In the near future, face lifts may not focus exclusively on fat, skin and muscle adjustments. A new study performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that the structure beneath the skin—that is, the bone structure—can create much more youthful results.

Rochester’s researchers, joined by colleagues from Stanford and Harvard universities, noted specific changes in the jaw bone caused by aging. This bone loss results in the sagging jowls and older appearance of mature adults.  CT scans from 120 individuals divided into 3 age groups (20-36, 41-64 and 65+) were evaluated to measure the length, width, and angle of the jaw bone in each scan.

Facial Bone Loss

The CT scans revealed that as we age, the angle of the jaw increases, resulting in diminished support for the lower face. The result? Sagging skin, a disappearing jaw line and an aging neck.  The study’s authors concluded that correcting this bone loss, most likely through prosthetics screwed into the jaw bone, will result in much more youthful results after a face lift.

While this type of surgery is still a ways off in the future, there are things that can be done today to combat the effects of aging on facial structures.  For instance, a combination of dermal fillers and skin tightening technologies like Thermage can produce noticeable, natural and lasting results, and they are far less invasive as well!

Medical Director at

Dr. Mitchell Chasin founded Reflections Center for skin & body as a place where physicians specializing in cosmetic medicine could focus on helping empower patients to feel their most beautiful. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.

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