The RSVP facelift: A highly vascular flap permitting safe, simultaneous, comprehensive facial rejuvenation in one operative setting

Thomas L. Roberts, Jason N. Pozner, Edward Ritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study describes our effort to develop a reliably safe method for combining currently available treatment modalities in an effort to obtain comprehensive facial rejuvenation in one operative setting. Detailed evaluation of 101 available consecutive patients, their per- and postoperative photos and charts was undertaken. Five groups of patients were studied: (1) traditional facelift with wide subcutaneous undermining and SMAS plication. (2) Similar traditional facelift with regional laser resurfacing. (3) RSVP (rejuvenation with sparing of vascular perforators) facelift. Subcutaneous undermining stops 3 cm lateral to the nasolabial fold to preserve the rich angular/facial arterial supply and venous drainage, still permitting lateral SMASectomy or SMAS plication. Subcutaneous neck undermining is discontinuous, the posterior dissection being limited to that which is necessary for identification of the posterior edge of the platysma and its plication to the mastoid and SCM muscle. The anterior dissection is limited to that necessary for anterior platysmal repair leaving intact a vertical subcutaneous non-undermined zone 4-6 cm in width, preserving the submental perforating artery. If indicated, gentle liposuction with a fine cannula is performed through this area. (4) RSVP facelift and regional laser resurfacing. (5) RSVP facelift with total facial laser resurfacing. Mean follow-up was 13.6 months, minimum 6 months. There were no additional major complications associated with the addition of laser resurfacing or fat grafting to the RSVP group. The patients with laser resurfacing were pleased with their result, and estimated that their apparent age had been reduced by a mean of 10.4 years, compared with 6.6 years for the non-lased group. We conclude that the RSVP flap is a hardy, vascular flap permitting simultaneous laser resurfacing, fat grafting, and other adjunctive procedures without significant fear of flap loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Facelift
  • Fat grafting
  • Laser resurfacing
  • RSVP flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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