How the SMAS Facelift Technique Can Help You By Oren Zvi Lerman, M.D. on August 05, 2014

A middle-aged couple laughing togetherMost of the procedures offered at our Manhattan plastic surgery office target a specific problem in a particular area of the body. Some procedures, however, take a more holistic approach, treating multiple problems for more comprehensive results. A facelift, for example, reduces signs of aging along the mid- to lower-face, helping patients achieve a younger look by adjusting subcutaneous tissues as well as the skin.

The SMAS facelift is particularly well suited to this end, giving patients the ability to dramatically reduce wrinkles, loose skin, and similar signs of aging. If you are looking for a way to slow and even reverse such changes to your appearance, take a moment to acquaint yourself with this popular, highly effective facial plastic surgery technique. 

What Is an SMAS Facelift?

Also called a full facelift, the SMAS technique deals with the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, hence its name. This system is the layer of muscle responsible for facial features and characteristics. Over time, some of these muscles relax while others tighten, altering one’s facial appearance in a way that others typically associate with old age.

A facelift seeks to reposition these muscles to create a more youthful and attractive look, along with the removal of excess fat and skin. While other facelift procedures such as a mini facelift or endoscopic facelift can achieve some degree of improvement, a full facelift can most visibly reduce various signs of aging in the target areas.     

What Can an SMAS Facelift Treat?

If you have noticed the mid or lower section of your face exhibiting classic characteristics of aging, you are likely a good candidate for a facelift. The SMAS technique can be used to address any of the following problems:

  • Sagging cheeks
  • Creases in the nasolabial folds
  • Excess skin along the jaw or lower face
  • Jowling below the jawline
  • Excess skin along the upper neck
  • Pockets of fat in any of these areas
  • Loose skin in any of these areas
  • Wrinkles in any of these areas

Patients who wish to treat these problems may want to consider an SMAS facelift, assuming they are able to safely undergo surgery. As with any surgical procedure, patients must be in good overall health and present few risk factors. Speak with your doctor for more information on who makes a good candidate for facelift surgery. 

The SMAS Procedure

An SMAS facelift begins with general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation. Once a patient is ready for surgery, the following steps will be taken:

  • Incisions will be made from behind each ear, curving around it and extending up along the hairline.
  • The skin will be temporarily lifted, giving the doctor access to subcutaneous tissues and musculature.
  • Muscles near the middle of the face, near the ear, will be pinned into a new position with internal sutures. Typically, this position is higher and closer to the ear.
  • Excess fat will be excised and removed, creating a smoother appearance.
  • Excess skin will be removed, and remaining skin will be lowered back into place and pulled horizontally toward the incisions.
  • The incisions will be sutured closed and left to heal.

After surgery, patients will require plenty of time to recover. Over the first few days, it is common to experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort as damaged tissues heal. Most side effects of surgery will look and feel considerably better within seven to 10 days, at which time patients may return to work and most day-to-day activities. Complications are rare, but patients should contact their doctor at any sign of infection or if any medical concerns arise.

Learn More about the SMAS Facelift

You can take years off of your face with an SMAS facelift, instilling your appearance with newfound beauty and vivacity. Contact our office for more information on this or any of our procedures, or to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Lerman. 

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Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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