The Two-Finger Rule
December 12, 2008 by Dr. Lam
I have been thinking about writing this blog for the past year but have forgone writing it because I had so many other ideas floating around in my noggin to write about. However, last week when a patient who came into my office for Botox said, “Dr. Lam, I was thinking of fat grafting but I really don’t want that. I just want this,” then she lifted two fingers on her skin to show me the lifting effect that she desired. Ugh! I knew at that point I needed to commit thought to paper (or thought to keyboard in today’s parlance).
We oftentimes think that our fingers can relay to the plastic surgeon a feasible, realistic goal. “Heck, if I can just take two fingers to pull up on a certain part of the face, why can’t a skilled surgeon replicate such a maneuver?” The simple truth is that is what the threadlift that came out a few years ago was purported to accomplish. It would pull the skin upward in the trajectory accomplished by one’s fingers. The aesthetic result of such a maneuver, the threads and the company were short lived and so was my patience for these touted results.
Without making this blog interminably long, suffice it to say that the two-finger rule simply does not apply to reality. Surgeons can’t reproduce it to your satisfaction, and oftentimes it bespeaks the wrong intuition to begin with. I can’t remove pores, acne scars, definitively smooth out folds with a lifting maneuver that in many cases you simply do not need and that would worsen your condition or not help it. As a summary of my thoughts on facial gravity, please watch my video “Rethinking Gravity” in full to understand why our a priori notions of facial aging are pretty much screwed up so is that of 99% of plastic surgeons out there and their thoughts about what constitutes facial aging (of course, i am unbiased in my comments…not!).