mittelman, Binder and Terino gave a course in facial contouring to a group of Los Angeles Plastic surgeons, there was a standing-room only audience.

Binder reported that his submalar implants, which fill in the depression below the cheekbone, are often used for younger patients, between 35 and 50, who “get a gaunt look relatively early on.” A face lift isn’t the answer, Binder said. Instead, a submalar implant can give the full, rounded look patients want.

Terino’s malar implants, to build up the cheekbone, are seen as a way to satisfy the desires of people who want to get with the current admiration for high, rounded cheekbones. Plastic surgeons like the implants because the facial contouring adds much to a face lift without increasing the time of what is already a lengthy procedure. Patients, according to the doctors, are delighted by the appearance achieved through facial contouring. There also is another plus- the implants make the face lifts last longer. Binder emphasized, “Facial contouring is an art. That’s where teaching comes in.”