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What is a SMAS facelift? Everything You Need to Know

A SMAS facelift is an advanced facial procedure that uses incisions to tighten and restore the skin’s elasticity, providing patients with a long-lasting and natural facelift result.

A SMAS facelift, or Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System facelift, is a cosmetic surgery that targets the lower two-thirds of the face and neckline, focusing on the SMAS layer for long-lasting results. This type of facelift addresses many of the various signs of aging. In this article, we will discuss the benefits, what it treats and does not treat, and the differences between a SMAS facelift and a traditional facelift.

What is a SMAS Facelift?

A SMAS facelift is a surgical procedure that targets the SMAS layer of the face, which is a fibrous layer of connective tissue that covers the facial muscles. By focusing on this layer, the surgeon can achieve more natural-looking and longer-lasting results compared to traditional facelift techniques.

Benefits of SMAS Facelift

The SMAS facelift in New Jersey offers several benefits over traditional facelift techniques:

  1. Long-lasting results: By targeting the deeper tissues of the face, the SMAS facelift can provide results that last about 10-15 years on average.
  2. Natural-looking results: By addressing the underlying facial structure, the SMAS facelift can achieve a more natural and youthful appearance without the stretched look that can sometimes result from traditional facelifts.
  3. Customization: The SMAS facelift allows for more customization, as the skin and SMAS layer can be moved separately, allowing the surgeon to tailor the procedure to the individual patient’s needs.

What it Treats and Does Not Treat

The SMAS facelift is ideal for treating:

  • Sagging mid-face
  • Cheek fat
  • Hollow cheeks
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Loose skin and fat under the chin and jawline
  • Sagging neck
  • Double chin

However, this facial plastic surgery does not address issues such as fine lines or wrinkles on the upper third of the face. These concerns can be addressed with other surgical or nonsurgical treatments.

Differences between SMAS Facelift and Traditional Facelift

An increased focus on the deeper layers of the face is the main difference between a SMAS facelift and a traditional facelift. While traditional facelifts primarily address the superficial layers of the skin, the SMAS facelift targets the deeper tissues, allowing for more natural-looking and longer-lasting results. Additionally, the SMAS facelift allows for more customization, as the skin and SMAS layer can be moved separately, avoiding a stretched appearance, whereas the deep plane technique moves the layers together in one direction.

Who Is Perfect for a SMAS Facelift?

An ideal candidate for a SMAS facelift is a man or woman who has excess or loose skin and sagging facial muscles that contribute to an aged appearance. These individuals are often over the age of 50, do not smoke, and are in overall good health. They may also have skin laxity, hollow cheeks, marionette lines, or a sagging neck that they wish to address.

A consultation with a surgeon. Dr. Joanna Kam in New Jersey help you determine whether or not you are a candidate for SMAS or if an alternative procedure would be best for your concerns.

The key difference between a SMAS facelift and other types of facelifts is that it repositions and tightens the underlying SMAS layer, as opposed to just removing excess fatty tissue.
SMAS facelift tightens and repositions tissue for a natural and lasting result

Factors to Consider Before Undergoing SMAS Facelift Surgery

Before deciding to undergo a SMAS facelift New Jersey, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure the best possible outcome:

  1. Realistic expectations: It is important to understand that a SMAS facelift can provide significant improvement in facial appearance, but it will not completely eliminate all signs of aging. To determine if the procedure is right for you, discuss your goals and expectations with your facial plastic surgeon.
  2. Overall health: Good overall health is crucial for a successful SMAS facelift. Certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, or a history of blood clots, can increase the risk of complications during and after the procedure.
  3. Lifestyle factors: Smoking and excessive sun exposure can negatively impact the healing process and the longevity of your facelift results. It is essential to quit smoking before surgery and protect your skin from the sun after the procedure.
  4. Surgeon’s experience and expertise: The skill and experience of your facial plastic surgeon play a significant role in the success of your plastic surgery. Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in performing SMAS facelifts to ensure the best possible outcome.

The SMAS Facelift Procedure

The SMAS facelift procedure typically takes several hours and is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, an incision will be made above the hairline and along the temple, extending down around the ear and into the hairline behind the ear. This initial process allows the surgeon to access the SMAS layer along with other deeper layers of the face.

After the incision is made, the skin will be carefully lifted and separated from the underlying SMAS layer. The SMAS layer is then tightened and repositioned to create a more youthful and lifted appearance. Excess skin and fat are removed, and the skin is redraped over the newly tightened SMAS layer. The incisions are then closed with sutures. The process takes about three hours.

Recovery from a SMAS Facelift

After a SMAS facelift, natural creases, and contours will be restored as the face slowly recovers over the course of several weeks.
A SMAS facelift restores a youthful contour to the face

New Jersey facelift patients typically experience mild bruising, swelling, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities and work within a week but prefer to stay home for 2-3 weeks after the procedure. However, it is essential to avoid strenuous activities that could strain the incisions during the recovery period, as advised by your surgeon.

To ensure a smooth healing process and the best possible results, it is crucial to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. This may include wearing a compression garment, applying cold compresses, and keeping your head elevated to minimize swelling.

Possible Risks and Complications Associated with SMAS Facelift

With a SMAS facelift, and any other surgical procedure, potential risks and complications may arise. These can include:

  1. Infection
  2. Bleeding
  3. Scarring
  4. Facial nerve damage, which can cause temporary or permanent facial weakness or numbness
  5. Asymmetry or irregularities in facial appearance
  6. Anesthesia complications
  7. Unsatisfactory results, which may require additional procedures or treatments

It is essential to discuss these risks and complications with your facial plastic surgeon during your consultation to ensure that you are fully informed and prepared for the procedure.

Schedule an Appointment with a Facelift Surgeon

The SMAS facelift is an advanced facial rejuvenation procedure, and it is essential to schedule a consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has experience with it. Your surgeon will evaluate your facial anatomy, discuss your goals and expectations, and create the most appropriate treatment plan to address all of your aesthetic concerns during your consultation.

Dr. Joanna Kam in New Jersey can answer any questions you may have about the SMAS facelift procedure, recovery, and potential risks and complications. By being well-informed and choosing an expert plastic surgeon, you can feel confident in your decision to undergo a SMAS facelift and enjoy the long-lasting, natural-looking results it can provide. To schedule your appointment, please call 856-565-2903 or click here.