A SMAS facelift is a kind of facelift or rhytidectomy procedure that lifts and tightens the muscles of the lower two-thirds of the face and neck to get rid of jowls and shape the jawline and neck. This procedure also removes extra skin and smoothes out any remaining creases and folds in the skin. Laxity along the lower cheek and jawline, which results in jowls, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines, is usually caused by the SMAS (Superficial MusculoAponeurotic System) becoming loose and dropping with age.
As you grow older, there is a reduction in the collagen content and elasticity of your skin which can cause the skin to sag and wrinkle. Fortunately, with a SMAS facelift, people with sagging or wrinkled skin can regain a fresher and more youthful appearance. A SMAS facelift surgery, which is now regarded as the benchmark surgical facelift, lifts and tightens the fascia layer that covers the facial muscles in addition to the skin, giving patients more natural-looking and longer-lasting results than conventional skin-only facelift techniques. The platysma muscle in the neck extends directly into the SMAS in the lower face. During facelifts and neck lifts, this broad, sheet-like muscle is adjusted and elevated.
You should know that other facial rejuvenation procedures can be performed in place of or together with a SMAS facelift to improve the appearance of your face. Before you decide to get a SMAS facelift, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Karan Chopra to get the best advice on the exact facial rejuvenation procedure or combination of procedures that will benefit you the most and meet your aesthetic expectations.
- The SMAS facelift procedure is regarded by the majority of plastic surgeons as the current gold standard for facial rejuvenation. Compared to the skin-only traditional facelift of the past, which often produced short-lived results and left patients looking too taut, a SMAS facelift procedure offers better, longer-lasting effects;
- SMAS facelift primarily treats the soft tissues of the face and neck to reduce laxity, and banding beneath the chin giving patients a rejuvenated, youthful appearance;
- SMAS facelift minimizes a double chin, jowls, nasolabial folds, platysma bands, and other aging symptoms that can be challenging or impossible to address with nonsurgical methods, in addition to tightening sagging skin and defining the jawline;
- Incisions can be made at the front or back of the ears. These incisions when done right by a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Karan Chopra will leave barely visible scars;
- Rejuvenates the face giving patients a younger and fresher appearance;
- A SMAS facelift treatment produces results that remain for at least ten years.
"Am I the right candidate?"You will be considered for a SMAS facelift if you:
- Are a non-smoker;
- Have maintained a healthy weight;
- Are bothered by loose skin, neck bands, jowls, and other noticeable facial signs of aging in the lower face and neck;
- Are a healthy individual without the presence of any health condition that may impair your recovery;
- Have reasonable expectations for the procedure.
Facelift procedures typically lift the skin of the face. The SMAS facelift procedure produces results that are more natural. Everyone thinking about getting a facelift wants to look younger but do not want to appear like they have had work done, and the SMAS facelift procedure can help with this.
The superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or SMAS, is a layer of muscles and fibrous tissues that begins directly in front of and below the ear and extends down to the neck. The muscles and tissues of the face, midface, and neck are covered by this thin but sturdy layer, which also links them as one continuous fibromuscular tissue. It attaches to the platysma, the superficial muscle covering the lower face, the jawline, and the neck muscles. With aging, the platysma muscle in the neck can develop a “turkey neck" and vertical muscle bands. A layer of fat may also accumulate between the skin and this fibrous layer. The SMAS main function is to make sure the muscles important for facial expression are properly positioned.
There are differences between a SMAS facelift and a deep plane facelift, even though they both target jowls, sagging skin, and fat deposits in the lower two-thirds of the face. One difference is the fact that a deep plane facelift also addresses the neck, unlike the SMAS facelift. However, the SMAS facelift is a less invasive procedure, and many individuals believe the results appear more natural than those of a standard facelift.
Before undergoing a SMAS facelift, you need to discuss your specific goals and expectations of this procedure with your surgeon during the initial consultation.
Time A SMAS facelift may take between two to four hours depending on the approach used by your surgeon and the complexity of your treatment.
Cost The cost of a SMAS facelift may vary from patient to patient depending on various factors such as the type of correction, surgical fees, and anesthesia fees. A detailed quote will be provided during your consultation.
- Anesthesia will be administered to the patient before the procedure. Although general anesthesia is commonly used for SMAS facelift, it can also be carried out under local anesthetic with IV sedation.
- Incisions will be made by your plastic surgeon. The incisions normally begin at the sideburn area and follow the natural contours of the face to end behind the ear ensuring that any scars are discreetly concealed beneath the hairline and between the skin’s natural creases.
- The fibromuscular layer will then be repositioned, tightened, and fixed into an elevated position by your surgeon after the skin and subcutaneous fat tissues are lifted off of the SMAS.
- Your plastic surgeon will then either excise or fold it over on itself to shorten and raise the structure.
- Your surgeon will reshape your facial skin and soft tissues to fit your new facial features, removing any extra tissue before using tiny sutures to close the wounds.
- To remove the extra fluid that your body naturally creates throughout the healing process, your surgeon may insert small drain tubes at the incision site.
RecoveryAn average SMAS facelift recovery period lasts 7–14 days. Your surgeon will provide you with comprehensive post-operative instructions on how to care for your wounds, what complications to look out for, and when to take any painkillers. Your surgeon will also arrange follow-up appointments to observe your recovery. There will be facial swelling and bruising for a couple of days after your SMAS facelift procedure. The swelling will substantially reduce about two weeks after your procedure. After the procedure, you may be asked to wrap your head and neck for the first 24 hours with a compression dressing to help reduce swelling and bruising. Avoid bending over, heavy lifting, or strenuous exercise during that time to prevent your heart rate from increasing or your blood from flowing to your face. Instead, stick to light walking and other forms of exercise. You may experience tightness and numbness in your face after your SMAS facelift procedure. These symptoms are common and will go away on their own in a few months. As the swelling and bruising subside, the results of your SMAS facelift will become more noticeable, but you probably will be able to resume your daily chores within the first two weeks after surgery. Once the swelling has subsided, you'll see your full results in six to twelve months. Your age, overall health, and addictions are a few factors that affect how long the effects of your procedure will last. Usually, the results from a SMAS facelift last for at least ten years.
FAQs about the SMAS Facelift
How long does a SMAS facelift last?
- SMAS facelift is a facelift procedure that produces natural-looking and long-lasting results. The typical lifespan of a SMAS facelift is 12 years. Patients who have extremely poor skin elasticity as a result of UV damage may need a facelift sooner.
How long does it take to recover from a SMAS facelift?
- After a SMAS facelift, you will need about two to three weeks to recover from the swelling, redness, bruising, and discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will usually provide you with a compression garment to reduce swelling. This compression garment should be worn for the first ten days after your procedure. The sutures on the surgical site are usually removed after one week.
Is SMAS a mini facelift?
- A full facelift, such as a deep plane or Superficial MusculoAponeurotic System (SMAS) facelift, focuses on tightening all of the facial skin and repositioning the underlying tissues, whereas a mini facelift primarily targets the lower face and neck region.
How painful is a SMAS facelift?
- It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling after any facelift procedure. The majority of patients experience mild discomfort, which is typically relieved by over-the-counter painkillers. However, stronger painkillers may be prescribed to aid in pain management or sleep during the first few days after a facelift procedure.
Where are the incisions for SMAS facelift?
- Your plastic surgeon will create an incision behind the ears that follows the skin's natural creases. This method of making an incision will guarantee that your scar is discretely concealed between your skin's natural creases and beneath your hairline.