MEASURING BEAUTY: A precise approach to facial surgery
From the Ancient Greeks to Renaissance artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, across the ages and into today, the intrigue of beauty is timeless.
Beauty and facial attractiveness are easy to identify but difficult to quantify.
The face has been mapped and measured over the last two millennia by artists and scientists alike exploring the correlation between symmetry and aesthetics. Interestingly the same number, or ratio, appears so frequently as a measurement of beauty that it has become synonymous with beautiful and harmonious form. This number, denoted by the symbol Φ (phi), has been called The Golden Ratio.
While assessing a patient and listening to their concerns, I am mindful of these predetermined aesthetic ‘ideals’ but by no means bound by them.
I take many different factors, including a person’s ethnicity, age, and unique or defining features, into consideration. I am also mindful of the whole – as making even subtle changes to one area of the face impacts on overall facial harmony.
With nose surgery, for example, there is no such thing as “one size or shape fits all”. When a person is self-conscious about the size or shape of their nose, it is important to address this while also staying authentic to their individuality.
I use computer imaging to help represent how the patient’s new nose may look after surgery. Prospective patients are generally relieved to see that they still look like themselves, but with less attention drawn to this central feature.
While the nose is at the centre of the face, it doesn’t need to be the first feature that is seen. Making changes to the nose through carefully planned surgery can result in a nose that blends in more, so that other facial features – such as the eyes or cheekbones and lips – are more captivating.
Another way of mapping the face is to divide it into three horizontal regions – the upper, middle and lower face. These facial thirds are rarely equal, however it is useful to observe features of ageing in each section, including:
- Upper – forehead wrinkles (including glabellar lines); heavy eyelids and drooping eyebrows
- Mid – skin laxity; volume loss, wrinkles (naso-labial folds), bags under the eyes
- Lower – jowls and loss of definition along the jawline, loss of volume in the lips.
The beauty of the deep plane facelift technique is that it treats the face and neck as a whole. This is far superior to other facelift techniques that resulted in a “pulled” and ‘worked on’ appearance. It is also superior to approaches that focus on any single area only, resulting in a mis-match of ages in different regions.
An appreciation of facial harmony underpins the sophisticated techniques that I have adopted in order to deliver more natural-looking results for my patients.
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Meet Dr Marcells
MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons
Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.