Reclaiming Your Neck and Jawline with a Deep Plane Facelift

Posted January 05, 2022
How to get a deep plane facelift

When you imagine facelift results, the visions of a pulled-back face might come to mind. But facelift techniques have greatly improved and evolved over the years, resulting in a more relaxed and natural look instead of looking permanently windblown. Enter the Deep Plane Facelift, a highly advanced procedure that makes adjustments deep into the facial muscles without causing tension in the skin and muscle yet still delivering youthful results without the typical tightness found in a traditional facelift.

The specific points of adjustments performed with a deep plane facelift target four key areas- the cheeks, nasolabial folds (facial folds from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth), jowls, and neckline. The repositioning of the facial muscle elevates the cheek pads to a more youthful position while eliminating the sagginess of the jowls.

The adjustments made to these key areas found in the facial structure make this facelift uniquely different from a traditional facelift. We share all the details about the deep plane facelift and how it not only reclaims the youthful appearance back to your face but also your neck and jawline.

What is a Deep Plane Face Lift?

A deep plane facelift elevates the skin and muscle of the face and neck altogether as one layer by adjusting and tightening the ligaments of the lower face muscle. A ligament is a fibrous band of tissue attaching the muscle to the bone, and during a deep plane facelift, the surgeon will adjust the four key ligaments upward and reattach the ends to a higher area. The vertical placement lifts both skin and muscle around the cheek area, softening nasolabial folds and eliminating sagging jowls. 

What is the Difference Between a Deep Plane vs. Traditional Facelift? 

A traditional facelift (rhytidectomy) is performed using a superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), which involves tightening and lifting the skin and muscle separately and repositioning them by pulling back. Incisions for this technique are made along the hairline and placed behind the ears and sideburns. To achieve a smooth look to the skin, the SMAS relies on the tension of the pull, so it has a horizontal tightness. 

There is no tension or strain to the muscle or skin with a deep plane facelift. The vertical adjustment to the ligaments of the facial muscle allows for a natural lift rather than being pulled back. 

What Are the Benefits of a Deep Plane Facelift? 

A deep plane facelift may sound like it would be more invasive than a traditional facelift because of its name, “deep plane.” But the procedure is less invasive than a regular facelift because it doesn’t require separating the skin and muscle for the lift. Adjusting the skin and muscle intact means less trauma and faster recovery than a SMAS facelift. 

Typically, a deep plane facelift can be performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation, also known as “twilight anesthesia.” This means the patient will be primarily awake for the duration of the surgery but relaxed. The benefit of local anesthesia will allow for an easier recovery, as general anesthesia adds to the recovery time. 

Quicker recovery isn’t the only benefit of a deep plane facelift. Here are a few more advantages to consider:

  • Shorter surgical time (2 hours vs. 5 hours with regular facelift)
  • More natural results with the skin being lifted rather than pulled
  • Cheeks pads are restored to a higher position for a youthful look
  • Nasolabial folds are softened and decreased
  • Minimal and discrete incision scars
  • Long-last results (average 10-15 years) 

What Are the Drawbacks of a Deep Plane Facelift? 

The deep plane facelift method is not a widely offered procedure amongst cosmetic surgeons. Only about 5\\% of board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. have the level of expertise and skillset to perform this type of facelift. The higher demand and not enough skilled surgeons offering this surgery make it a higher cost than a traditional facelift. 

Another drawback for the deep plane facelift is how it only targets the mid to lower part of the face—making the patient address any upper facial issues separately. A patient looking to lift their eyebrows, eyelids, and forehead will need to address these procedures as an additional cost, making it more expensive for an entire facial rejuvenation.   

Am I a Good Candidate for Deep Plane Facelift?

A good candidate for a deep plane facelift should be in good overall health and could be in their late 30’s to mid-’40s. Facelifts have the reputation of being the cosmetic surgery of choice when people are in their 50’s or 60’s, but with a deep plane, it can be used as a preventive measure for skin laxity and dropping fat pads to jowls. 

Here are a few more indicators of a good candidate for a deep plane facelift: 

  • Patients with early signs of aging with skin laxity in the lower face and neck
  • A person with mild facial imperfections due to excess fatty tissue and loose facial muscles
  • Patient with noticeable jowls and developing a “turkey neck.”
  • A person with a realistic expectation of the surgical outcome

Final Takeaway - Deep Plane Facelift

A deep plane facelift aims to correct sagging jowls, lowering cheek pads, and deeply creased nasolabial folds by adjusting the ligaments that hold up the facial tissues as a whole. Not only addressing the skin or muscles separately but lifting the lower half of the face altogether for a more natural lift result. 

To find a board-certified cosmetic surgeon experienced with performing deep plane facelifts surgeries, use our “Find a Doctor” navigation tool for a medical professional in your area. 

- VM


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