What is a deep plane facelift? + More innovations to take your facelift results to the next level

What is a deep plane facelift? + More innovations to take your facelift results to the next level

A consistently popular procedure, the facelift (rhytidectomy) smoothes wrinkles in the mid-to-lower face, tightens the jowls, and addresses laxity (sagging skin) in the neck area. Done well, this procedure restores one’s younger profile and turns the clock back on the aging process by about a decade.

Advanced facelift techniques — namely, SMAS and deep plane — allow facial cosmetic surgeons to provide more natural-looking, attractive results. Additionally, you have numerous nonsurgical options for optimizing your facelift results to look even more natural.

What is an SMAS facelift?

Facelifts are now commonly performed using the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) technique which repositions the superficial musculature and skin. This is an advanced technique that can provide far more natural-looking results than older facelift techniques. 

The initial version of the facelift procedure only addressed the skin itself, and not the underlying musculature which is also affected by aging. Solely treating the skin increased the potential for a tight or “windswept” appearance. Examples like this make clear the importance of choosing a facial cosmetic surgeon that keeps up with procedure advancements.

What is a deep plane facelift?

A deep plane facelift is a variation that repositions tissues on a level below the SMAS, releasing certain ligaments and remodeling deeper attachments. Surgeons who prefer this technique report a few differences:

  • A deep plane facelift allows the surgeon to achieve more thorough lifting without tightly pulling tissues, thereby creating maximal results while retaining a natural-looking appearance.
  • It is also thought to have potential to help facelift results last longer.
  • Surgeons may also reposition fat pads in the cheeks, creating the appearance of a more lifted mid-face area.

Which facelift technique will my surgeon use?

Both facelift techniques take years off your appearance, reversing the effects of aging, but they do so by addressing different planes of tissues beneath the skin. Different surgeons may choose to employ one technique over the other based on their experience with each technique. 

Instead of finding a cosmetic surgeon to perform a specific procedure, find a surgeon whose before and after photos show the results you want.

Instead of finding a surgeon to perform a specific kind of procedure, we recommend that you focus on finding a cosmetic surgeon whose before and after photos of previous patients demonstrate the kind of results you want. Focus on the facial rejuvenation results the surgeon has provided for patients with similar anatomy and concerns, regardless of the specific facelift technique that was used.

Additional procedures and treatments to enhance facelift results

A surgical facelift is only designed to address skin laxity in the midface through the neck; as such, it is common to add complementary procedures to further reverse aging in other areas: wrinkles or skin laxity in upper face, eye aging, volume and collagen loss in the skin, and dynamic wrinkle formation.

1. Collagen-inducing treatments to further firm the skin

As technology advances, more effective non-surgical treatments have become available. There are a number of options that can effectively make facelift results appear more complete (and more natural) by enhancing collagen production. These treatments may include:

  • Microneedling
  • Laser skin resurfacing
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Dermaplaning
  • Microfocused ultrasound with visualization (i.e. Ultherapy®)
  • Radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening

2. Surgical procedures to complete your results

There are also surgical procedures that can be combined with facelifts to expand your enhancement throughout the upper face or to customize your facelift results, such as:

  • Fat transfer to replace lost volume in the mid face
  • Liposuction to treat a double chin
  • Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) to brighten the eyes
  • Brow lift (forehead lift) to reset the clock on upper face aging

3. Injectables to enhance facial features

Facelifts restore a firm facial foundation, but areas of your skin will likely still show evidence of volume loss. To restore youthful plumpness, injectable dermal fillers are an excellent option through the face, such as in the lips, cheeks, along the jawline, and in the nasolabial folds. Dermal fillers include brand names such as Radiesse®, Bellafill®, Sculptra®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane®.

After a facelift, you are certain to look younger—but you can get more out of the procedure if you protect your results as you continue to age. The neuromodulators BOTOX®, Dysport®, Jeuveau™, and XEOMIN® prevent the further development of new dynamic wrinkles by calming facial muscle movement.

Choosing a board-certified surgeon with the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery

American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery (ABFCS) surgeons are facial specialists at the top of their field. To find a board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon near you, browse our directory.