Understanding Facial Masks
Facial Masks in Cosmetic Surgery
Over 5,000 years ago, Egyptians were creating facial masks of Pharoahs and prominent individuals. The idea of facial masks is, therefore, an ancient one and has been redone through the ages. It was done then as a way of immortalizing people.
I came upon mask making from a different perspective. For the last three years, I have been studying noses and nasal angles in surgery. As I transformed the nose, I wanted a way to measure the changes. I was using a piece of cardboard to hold up against the patient's nose on profile, and photographs were taken as I made surgical changes.
It became clear to me that a cross-table lateral photograph was 2-dimensional, and a 3-dimensional representation would be better.
Therefore, I thought of making facial masks in surgery. There would be "before" and "after" ones but, most importantly, one created during surgery. This mask holds the power and key to expressing the process of facial transformation. Suddenly, surgery itself became an art. Utililizing artistic principles in surgery has long been established, but surgery becoming an art form is novel.
The "transition mask" has a certain ugliness and disproportion that only a surgeon has heretofore appreciated. It allows the bystander to feel and understand the changes and what effects it has on the facial features. The observer is at once brought into the operating room through a clean, white, and nonbloody piece of art - the facial mask.
Masks help me explain surgery to patients. They help me look at faces in a more 3-dimensional way. Masks help prospective patients understand their facial features better. The actual patients of whom the masks represent, so far have been fascinated and pleased by their representations, perhaps a sense of their own immortality.
This article provided by Dr. Stanley Jacobs.