Introducing the ABC Facelift : The efforts of 4 leading experts in facelift surgery. An interview with Dr Michael Atlan

Prof. Michael Atlan, MD, PhD, co-presents with Patrick Baraf, MD, Dr Bernard Cornette de Saint-Cyr, MD, from Paris and Dr Steven Cohen, MD, from San Diego, the second edition of this hands on masterclass.


INVIVOX: Why did you decide to organise the “ABC Facelift” masterclass?

Dr Michael ATLAN: As an academic surgeon, head of service, and Professor at University, I always noticed that there was a lack in the training of confirmed plastic surgeons. The exposure isn’t comparable between public and private: there are fewer plastic surgery patients in the public than in the private. At the hospital, we have the resources to organise trainings in advanced techniques however there are not enough patients in aesthetics.

80% of plastic surgeons who leave University plans to practice exclusively aesthetic surgery (with a small part in reconstructive surgery). That was how we came up with the idea of ABC Facelift in partnership with international experts and Campus Champs-Elysées which is the ideal place (a team of experts, a modern training center in the heart of Paris).

INVIVOX: What is “ABC Facelift”?

Dr Michael ATLAN: The training (for 20 trainees max.) is based on:

  • First day: theory but especially on the surgical description
  • Second day: hands-on practice in cadaver lab follow by a consultation with the patients that we will operate the next day,
  • Third day: it’s the live surgery (with 2 or 3 sessions). There is 2 or 3 key opinion leaders who operate (when one operates the other moderates). Trainees can ask questions at any time. There are also presentations between courses with medical device companies. For example: when we use fat you need some kits. It’s the opportunity to know which kit is used and how it is used.
"“ABC Facelift is a “VIP” training format in face to face with a balance between theory, video, and practice.”"

INVIVOX: What is the lifting approach?

Dr Michael ATLAN: The approach is based on the meeting of 3 concepts:

  • Subcutaneous detachment (simple and without tension) : to avoid cutaneous necrosis and hematomas,
  • SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) detachment with electric bistoury for an optimal repositioning,
  • Fat injection (with discussion between experts: should we inject before or after?).

The facelitft is a surgery that is often “complicated” and we are trying to make things simpler

INVIVOX: Which techniques are going to be presented?

Dr Michael ATLAN: Dr Steve Cohen will present his own technique: Injectable Tissue Replacement and Regeneration (ITR2). It injects fat in different face areas according to the type of fat and the localized region. He uses 3 types of fat: microfat, minifat, nanofat. He will explain how to inject these different types of fat (superficially or deeply). Dr Cohen’s approach is to inject fat at first, then to do the detachment and to finish with the SMAS. Dr Cornette de Saint-Cyr will share a more classic approach with the use of tensor wires. He called this technique:  hybrid facelift. He will introduce also the upper lip lifting. Dr Baraf is the inventor of a very useful, comfortable and safe instrument to lift the skin. He will show us how to use it. It makes skin detachment very fast, easy. It’s almost atraumatic. He shares also with Dr Cohen a technique of cautery elevation of SMAS (with a nerve stimulator effect).

INVIVOX: Why is it a good approach?

Dr Michael ATLAN: We optimized the facelift regarding the timing, the detachment, the SMAS and fat.

INVIVOX: Who would be interested in ABC Facelift?

Dr Michael ATLAN: Mainly plastic surgeons who are less used to facelifts in such a way that they start with good clinical practices. And also some surgeons with experience who want to discover other technics, tips and tricks. Dr Cohen, Dr Baraf and Dr Cornette de Saint-Cyr have got each 30 years of experience behind them.

INVIVOX: What are benefits for the participants of the course?

Dr Michael ATLAN: It’s really a hands-on training. We explained the gesture and also how to manage possible complications. The feedback based on previous campus (face, buttock, rhinoplasty) is very positive. Some trainees sent us pictures of their first surgery after their training. Facelift is reproducible and standardized with uncomplicated postoperative courses. These plastic surgeons have got enough experience to implement what they have learned with us. They will automatically improve their achievement even by the cutaneous detachment, the way to lift the SMAS, the postoperative management, or the way to avoid hematomas. It could be also just consolidated themselves in their own technique.

We also set up a “what’s app” group that allow us to communicate especially in case of need of advice. Trainees have got also an internet access to review videos but this for this edition of the training course there may be even more resources available for trainees. There is a page ABC Facelift on Facebook opened for pictures and comments.

INVIVOX: Will you launch this training elsewhere than in France?

Dr Michael ATLAN: Steve Cohen is going to launch the ABC Facelift in United States soon.

INVIVOX: Can you tell us about anything about upcoming courses?

Dr Michael ATLAN: We will organize campus about breast augmentation with Dr Isabelle Sarfati and other experts in the field, this training would be taking place towards the end of this year. The second edition of rhinoplasty (after the success of first edition) with Jean-Brice Duron and Dr Emmanuel Racy, penoplasty with Dr Richard Diacakis is planned to be going ahead in October. We are also hoping to run a second ABC Facelift class in January 2020. But there are still places available for the ABC Facelift class at the end of June.