Surgical Techniques for a Facelift
There are a variety of techniques used to perform facelift surgery. Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery takes into account factors such as facial anatomy, skin laxity, and the overall aesthetic goal of the patient to determine the best approach. Each procedure is unique and will vary based on the type and location of the incision, the number of tissue layers affected, the plane of elevation, and the invasiveness of the procedure.
The skin-only facelift has been in practice since the early 1900s. Known as a “cutaneous facelift”, this technique is less invasive because it addresses the skin only. The result of this surgery is more subtle than some of the newer muscle tightening procedures; however, it also offers a lower risk and shorter recovery period for the patient.
A mini facelift is geared towards patients who want a refreshed appearance, but require less invasive surgery. Some facelift procedures that are considered “mini” include the QuickLift® or Lifestyle Lift®. Patients who wish to maximize the outcome of their cosmetic surgery and get the most dramatic outcomes will most likely need a full facelift in order to meet these aesthetic goals.
Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. This technique is better suited for men and women with severe sagging and drooping, and therefore is usually reserved for older patients. In addition to the SMAS layer being adjusted, a deeper section known as the “deep plane” is also treated. While this procedure offers certain advantages over a traditional facelift, surgeons must be skilled and act with caution so that facial nerves are not damaged during the process.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
The SMAS facelift is considered the gold standard of facelift surgery. Even though it’s more complicated, the SMAS facelift results are dramatic and longer-lasting. The technique involves manipulating a group of muscles beneath the skin known as the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). This section of muscle controls facial expressions. An incision is made along the hairline from the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then separated and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissues are tightened and secured so they maintain their new position.