Traditional vs. Deep Plane Facelifts

Traditional vs. Deep Plane Facelifts | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose

Traditional vs. Deep Plane Facelifts

How much have facelifts changed in the past few years? Quite a bit! What we call a “facelift” can actually encompass quite a few different approaches and techniques. At RefinedMD, double board-certified Dr. Sudeep Roy specializes in the latest approaches for both the full facelift and mini facelift—but what exactly does that mean? How do today’s facelifts look so natural when compared to the pulled, “wind-swept” look of the 1990s and early aughts? Let’s take a look at the recent evolution of facelifts and why Dr. Roy’s techniques turn back the clock 10+ years while still looking completely natural.

You might hear different types of facelifts called various names, but one of the most common terms for the latest innovation in facelifts is “deep plane.” This is quite different than the “traditional” facelift your mom might have undergone 20 years ago. The deep plane facelift is a variation on the traditional facelift, known for its natural results with no skin tension (which means no pulled look). Here’s how it’s done.

The New Face of Facelifts

So-called traditional facelifts use a superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) methodology. In other words, the skin is lifted, trimmed, and tightened while the superficial musculature is repositioned. That superficial musculature is the foundation of the facelift. The incisions for this facelift were typically located behind the ears and/or in the sideburn region. Those telltale scars behind the ears left many people afraid to put their hair in a ponytail, updo, or cut it short—but that’s no longer a concern with the deep plane approach.

As the name suggests, a deep plane facelift goes deeper. The skin and superficial muscles remain attached to deeper tissues, and instead, it’s the ligaments that are tightened and adjusted. This results in a lift of facial skin and undesirable fallen fat pads (it’s not just skin that sags as we age). There is no tension on the skin, rather it is placed on a lower plane for a natural outcome. Incisions are also expertly hidden either in the crevices of the ear or well within the hairline.

The Many Facelift Methods

We’ve discussed a couple of facelift techniques here—the traditional and deep plane—but ultimately a facelift can and should be fully customized for the patient. Dr. Roy is dedicated to giving every patient a personalized surgical approach for results that are stunning and yet organic. The best facelifts have your friends wondering why you look so youthful and refreshed (not gossiping that they know you’ve “had something done”). There are many ways to customize a facelift, with no one size fits all solution. You can learn more about what Dr. Roy recommends for your unique facial structure during your consultation.

For example, some patients might be better candidates for a mini facelift. A mini lift is just what it sounds like: a facelift with minimal lifting and incisions. While deep plane facelifts are usually best for those who are older with turkey necks, jowls, and droopy cheeks, a mini lift can be a great option for younger patients in their 40s or even 30s. Pairing facelifts with other surgeries, such as a brow lift or eyelid lifts, or non-surgical solutions like laser skin rejuvenation can further optimize results.

What a Facelift Entails

No matter what kind of facelift you get or which approach is taken, keep in mind that all facelifts exclusively address the lower half of the face and the neck. Neck lifts are naturally a part of a facelift. However, a facelift does not address the upper half of the face, including the eyes and brow. The name “facelift” is a bit of a misnomer since it doesn’t tackle the full face. Some patients find out that they’re actually better suited to an eyelift or browlift rather than a facelift—others discover they will benefit from a combination of surgeries rather than “just” a facelift.

If you’re starting to notice and be bothered by signs of aging on the face, it’s time to schedule a consultation with the leading facial plastic surgeon in your region. Call RefinedMD or complete the online form to schedule your consult with Dr. Roy today.