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Why Deep Plane Facelifts Work So Well

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Blog

“A deep plane facelift produces a natural looking appearance and its results last longer than other traditional facelifts,” says Dr George Marcells. “It allows me to lift a patient’s entire face, as well as improve the definition of the jaw, neck, and cheekbones.” Dr Marcells is one of a small number of facial plastic surgeons skilled in this highly complex, but ultimately rewarding approach to facial rejuvenation.

If you’re not familiar with the surgical approach labelled the gold standard of facelift techniques, this article will bring you up to speed. We’re going beneath the surface to explain the mechanics of your face to help you understand the value of deep plane facelift surgery.

Frozen Is for a Tub of Ice-cream, Not Your Face

One of the chief complaints about facelifts in the past was how the procedure often left a patient with overly tight skin. “The vast majority of facelift techniques have focused on pulling lax surface skin,” explains Dr Marcells. “Even the most skilled surgeons had difficulty making skin look smooth, rather than pulled tight.” Then “push” was added to “pull” with the advent of the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) facelift technique. Found deep within the skin and subcutaneous tissue, the SMAS tissue layer can be manipulated (pushed) by a skilled surgeon to rejuvenate facial tone

Even with this improved approach, however, “A certain amount of skin pulling was still often required to achieve optimal results,” says Dr Marcells.

Deep Plane Lifts Skin & Muscle for Facial Rejuvenation

The deep plane facelift is generation 3.0 when it comes to creating a face that looks youthful, but not frozen. Like a SMAS lift, a deep plane facelift allows surgeons to elevate the face on a vertical, as well as horizontal plane. What differentiates it from its predecessor is a delicate surgical manoeuvre “The midface ligaments attached to the SMAS layer are cut and vertically sutured,” explains Dr Marcells. “This provides great flexibility for me to create natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing results.” Those results include:

  • Lifts the entire face
  • Lifts the mid-face more effectively than other techniques
  • Leaves skin looking toned, not pulled
  • Is less painful than other facelift techniques
  • Provides longer lasting results (benefits can last up to 15 years)

An incision is made near the hair line, helping to make it unnoticeable after surgery. The skin is separated from the underlying tissues and “I may use suspensions to help sagging tissue reattach itself to the bone,” reports Dr Marcells.

Before You Rush Into Surgery

“A deep plane facelift is no small thing,” Dr Marcells cautions. “It increases the exposure of facial nerve branches during surgery, creating a higher risk than in SMAS.” He points to other considerations such as downtime and the cost, which is not covered by insurance. He also notes that facial sagging has several different causes and other treatments may be preferable to surgery. For example, a patient who has moderately sagging skin related primarily to volume loss may benefit from dermal fillers or other non-surgical options.

“Sooner or later, cosmetic injectables may no longer do the work necessary to rejuvenate your face,” acknowledges Dr Marcells. “That’s when you should think about a deep plane facelift.” If you think you’re ready for a facelift, would like to know more before saying “I do,” or need more information about alternatives to facelift surgery, we’ve made it easy to get in touch with us and schedule a consult at our practice in Bondi Junction.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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