What Is a SMAS Facelift?

When it comes to signs of aging, the face is often the most telling. This is compounded by the fact that it can’t be hidden.

So it’s no big surprise that many older adults are making the decision to get a SMAS facelift to restore a more youthful appearance and feel better about how they present themselves.

This technique is the latest in facelift surgeries and it is far more effective than the old-school procedures.

What Is the SMAS?

If you’re considering a full facelift, you may want a deeper understanding of the structure of the face.

SMAS is an acronym for the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System. It’s the layer of dense connective tissue in the cheek that’s located between the muscles that control facial expression and the subcutaneous fat just beneath the skin.

In the early days of plastic surgery, surgeons only tightened the skin. This was effective, but due to the high wound healing tension on the skin, scarring was an issue. And there wasn’t much in the way of longevity.

With a deeper understanding of the SMAS, surgeons began to discover different options that involved more than just lifting the skin. From there the deep plane facelift was born.

The Deep Plane Facelift 

By the 1990s, a full facelift consisted of what was known as a deep plane lift. This procedure raised both the skin and the SMAS together as one layer. This allowed for better circulation for the overlying skin to assist in wound healing. The problem was, the procedure posed an increased risk of injury to facial nerves.

As such, most plastic surgeons have abandoned this older technique and are now utilizing the SMAS facelift.

What Makes a SMAS Facelift Different?

Though the name might lead you to believe that only the SMAS is lifted in this procedure, that’s not the case. Rather, a SMAS facelift still raises both the skin and the SMAS, but separately.

With the ability to individually manipulate the skin and SMAS layers, the surgeon is able to tighten and reposition the face in multiple directions which allows him or her more control for customizing and restoring individual facial shape. This allows for a much more natural-looking result.

The same can’t be said for the deep plane method which prohibited doctors to take into consideration each patient’s unique facial shape. There was only one direction of tightening – regardless of bone structure, skin quality, and soft tissue bulk.

In addition, a SMAS facelift is not a one-procedure-works-for-all deal. There are variations. For example, for patients who struggle with laxity primarily around the jowls, the surgeon will likely excise part of the SMAS or fold it on itself. Meanwhile, if central cheek lifting is required, the surgeon will perform extensive inward SMAS lifting.

Whatever the case, when board-certified surgeons refer to a full facelift these days, it’s more than likely a SMAS facelift. And that’s clearly a good thing!

Curious About What a Facelift Would Do for You?

A SMAS facelift can address and correct even the most advanced signs of aging on your face while restoring your natural appearance.

So if you’re wondering whether a full facelift might be right for you, contact us for a free consultation. Whether you opt for just a facelift, or decide to add an additional procedure to enhance your results, your more youthful appearance is sure to bring a smile to your face.