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Which Facelift Technique Should I Get?

Posted May 01, 2020 in Facelift

6 Minute Read:


Facelift surgery continues to be among the most popular plastic surgery procedures year after year because of its ability to help those wishing to address the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging tissues. 

For over 110 years, plastic surgeons worldwide have performed facelift surgery in a variety of methods.

Dr. Boris Ackerman, a facial rejuvenation specialist in Newport Beach, California, performs several of these methods and will customize your facelift to achieve the most natural results possible.

What Is a Facelift?

Before and after photos of a facelift surgery patient from Newport Beach, CA.

Facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, rejuvenates your face by repositioning the deeper tissues, removing excess facial skin, and tightening the remaining skin for a smoother, more youthful appearance. 

Facelift surgery can address fine lines, wrinkles, deep folds, and jowls that are constant reminders of getting older.

Other benefits of facelift surgery include the:

  • Minimization of neck laxity
  • Repositioning of facial volume
  • Improvement in facial harmony

What Are My Facelift Technique Options?

Surgeons have been performing facelift surgery for over a century; however, during that time, the procedure has seen a lot of changes. Advancements in surgical techniques have entirely altered the way surgeons approach the tightening of the facial tissues. The idea of simply stretching the skin taut and suturing near the hairline has gone out of fashion, and newer techniques that result in natural-looking contours have taken center stage.

Before and after photos of a facelift surgery patient from Newport Beach, CA.

Dr. Ackerman will recommend the best facelift technique after assessing your facial anatomy during your consultation.

Your facelift surgery will include one of the following techniques:

What Is a SMAS Facelift?

The SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) is the tissue layer that divides the superficial adipose tissue from the deeper tissues in the face. This fibrous network connects the facial muscles to the deepest layers of the skin (the dermis) and is responsible for transmitting and amplifying the muscular activity beneath the skin. 

Because this is the tissue layer responsible for transmitting facial expressions and movements, it is a common victim of premature facial aging. Facelift surgery tightens and restores elasticity to these tissues with the SMAS facelift technique—a method that allows for complete facial rejuvenation, particularly in the lower third of the face.

During the SMAS facelift, Dr. Ackerman carefully dissects the SMAS layer from the surrounding tissue layers and repositions it in the proper direction without pulling or tightening the skin. 

Once lifted, the SMAS layer is sutured, and the excess skin is excised. Because it is the underlying tissues that are tightened instead of the skin, patients will enjoy a natural-looking lift without the tell-tale “windswept” appearance of other facelift techniques. 

What Is a Deep Plane Facelift?

While patients with visible aging on the lower third of the face (such as nasolabial folds and jowls) may benefit from a SMAS facelift, younger patients or those with thinner faces may be better suited for a deep plane facelift. 

While the deep plane facelift also addresses the lifting and tightening of the underlying tissues, it approaches it differently. In the SMAS facelift, the SMAS tissue is dissected from the skin and elevated separately. In a deep plane facelift, the skin and the SMAS remain attached and are elevated together in the sub-SMAS deep plane layer.

This technique preserves and protects the deep structures while addressing the lower two-thirds of the face, including the cheeks and upper neck. With a deep plane facelift, patients will achieve natural-looking rejuvenation without skin tightness or noticeable incisions.

What Is an Endoscopic Facelift?

Endoscopic facial surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its ability to tighten tissues with less bleeding, bruising, and scarring.

An endoscopic facelift utilizes small incisions and an endoscope (pencil-sized camera) to tighten the underlying tissues without leaving behind noticeable scars or requiring significant downtime.  

Through minimal incisions in the temporal scalp, the underlying facial elements are repositioned to reveal a smoother, tighter appearance. 

While an endoscopic facelift has significant benefits, it may not be appropriate for all patients, especially those with a significant amount of skin laxity.

How Long Will My Facelift Results Last?

Facelift surgery (regardless of technique) will result in more youthful contours for many years. Unfortunately, this procedure cannot and will not stop the natural aging process. While your tissues will always be tauter than if you had not undergone surgery, additional laxity will develop. 

How Can I Extend My Facelift Results?

Just because the results of your facelift may eventually weaken, it does not mean that you cannot help prolong the quality of your results. Many facelift patients can extend the longevity of their results by following a healthy lifestyle, eating a nutritious diet, protecting their skin from the sun, and applying skin creams and moisturizers religiously.

Have More Questions?

For more information about the facelift procedure and techniques, contact Dr. Ackerman at his Newport Beach office by calling (949) 536-9047 or by filling out our online contact form.

Our Location

Boris M. Ackerman, M.D.
360 San Miguel Drive, Suite 607
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Get Directions

Phone: (949) 759-3284
Fax: 949-759-9613