There are many names and phrases out there for all of the different types of facelifts. It can be overwhelming to a person considering the procedure. When you get down to the nitty gritty of it, the purpose of a facelift is to reduce jowls (thereby revealing a defined jaw line); reduce platysmal banding and skin sagging below the chin; smooth the nasolabial folds and marionette lines; and/or lift cheeks that have descended. There are a handful of standard, tried-and-true techniques that will accomplish these outcomes, and the various types of facelifts use some combination of those techniques.
Some of the most common facial rejuvenation techniques favored by Dr. Schuster’s patients are:
- Deep plane facelifts
- SMAS flap procedure
In the old days of plastic surgery, a basic facelift lifted the skin only, leaving the underlying supportive tissue unaltered. This led to an overstretched, pulled look, plus the results didn’t generally last very long because the skin sagged again quickly. Most of today’s facelift procedures focus not only on the skin, but also on the underlying SMAS layer.
The SMAS layer – which stands for superficial musculoaponeurotic system – is a sturdy layer between the skin and the deeper muscle. The SMAS is a fibrous tissue layer that supports the skin of the face.
As individual people, we do not age the same. Our facial anatomies vary as well. Therefore, there is no one facelift technique that is right for everyone; however, many people with moderate to advanced signs of aging will benefit from a technique that involves lifting the SMAS or a deep plane facelift.
A SMASectomy removes an elliptical section of SMAS tissue that is parallel to the nasolabial folds and marionette lines. The tissue on either side of the ellipsis is then sutured together, which shortens the SMAS, and creates the tension needed to smooth out the lines around the nose and mouth. There are also other SMAS techniques that involve lifting the tissue in one of several directions to achieve the desired effect. A SMAS flap or imbrication makes an incision in the SMAS, and that the flap is pulled back to overlap the SMAS tissue and sutured into place.
The Deep Plane facelift is perhaps today’s most popular technique but has really been around since the 90’s. As with many surgical techniques, the basics of the Deep Plane facelift are still the same but it has been modified through the years to make it even better and more reliable. An incision is made in the skin and the SMAS is lifted; however, ligaments are also released so that the cheek skin, fat and SMAS are lifted as one unit.The deep plane technique provides a truly amazing level of lift and rejuvenation. Nasolabial folds are smoothed, the cheeks will appear lifted, the jaw line sharper, and the neck line smoother and younger.
As a person considering a facelift, it’s certainly important to do some initial research, but not to tie yourself to one technique or another before talking to Dr. Schuster. You won’t need to have a type of facelift picked out before you discuss your options with Dr. Schuster. He is vastly experienced in all of today’s modern facelift techniques, and he will fully discuss with you what the different options will achieve based on your skin laxity, where the signs of aging are appearing, and your desired outcome.
To arrange a consultation with Dr. Schuster, please call our experienced team in Lutherville-Timonium at 410-902-9800. We proudly provide facelift services to people from Baltimore and all of the surrounding region.