Procedures/ Deep Plane Facelift

Deep Plane Facelift

Procedures 5 min read


Deep Plane Facelift

A facelift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that gives a younger appearance to your face by reducing sagging and creases and correcting the changes in shape that occur with age. This article describes the deep plane facelift technique, which is one of the surgical techniques used to reduce the aged appearance of the face and neck. Keep reading to learn everything about a deep plane facelift, including who is a good candidate for the procedure, what the recovery is like, what you can expect in terms of the results, as well as cost and alternatives.

What is a deep plane face lift?

A deep plane facelift procedure is one of the most invasive facelift techniques used by surgeons who perform facial plastic surgery. The facelift surgeon targets the mid face and performs the surgery in deeper tissue layers of the face, jawline and neck to achieve long lasting facial rejuvenation. Therefore, although the deep plane facelift is more extensive than other types of facelifts, it gives patients longer lasting results. A deep plane facelift is a powerful tool to give you a naturally beautiful, youthful appearance.

What problems can a deep plane facelift technique correct?

A deep plane facelift is performed to achieve facial rejuvenation. It can give you a younger, fresher appearance and less aged look to your face. This type of facelift is performed to address problems like facial volume loss (sunken cheeks), facial skin laxity (loose or sagging skin), marionette lines (wrinkles that run between the chin and mouth), and fine lines and wrinkles in other parts of the face. Patients with malar fat pad descent (lower than normal position of the cheek fat) and prominent nasolabial folds (prominent creases that run from the corners of the mouth to the nose) are good candidates for this procedure. A plastic surgeon can also correct problems like jowls, festoons (mounds in the cheek area), loose skin and bags under the eyes, and facial dimples with a deep plane facelift.

What is the difference between a deep plane facelift and SMAS facelift?

The SMAS or superficial muscular aponeurotic system is an important supporting structure in the face. It is a layer of muscle and fascia that thickens with age to form an aponeurosis (band of connective tissue). The SMAS divides the mid face into deep and superficial layers. Manipulation of the SMAS can change the appearance of the face.

A SMAS facelift targets the superficial tissues of the face to address problems like sagging skin, jowling, volume loss in the cheeks, and excess fat. The SMAS technique is a less invasive procedure than a regular facelift. Accordingly, the recovery period for a SMAS facelift is faster than a more invasive procedure like a deep plane facelift.

The deep plane facelift technique involves dissection of facial tissues below the SMAS layer in the mid face. This allows the surgeon to release retaining ligaments and mobilize a larger amount of soft tissue. As noted, it is a more extensive procedure than a SMAS facelift. However, a deep plane facelift creates longer lasting results compared to other types of facial plastic surgery. It also allows the surgeon to place tension at the fascia level and close the skin in a tension-free manner for smoother results. A deep plane procedure is therefore recommended for patients with extensive signs of facial aging.

Who is the ideal candidate for a deep plane facelift?

Your plastic surgeon is the best person to help you decide if you are a good candidate for a deep plane facelift. In general, surgeons recommend deep plane facelifts in older patients who have a significant amount of laxity or looseness in the mid face, jaw and neck area. Such patients may not get the desired results from a less extensive procedure.

A deep plane facelift may not be the ideal choice in patients who have previously undergone a facelift because scarring from the original procedure can make it difficult to identify tissue layers during the deep plane technique.

What to expect with a deep plane procedure?

Before a deep plane facelift

You will undergo one or more consultations in the office to help decide if you are a good candidate for a deep plane facelift. During the consultation, your surgeon will talk to you about realistic expectations from the procedure in terms of results. You will have a chance to ask questions if you wish to discuss potential alternatives. If your surgeon decides you are an appropriate candidate for a deep plane facelift, you will receive detailed instructions to prepare for the surgery.

In preparation for your deep plane facelift, you will need to stop taking certain medications such as blood thinners that can increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. You will also be advised to stop smoking before and after the procedure to reduce the risk of wound healing complications. It is recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol for 2 days before the deep plane facelift procedure. You will be directed to not eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours before the surgery.

During a deep plane facelift

A deep plane facelift technique is usually performed under general anesthesia. You will be asleep during the procedure and will not feel anything. As part of the deep plane technique, the surgeon will mark the skin of your face to identify the locations of the incisions. They will perform the procedure by cutting and releasing the ligaments and undertaking deep manipulation of the tissues. The SMAS layer and platysma muscle may need to be repositioned. The facial plastic surgeon will then suspend and stitch a skin-muscle flap into a position to give your face a more youthful look.

Aftercare and recovery from a deep plane facelift

Immediately after the deep plane facelift, the skin of your entire face will have deep bruising and swelling. You will need to wear compressive garments to reduce the swelling. The doctor will also leave small tubes called drains in place in your skin. These tubes will drain out excess fluid from the surgical sites. You will have to return to the office to have the drains removed after a few days.

The bruising and swelling in the skin after a deep plane facelift can last for up to 2 weeks. During the healing period, you will be advised not to move your neck, rather you should move your head by turning the shoulders. You will also need to limit jaw movement during this period. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to reduce discomfort. You will also receive antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. You can apply cold compresses and keep your head in an elevated position to reduce swelling.

You should plan to get plenty of rest after your deep plane facelift because it is an extensive surgery. Most patients can return to work after a recovery period of 2 weeks following a deep plane facelift.

How long does it take to recover from a deep plane facelift?

As noted, the average recovery period from a deep plane facelift surgical procedure is 2-3 weeks. Three weeks after the procedure, the bruising and swelling in the skin are less noticeable and you can stop using pain medication. You can resume light exercise at this time. However, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise for 6 weeks after this type of facelift technique.

What are the potential complications of a deep plane facelift?

The most common side effects of a deep plane facelift procedure are bruising and swelling. These are temporary and usually resolve in two weeks, three at most. Rarely, a deep plane facelift can cause complications like bleeding, infection, and damage to the facial nerve resulting in facial asymmetry. You can reduce your risk of complications by choosing an expert aesthetic provider or facial plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facelifts, specifically this type of plastic surgery.

Are the results of a deep plane facelift permanent?

You will notice an improvement in the appearance of your face immediately after the surgery. The results will continue to improve as the tissues settle into their new positions. A deep plane facelift is an extensive facelift technique with the longest recovery period. However, the advantage of this procedure is that the results are long lasting, although they are not permanent. On average, the effects of a deep plane facelift last for 10-15 years. Over time, your face continues to be affected by aging and gravity, leading to a reappearance of the problems that were corrected by the procedure.

What is a good age for a facelift?

A facelift surgery is not generally recommended before the age of 40. It most patients, it is performed in the 40s, 50s, and 60s when the signs of aging begin to show on the face. A deep plane facelift is typically recommended to patients with significant signs of facial aging who are looking for long lasting results.

How much does a deep plane facelift cost?

A deep plane facelift is an extensive surgical procedure. The average cost is $20,000 to $30,000. The cost of the procedure can vary greatly depending on where you live and the expertise of your aesthetic provider.

Finding a provider for a deep plane facelift

The MeTime app makes it easy to find board certified cosmetic surgeons, plastic surgeons, and expert aesthetic providers in your area. You can click and upload pictures and have suggestions sent directly to you. Want to find out more about facelifts in general or a deep plane facelift in particular? Try the MeTime app now!