| November 16, 2023

What is a Deep Plane facelift?

A lot of my patients have questions about deep plane facelifts. The easiest way to explain it is with a history lesson on facelifts. Before 1970, when they did facelifts, they just lifted up the skin, pulled it back, trimmed it off, and sutured it.  Well, skin stretches, so patients didn’t get a very long-lasting result. In the 1970s they described the SMAS facelift. SMAS stands for a name that is “this long”, but all it really means is that it is the second layer down. It starts on the collar bone and the first part of the SMAS is a really wide muscle called the platysma muscle. The muscle starts on the collarbone and extends up to the jawline. The muscle part of the SMAS disappears along the jaw line, but the thicker, stronger, SMAS layer extends all of the way up. So when they did a SMAS lift they would tighten the SMAS layer and then reposition the skin over it, trim it, and suture it. Everyone relaxes some after facelift surgery no matter how tight we pull it. The first thing that shows up is the jowls. This is disappointing to everyone involved, so to keep the jowls from coming back, we found that we could also lift up the SMAS in the so-called Deep Plane deep to the SMAS and lift the SMAS vertically. We attach the SMAS to the strong tissues on the cheekbone and that gets the jowl up off of the jaw-line even better. The skin comes back in a natural position. No one wants the sweep that we have all seen. So, it is a two-vector facelift which is the Rolls Royce of facelifts. You can’t get any better than that. It does take longer and it is much more technically advanced than a SMAS lift, but the results are so much better, the effort is well worth it. The Deep Plane facelift is our standard here at Fresh Image.

–Dr. John Standefer