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Deep Plane Facelift vs. SMAS Plication vs. Subcutaneous Facelift

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Are you considering a facelift but unsure which technique is right for you? In the world of facial rejuvenation surgery, several methods are available, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. In this blog, we will compare three popular facelift techniques: the Deep Plane Facelift, SMAS Plication, and Subcutaneous Facelift. Understanding the differences between these procedures will help you make an informed decision.

Deep Plane Facelift: The Comprehensive Lift

The Deep Plane Facelift is a sophisticated surgical approach that targets the deeper facial tissues. Here's what you should know about it:

Deep Tissue Rejuvenation: This technique repositions the SMAS layer and the associated fat of the face to higher more desirable locations.  Integral to the technique is separating or disrupting the retaining ligaments of the face.  These ligaments (zygomatic, buccal, cervical, and mandibular) arise from the bone or deeper structures to the skin and normally keep the tissue tethered at certain locations of the face.  With time they can lengthen but also if not released they can prevent repositioning of the facial tissues to an appropriate youthful position.  This is the most important difference between the deep plane lift and other more superficial lifts.  

Natural-Looking Results: The Deep Plane Facelift is renowned for delivering natural-looking results, as it addresses the deep structures responsible for facial aging and avoids any pulling on the skin.  The vector, or direction, of lift is also typically vertical compared to oblique direction with plication or subcutaneous lifting techniques.

Recovery: The recovery period may be slightly longer compared to other facelift techniques, but the results often make it worth the wait.

SMAS Plication: Balancing Efficacy and Recovery

SMAS Plication is another popular facelift technique that offers a balance between effectiveness and recovery:  The dissection should also be theoretically safer as the deep plane is not entered which is where the branches of the facial nerve are located.

SMAS Layer Focus: SMAS stands for Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System. SMAS Plication tightens and lifts this layer, addressing sagging and wrinkles.  The technique relies on suture material holding the in a higher position without a large raw service area of your own tissues that fuse together with the deep plane facelift technique.

Less Invasive: It is considered less invasive than the Deep Plane Facelift, leading to a marginally shorter recovery time.

Results: While the results are typically impressive, they may not be as long-lasting as those achieved with a Deep Plane Facelift.

Subcutaneous Facelift: Minimally Invasive Option

For those seeking a less invasive option, the Subcutaneous Facelift may be a suitable choice:  This is originally how facelifts were performed but now is less commonly performed.

Surface Tissue Focus: This technique primarily addresses the superficial layer of skin and fat, making it less invasive and offering a quicker recovery compared to the other methods.

Mild to Moderate Concerns: It is ideal for individuals with mild to moderate signs of aging.

Limited Longevity: Results will not last as long as those achieved through deeper tissue techniques.  Scars will also be a concern as all of the pull is on the facial skin and scars subjected to tension usually perform poorly.

Choosing the Right Facelift Technique for You

The choice between a Deep Plane Facelift, SMAS Plication, and a Subcutaneous Facelift ultimately depends on your specific goals, anatomy, and tolerance for recovery time. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial to determine which technique aligns best with your needs.

Remember that the effectiveness of any facelift procedure also depends on the skill and experience of your surgeon. Be sure to select a qualified, experienced, and reputable plastic surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome.  Your surgeon will likely recommend a technique they feel will give you the best result and they are confident to perform safely.  Great results can be obtained by different surgeons using different techniques so there is not just a one technique is better than all when it comes to facelifting.

In conclusion, each facelift technique has its merits, and the right choice for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Schedule a consultation with a trusted plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and find the perfect solution for your facial rejuvenation needs.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.