With so many terms out there surrounding facelifts, it can be overwhelming when you are researching which facelift technique might be right for you. I’m here to make that research a little easier for you by explaining 3 of the facelift techniques we perform at the Plastic Surgery Center of the South. So, when you encounter these terms when researching facelifts in Atlanta, you’ll be armed with the information you need.
What Is the SMAS?
Before we dive in, there is one term I explain to all my patients first: the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or the SMAS. The SMAS is the muscular and soft tissue layer just below the skin. It surrounds the muscles of facial expression — i.e., the muscles you use for smiling, frowning, and making all other facial expressions.
1. Deep Plane Facelift
The deep plane facelift involves separating the skin from the SMAS, going underneath the SMAS to access the “deep plane,” and releasing the attachments to allow the surgeon to reposition the SMAS and the skin. After the repositioning occurs, the surgeon can remove any excess or loose skin.
This technique will work best for men or women with severe facial sagging, as the results are dramatic and long-lasting. Recovery will be a longer process for this technique, but consider that results will be more drastic than other techniques.
2. SMAS Facelift
Unlike the deep plane lift, the SMAS lift affects only the top layer of skin and the deep tissue of the face. The surgeon will make an incision at the temple, above the hairline, and extend it downward toward the ear and behind the earlobe. The skin, or SMAS, is then tightened and the excess skin is removed.
The SMAS facelift is best suited for men or women with moderate facial sagging who still retain some elasticity in their skin. The recovery process and the length of the results will vary based on the individual and how the surgeon performs the procedure.
3. Short Scar Facelift
In your research, you’ll see “short scar facelift” alongside the term “mini facelift,” and they’re essentially the same. As the name suggests, the key is limited incisions that often don’t extend behind the ear. Your surgeon will discuss your expectations with you to choose the technique that will work best for you individually.
The short scar technique is better for men or women who are tired of a sagging, tired appearance in their faces, but are not interested in the longer recovery time that comes with a full facelift. There are tradeoffs in this, as the effects of a short scar facelift will not be as dramatic as a full facelift.
Feeling better equipped to make a decision? If you’re considering a facelift, call us at (770) 421-1242 to schedule an appointment, or request a consultation to meet personally with one of our surgeons. If you’re feeling a bit nervous about the procedure, review our blog post on overcoming your facelift fears. We encourage you to review our online gallery of facelift before & after photos to see some of our real patient results.