Traditional SMAS, Deep Plane, and 3D Facelifts
Things seem to change so quickly in the field of cosmetic surgery that what was new one year is suddenly old hat by the next. While the changes may not be as drastic as all that, it does highlight the need to keep on top of current techniques, particularly with regards facelift surgery.Today, there are a growing number of surgical and non-surgical techniques used for facial rejuvenation, some of which are less invasive and require no more than a trip to the doctor’s office.If opting for a surgical facelift, it is important to understand some of the more traditional techniques used by surgeons today as well as the results that can be achieved.
Choosing the Right Surgery and Surgeon
When starting, it’s always a good idea to schedule consultations with multiple surgeons and to ask as many questions as needed to determine if the recommendations are right for you. You may also want to bring along some before and after photos to illustrate exactly what you’re looking for This can aid the surgeon in determining how realistic your expectations may be.It is equally important to have a clear idea of the costs you are willing to bear. If the doctor understands these constraints, he or she can usually work with you to find a solution that fits your budget without skimping on the results. In some cases, newer, non-surgical techniques can be used in tandem with surgical ones.When exploring cosmetic surgery of any sort, it is important to always take your time, keep an open mind, and do your homework. These are the three things that will help keep you on track and avoid disappointment.
Facelift, Eye Lift, Brow Lift, and Lip Augmentation
This 46-year-old woman sought plastic surgery for facial rejuvenation, stating that she wanted a “fuller” look to her face. This required the combination of a facelift, endoscopic eyebrow lift, upper and lower eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), and fat injections to the upper lip and nasolabial folds. Facelift surgery of this sort requires an in-depth understanding of the sub-muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) of the face. This is the layer of tissue that covers, surrounds, and attaches to the deeper structures of the face and neck.
Surgically elevating the SMAS helps to reposition the tissues to achieve a more youthful point, lifting and tightening the jowls, neck, and cheeks. This produces a more natural and long-lasting result than a “skin-only” facelift, a procedure considered archaic by most plastic surgeons.
Facelift, Blepharoplasty, Brow Lift, and Chin Liposuction
This 54-year-old woman similarly sought plastic surgery for facial rejuvenation. The procedures used included a facelift, endoscopic brow lift, blepharoplasty, and submental (under the chin) liposuction.When searching for a surgeon qualified to perform these procedures, never hesitate to ask about the surgeon’s training, experience, and credentials (including how many times he or she may have performed a certain technique). You can confirm board certification by contacting the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Facelift, Eye Lift, Brow Lift, Chin Liposuction, and Fat Transfer
This 52-year-old woman underwent a combination of procedures including a facelift, endoscopic brow lift, blepharoplasty, submental liposuction, and fat transfer to the perioral area around the mouth.To achieve the best results and minimize scarring after surgery, follow your doctor’s care instructions and limit physical activity as much as possible for the first several weeks. Moreover, avoid sun exposure during the healing process and apply extra sunscreen if you must be outdoors.
Lower and Mid-Facelift, Eye Lift, Brow Lift, and Neck Lift
This 59-year-old woman sought plastic surgery to achieve an all-around “freshening” of her features. The procedures included a lower and mid-face lift, endoscopic brow lift, blepharoplasty, and neck lift.Note the dramatic improvement in the drooping jowls and hooding of the eyelids. This is something you cannot achieve with a facelift alone. For this, you would need a brow lift and an upper and lower blepharoplasty, sometimes enhanced with Botox injections.
Lower Facelift, Blepharoplasty, and Brow Lift
This 70-year-old woman sought plastic surgery for a more “rested and refreshed” look. Her concerns were primarily focused on the eyes, cheeks, and jowls. The procedures performed included a lower facelift, endoscopic brow lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty, and neck lift with submental liposuction.When exploring facial surgery, ask the doctor for before and after photos of his or her own patients to evaluate the quality of the work. Make sure that the photos are the doctor’s and not those commonly provided by cosmetic surgical equipment manufacturers.
Deep Plane Facelift
This woman received what is called a deep plane facelift, which is similar to a traditional facelift but takes the extra step of repositioning the patient’s cheek fat to a more youthful height. A traditional facelift mainly addresses the neck and jawline areas. The deep plane technique also lifts the mid-face area to retain the natural balance of the face.If you’re not quite ready to go under the knife for a procedure like this, explore non-surgical options such as injectable fillers, laser resurfacing, and non-surgical skin tightening using laser, infrared, or ultrasound technologies.
Deep Plane Face Lift
This woman also underwent a deep plane facelift with the aim of lifting the sagging cheek area. One of the main requests was to avoid the appearance of a facelift. To this end, the surgery was successful.When choosing a facelift technique, there are ways to avoid the dreaded, “caught in a windstorm” look. First of all, never aim too high. Taking 10 years off your looks may be realistic; 20 years is generally not.
Moreover, you will need to be patient once the operation is complete. Healing takes time, and you may not see your final “settled” results until a full year after the surgery.
Deep Plane Facelift With Perioral Dermabrasion
This woman received a deep plane facelift accompanied by dermabrasion in the perioral region around the mouth.
Dermabrasion changes the appearance of the skin by injuring it in a controlled manner, often to treat scarring or older, sun-damaged skin. Dermabrasion can only be performed by dermatologists or plastic surgeons.Microdermabrasion, by contrast, only affects the superficial layer of skin and may be administered by a certified, non-physician professional.
Facelift, Neck Lift, and Lip Augmentation
The woman received a facelift, neck lift, and fat transfer lip augmentation with injections of the patient’s own fat.Lip augmentation is a relatively simple procedure used to define and volumize the lips. While extracted body fat can be used for this, doctors are more commonly using fillers today, including Restylane (hyaluronic acid).When fillers are used, the procedure can be performed in the doctor’s office. It is most commonly injected into the upper and lower lips to ensure a more balanced look.
3D Facelift With an Upper and Lower Eyelid Lift
This woman received what some surgeons call a 3D facelift. It differs from traditional facelifts in that the deep facial muscle is elevated in a straight vertical direction to treat the jowls and neck.Moreover, the patient’s own fat is used to re-contour the cheeks and areas around the eyes. The vertical lift method is said to give longer-lasting, more natural results and with less extensive incisions.In addition, the woman underwent upper and lower blepharoplasty to tighten the lower lid and create a more “awakened” appearance in the eyes.
Facelift, Platysmaplasty, and Lip Augmentation
This woman received a lower facelift, lip augmentation, and a neck lift with neck muscle tightening called platysmaplasty.Platysmaplasty is a procedure that involves the surgical reconstruction of neck muscles (the platysma). There are two separate sides of the platysma that connect in the center on the neck. As we age, the tissues connecting the sides begin to weaken and lose their elasticity, creating the characteristic “turkey wattle.”Platysmaplasty re-attaches the sides and reconstructs the internal muscles to tighten the chin and neck areas.