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Deep Plane

A deep plane facelift incorporates the most advanced current techniques in facial rejuvenation surgery. As the name states, the deeper tissues which fall or descend during surgery are gently elevated and resuspended. This creates a minimally invasive approach with very little downtime in the healing process. This approach greatly rejuvenates the jawline and even extends into the midface.

When you have confidence, you can do anything. 

-Sloane Stevens

deep plane

What is a Deep Plane Facelift

Your facial appearance is not only the result of your skin but also the underlying tissue. This tissue includes facial fat, muscles, connective tissue like fascia and ligaments, and the bone structure of your skull.

A traditional facelift is also known as a SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) facelift. The SMAS is a fibrous system that connects the muscles underlying the face to the dermis or deeper layer of the skin. A surgeon can tighten the facial skin and give their patient a younger appearance by accessing this plane.

In many cases, a SMAS facelift is sufficient. This type of facelift can reduce or eliminate wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging. However, sometimes a deeper approach is necessary.

As the name implies, a deep plane facelift uses a deeper plane than a SMAS facelift. Although the deep plane facelift is a newer technique than a SMAS facelift, surgeons have been using this procedure for over 30 years. In a deep plane facelift, Dr. Sanders can manipulate the ligaments that retain the facial muscles. This technique allows for the maximum mobilization of facial features and permits closure without tension. So, even though a deep plane facelift uses a plane below the SMAS, it can be less traumatic for the patient than a traditional facelift or mid-facelift.

It is important to understand that a deep plane facelift is not a mini facelift. These are two very different procedures. A deep plane facelift can produce dramatic, long-lasting results that are, in some cases, even more pronounced than from a traditional facelift.

Who is an ideal candidate for a deep plane facelift?

In general, deep plane facelifts are well-suited for people in their 50s and older. This is not to say that patients in their 30s or 40s cannot have a deep plane facelift, but the procedure tends to produce better results for older individuals.

Also, if you’ve had a previous SMAS facelift and want to extend or improve your results, a deep plane facelift may be an excellent choice. Because it uses a different tissue plane than the SMAS, previous facelift patients can usually choose the deep plane approach for a repeat facelift.

Of course, you should always let us know if you have any medical conditions, take any medications, or are pregnant. If you smoke, you should stop before pursuing a facelift procedure. Some studies stat that smokers are about 14 times more likely to encounter facelift complications than non-smokers.

Finally, your aesthetic goals may influence the type of facelift procedure you select. A deep plane facelift may be more appropriate if you have concerns about jowls around the lower cheeks and chin. A deep plane facelift might be a good choice if you have crow’s feet or other undesired features around your eyes.

Don’t worry too much about which procedure you want when considering a facelift. Dr. Sanders will guide you through the process, set realistic expectations, and help you make an informed and suitable decision. He has many decades of experience and will be with you every step of the way.

What should you expect?

The process with a consultation  and sharing your concerns with Dr. Sanders. He'll explain the procedure, and answer any questions you might have. Keep in mind that your facelift can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures such as eyelid surgery or a brow lift.

The surgical incisions are hidden next to your ears, avoiding any obvious scars. Dr. Sanders lifts the facial skin and connective tissue and removes any excess skin. Once the facial lifting is complete, he'll close the incisions with sutures. Although the process may sound simple, it takes years of experience, training, and natural skill to produce excellent cosmetic results from a deep plane facelift.

The recovery process varies from patient to patient, but it generally takes two to three weeks to get “through the woods” of a deep plane facelift recovery. Your face will be bandaged at first, and you likely will not be able to open your mouth very wide. You will receive medication for pain if needed, and facial soreness will set in after the first postoperative day or so.


You will notice facial swelling and bruising in the first week after surgery. These issues will gradually resolve. By the end of week three, most patients feel much better and are ready to see friends again!

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