02 Jan SMAS vs Deep Plane Facelift: Which Cosmetic Surgery Is Best?
Different Procedures, Same Fantastic Results
In 2021, plastic surgeons saw a dramatic increase in facelift surgeries, with approximately 1.4 million procedures handled that year. Cosmetic surgeons now use minimally invasive procedures and other techniques for more natural-looking results with less downtime. The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) and deep plane facelifts are among the most popular. Both procedures are equally effective in rejuvenating the aging face, but take different approaches to produce excellent results.
Let’s talk about SMAS
Superficial musculoaponeurotic system facelifts target a special connective tissue located beneath the skin of the face and neck. The SMAS forms the foundation of structures below the skin, including the muscle layer, fat layer, and ligaments that hold the skin together. The SMAS facelift aims to lift loose skin to correct sagging jowls and drooping eyebrows. The procedure tightens the loose tissue of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, thereby tightening the underlying muscles.
What happens during a SMAS facelift?
During the SMAS procedure, incisions are made behind the hairline in the temple area and extended toward the jawline. The surgeon will then tighten the underlying muscles using fine sutures to lift and pull the skin around the jawline. This technique creates a slimmer and more contoured neck appearance. This type of facelift can improve the definition of the neck area and provide a more youthful overall appearance. However, SMAS facelifts can only address minor signs of aging on the face and neck, not deeper wrinkles and folds.
The deep plane facelift
For patients looking for a more comprehensive treatment, a deep plane facelift might be the right choice. The procedure targets deeper tissues between the SMAS layer and muscles. Deep plane lifts also remove excess skin in the mid-to-deep layers of the face to achieve long-lasting results. During the procedure, an incision is made in front of the ear, extending down the jawline on both sides. Excess skin is removed through the incision, and the underlying muscles are tightened to create a more contoured neck and jawline. The results of a deep plane facelift can last up to 10 years. The procedure provides a more dramatic improvement in the appearance of the face compared to a SMAS facelift.
Which approach is best?
Although very similar, SMAS and deep plane facelifts have different advantages and downsides. Choosing which one is best depends on the signs of aging and the desired outcome. The SMAS facelift is less invasive compared to the deep plane facelift. Patients with only minor facial aging and people concerned about visible scarring may be good candidates for a SMAS facelift. The deep plane facelift is typically recommended for patients with more severe signs of aging who desire more significant improvements. This procedure provides longer-lasting results and can more effectively address deeper wrinkles. The goal is to find a surgeon that understands both techniques and can execute the best one.