The surgical techniques used to accomplish facelifts have advanced dramatically with time. In the past, the procedure involved removing and tightening the skin of a patient's face. This older approach had the unfortunate side effect of leaving behind an unnatural look usually referred to as "windswept" or "pulled." The surgery would also weaken the skin fairly quickly, causing it to sag again and, ultimately, diminish results.
With over 25 years of experience performing the facelift procedure, Dr. Brown is able to perform more advanced facelift techniques that prevent these issues. With a SMAS facelift, you can regain a youthful appearance that is both natural looking and long lasting.
What is a SMAS Facelift?
Modern facelifts work by repositioning the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) of a patient's face, rather than the skin alone. The SMAS is a mesh-like network of organized fibres (fat cells, collagen, and elastin) that extend through the three layers of facial tissue. This structure connects the skin and muscles of the face. Since the SMAS works to distribute the force of facial muscles on the skin, it is also responsible for creating our expressions. The SMAS, in essence, connects the underlying and outermost layers of our skin and allows them to move as a single unit when we smile, frown, or otherwise move our faces.
Over time, natural aging processes cause the SMAS to weaken and facial muscles to sag. This results in common signs of aging like drooping cheeks, a saggy neck, deep lower eyelid and mouth creases, as well as the development of excess skin along the jawline (jowls). A facelift that focuses on repositioning the SMAS is able to rectify these problems and restore a youthful appearance.
The Basics of a SMAS Facelift
A SMAS facelift begins much like any form of surgery. The patient is anaesthetized before incisions are made at specific sites on the face and neck. The three layer unit of facial and neck skin is then released and tension is placed on the underlying SMAS structure to lift these layers upward. Once this is done, excess tissue is removed and sutures are applied. The procedure not only repositions interior tissue structures, but also works to lift the overlying skin.
Dr. Brown may choose to employ a different technique depending on how — and where — the SMAS layer is to be lifted so that the best results are achieved. This can be discussed during the consultation.
Recovering from a SMAS Facelift
Patients will leave surgery with drainage tubes and head dressings in place. During the first one to two weeks, a degree of facial puffiness, numbness, swelling, paleness, and bruising should be expected. In order to help manage swelling, patients must keep their head elevated for a few days following surgery.
While some bruising may persist for two to three weeks, other side effects gradually resolve over the first few days of healing.
The Benefits of the SMAS Facelift
SMAS facelifts provide a number of benefits when compared to older techniques. The most important of these is a more natural appearance that the procedure achieves. Repositioning the SMAS corrects signs of aging like hollowed cheeks, jowls, and facial folds without the kind of artificial looking results that older surgical approaches entail. Patients who receive a SMAS facelift enjoy longer lasting results as well. SMAS treatment offers a lift that lasts 10 years (or longer) than what was possible through more outdated techniques.
Read More About the Facelift / Rhytidectomy Procedure