Deep-Plane Facelift

Conveniently located to serve Plano, TX

Deep-Plane Facelift

The term deep-plane facelift is used in distinction to a standard SMAS* lift. The SMAS lift simply lifts the deeper, sagging tissues into an improved position but it does not properly release ligaments that restrict tissues from optimal elevation. Accordingly, SMAS lifts do not show as improved a result in the jawline and neck, and the results do not last like a deep-plane facelift. Without releasing several key ligaments in the face, the tissues are restricted from free elevation. That is the key difference with a deep-plane facelift. Dr. Lam used to perform a SMAS facelift but felt that his results over the past 10 years have dramatically improved since he started to perform the deep-plane approach.

Ligaments are thick tissue attachments that stick two layers together and that do not allow unrestricted movement when left in place. In fact, after Dr. Lam has released these ligaments he checks to see that there is free movement of the tissue that he would like to lift. If he sees a lack of movement or a limited degree of movement, he knows that he has not sufficiently released these ligaments for proper elevation. He can literally see the tissues elevate freely when the ligaments are correctly released.

To perform a deep-plane facelift in Dr. Lam’s hands is not riskier nor does it take much longer to perform than a standard facelift. In skilled hands, this procedure offers far better results without a longer recovery period. With advances in techniques over the past 5 years, Dr. Lam has seen continuing decrease in the extent and time of recovery no matter what type of facelift he performs (see below).

Dr. Lam performs basically three types of facelifts depending on what needs to be done: a mini-lift, a standard lift, and a deep-neck lift. All three of these procedures use a deep-plane facelift technique for optimal results, so there is no difference there. The difference lies in a few other details. A mini-lift involves a slightly shorter facelift incision and is meant to manage only the jowls and jawline with a little gain in the neck as well. For saggier necks, he must perform a standard (deep-plane) facelift in which he also addresses the neck banding through an incision under the chin. A deep neck lift (not to be confused with the term deep-plane facelift) goes inside the neck muscles to remove some of the extra tissues like deep fat and glands that obstruct the neck from an improvement based on someone’s anatomical restrictions. Again, the mini-lift, standard facelift, and deep neck lift, all incorporate the use of the deep-plane approach but vary in other key ways. If this is at all confusing, Dr. Lam would be happy to address these questions with you in person and to see which of the sub-methods would be applicable for you.

*SMAS stands for Superficial MusculoAponeurotic System and is the tissue that is elevated whether done through a standard facelift or in a deep-plane facelift. The SMAS is a confluence of thick fascia (collagen tissue) and muscular structure that must be elevated during a facelift. The skin is never pulled but the SMAS is the hearty tissue that is elevated during a proper facelift procedure.

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