While the thought of having facial cosmetic surgery such as deep plane facelift surgery might seem intimidating to most people, the results can bring relief and a renewed sense of confidence if the procedure goes right.
It’s natural for the skin and tissues on the face to lose elasticity as you grow older, leaving you with the onset of sagginess and wrinkles. These signs of aging may show up prematurely in some cases, therefore triggering a desire for corrective surgical procedures.
Deep plane facelift surgery has been in use since the early 1990s and continues to be an effective facial rejuvenation procedure to reverse the ageing process.
While there are many non-surgical facelift alternatives available, most involve repeat treatments and offer little chance of getting the desired results – especially over the long run.
If you’re keen to learn more about permanent solutions for your anti-ageing needs, and are considering a deep plane facelift, keep reading.
Here’s all you need to know to help you decide if a deep plane facelift is the right procedure for you.
Understanding deep plane facelifts
A deep plane facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that improves your facial aesthetic by altering the deep facial tissues. It is an invasive form of surgery that requires the involvement of an expert plastic surgeon.
This is in contrast to the traditional facelift procedures which primarily focus on the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer rather than the deep skin.
Traditional SMAS facelifts entail pulling on the supportive facial skin layer to lift and tighten saggy facial tissues. However, due to the natural elasticity of facial skin tissues they tend not to deliver long-lasting results.
The deep plane facelift is more effective because it focuses on deep skin layers beneath the SMAS to deliver long-lasting changes.
To perform a deep plane facelift, the plastic surgeon makes incisions to access the sheaths of tissues beneath the muscle and subcutaneous fat. The surgeon then manipulates the skin flaps to restructure the SMAS to deliver a comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
Besides lifting and tightening the facial skin, deep plane facelifts result in better jawline definition, neck firmness, and cheek contour compared to traditional non-surgical facelifts.
Who are the ideal candidates for deep plane facelifts?
Surgical facelifts effectively smooth out wrinkles and remove excess skin tissues through tightening procedures. If you already notice signs of premature aging, then a deep plane facelift might be ideal for you. However, because deep plane facelifts are invasive surgical procedures, you need to consider other factors before visiting a plastic surgeon.
Who is – and who isn’t – an ideal candidate for aesthetic facial surgery?
Deep plane facelift surgery offers the best chances of reversing skin aging in the long term. However, patients should be realistic in their expectations when undergoing the procedure and understand their suitability based (in part) on the following factors:
• Healthy people with skin looseness in the jaw and neckline region are ideal. Facelifts and other cosmetic surgeries are unsuitable for people with medical conditions that disrupt wound healing and recovery.
• Non-smokers are ideal. A deep plane facelift is NOT recommended for tobacco users. Whilst nicotine and other chemical compounds in cigarettes may accelerate premature skin aging in adults, nicotine causes the narrowing of blood vessels, thus limiting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells.
In the end, wounds from facial surgery may heal poorly, leading to undesirable outcomes. Tobacco smokers who undergo facial plastic surgery are more likely to develop skin flap necrosis.
• A surgical facelift is also unsuitable for persons with a history of keloid scarring. Keloid scarring heightens the risk of the wound spreading beyond the initial incision areas.
• Deep plane facial surgery is NOT recommended for patients seeking a secondary facelift, especially when the first procedure involves incisions beyond the SMAS layer.
Do not hesitate to talk to a specialist if you have doubts about whether a facelift is right for you, or if you have concerns about the procedure’s outcomes. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions to minimise the risk of complications during aftercare.
What happens during a facelift procedure?
Deep plane procedures target the deep-lying tissues (those below the SMAS layer) responsible for holding facial skin in place.
The surgeon begins by making incisions on the skin to access the underlying muscles and ligaments. The specialist then performs deep tissue manipulation by removing excess fat or redistributing it to other face parts. The specialist then tightens and suspends the skin flap muscles to deliver an overall youthful appearance.
A neck lift may be necessary if there’s loose skin and excess fat around the jaw and neckline. The surgeon makes incisions below the chin to facilitate pulling and tightening facial skin in that region. Specialists ensure that all incisions blend seamlessly with your facial structures and hairline.
Recovery times for deep plane facelifts
The recovery period from deep plane facelift varies depending on your health condition and the degree of facial reconstruction. Most patients can recover well in three to four weeks, however it’s best to discuss your expectations with a facial plastic surgeon if you need a more accurate timeframe for your recovery.
It’s common to experience swelling, bruising, and redness in the incision areas but these feelings will subside as you heal. Your facelift specialist may provide you with pain medication if you experience extra discomfort.
What to expect from the procedure
Deep plane facial reconstructions often have the same side effects as other traditional facelifts. Skin numbness, swelling, bruising, scarring, facial asymmetry, and hair loss are common side effects of deep plane facial surgery. It is advisable to take at least a three week break from strenuous activities to aid healing and recovery.
You should also strictly follow the specialist’s instructions on when to have stitches removed or dressings changed, and when to go for all of the follow-up appointments. After the swelling subsides, you should be able to notice the difference in your facial appearance.
The results of a deep plan facial rejuvenation can last for more than ten years. It’s essential to limit sunlight exposure and moisturise your face daily to improve the outcome of this kind of facial surgery.