A face lift is a procedure which is used to provide a tighter face and neck. It is used to reduce wrinkling and sagging of the skin on the neck and face which is usually caused by the aging process, or significant weight loss. The main goal of a face lift is to restore a balanced and youthful appearance.
What is SMAS?
The face is composed of four main layers: skin, fat tissue under the skin, fascia and the last layer is muscle. During the aging process, loss of fat tissue and sagging of the fascia occur which creates wrinkles and sagging.
SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) is a layer of fascia which can be imagined as a sheet lying on top of muscles. It is a very tight sheet and it doesn’t stretch much. A layer of fascia (SMAS layer) which is under the skin and the fat tissue will be tightened up together during the SMAS face lift. It will provide much more support for the overlying structures and the results will be more satisfying. The SMAS facelift provides long lasting results so the patient can expect the results of surgery to last for at least 10 years.
Who are Suitable Patients for a SMAS Face lift?
SMAS face lift can be used for patients who suffer from deep nasolabial folds, loose jawline, deep wrinkles over their face, and wrinkles on the neck. It is also recommended for all patients who desire longer lasting results. So, if you have major sagging skin on your face or deep wrinkles and want a long term solution, then the SMAS face lift might be the best choice for you.
The Process of the SMAS Face Lift
A face lift is a highly individualized procedure because every face is different and needs a different approach.
The length of the incision will depend on the purpose of the surgery. It should be long enough to address all the issues, and to allow for the removal of excess skin.
The full face lift incision usually starts from the top of the ear, then along the front of the ear canal, behind the ear and it ends in the hairline behind the ear. Nowadays, mini face lift have become a very popular procedure and in that case the incision is significantly smaller. It is placed from the front side of ear and ear robes.
After the incision is made, the skin is elevated and the SMAS layer become visualized. After that SMAS layer is released from its attachments (retaining ligaments) and lifted up. There are several techniques for addressing the SMAS layer. In a deep plane face lift, muscles and fascia will be elevated from the bone underneath them and moved up in order to reduce sagging dramatically. This Deep plane face lift is performed by JW face lift specialist.
In SMAS plication, parts of the muscle will be sutured onto themselves very tightly after they are folded. That way the length of the muscle will be reduced and there will be less sagging since multiple layers of muscle are strongly sutured.
The lower eyelid muscle is tightened so that under eye hollow is diminished. Muscles in the cheek area are moved upwards, muscles at the corner of the mouth are moved up as well as muscles under the marionette lines. SMAS in the neck and jowl area are tightened.
After the SMAS layer is re-positioned and tightened, the skin is retracted and the excess skin is removed. At the end, the incised skin is sutured in multiple layers to prevent excessive scarring and skin tension.
Recovery After a SMAS Face lift
The SMAS face lift is an extensive surgical procedure, so the recovery period can last for a few weeks. It is usually associated with yellow bruising and swelling. You should be able to continue doing your daily activities after stitches are removed on 10 days – 2 weeks. Bruising should start reducing after a week, You can get frequent LED deswelling treatment on each treatment day in JW for swelling and bruises. Most patients don’t have pain. After the first week, there will be less bruising and swelling starts to subside.
Two weeks after the surgery, most of the swelling will subside. Your bruises will be less visible. After a month, there should be no more bruising and most of the swelling should subside.