A Facelift is one of the most common procedures in cosmetic plastic surgery. The operation tightens the loose, sagging skin of the face and neck while removing its excess. SMAS Facelift, Rhytidectomy, or SMAS tightening is facial plastic surgery with the goal of tightening drooping skin to rejuvenate your facial appearance.
What is SMAS Facelift?
In order to improve and prolong the results as much as possible, a SMAS facelifting technique is often performed. SMAS is an abbreviation for a tissue layer – the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System. It consists of the platysma muscle, parotid fascia, and fibromuscular layer which can be surgically augmented to achieve a younger look.
SMAS Facelift technique surgically elevates the entire underlying layers as well as the skin.
The SMAS Facelift Surgery is rather extensive and complex. It both lifts and tightens your jowls, neck, and cheeks. The results are individual but can deliver rejuvenation and firmness of the skin around the face.
Am I a Good Candidate for SMAS Facelift
As you get older, the appearance and shape of your face changes. This change is a result of natural ageing.
Your skin relaxes and becomes less elastic. Fat deposits in some areas of your face mobilise or sag. This can lead to dissatisfaction with your appearance and a decrease in self-confidence.
Specialist Plastic Surgeons and their modern surgical methods can help turn back the clock up to 10 years. However, each patient’s facial structures are different and the results can vary from patient to patient.
You may be a good candidate for a SMAS facelift if you are over 40 and want to correct one or more signs of ageing.
Usually, a good candidate is a person who:
- Is in good general health
- Non-smoker or a smoker willing to quit smoking
- Is unhappy with their facial appearance
- Has become aware of an increase in fat deposits in the lower face
- Lost skin firmness and elasticity
- Lost youthful facial contours
- Looks older than their real age
To find out if you are a good candidate for SMAS plastic surgery, please consult with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Benefits of SMAS Facelift
Some of the benefits that SMAS Facelift patients experience are:
- Tighter, firmer smoother-looking jawline
- Younger looking lower face
- Less “jowls” and more distinguished jaw area
- Less sagging skin
- The appearance of a reduced age by several years
- Feeling confident
SMAS Facelift Before and After Photos
Visit the clinic to see more real patient photo gallery of Before and after SMAS Facelift photographs representing typical results our patients get. Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly.
SMAS Facelift Surgical Procedure
SMAS Facelift is a complex surgery and requires a patient to go under general anaesthesia.
The surgeon will start by making incisions on the pre-marked areas of your face.
Incisions are placed in the skin’s natural folds through the hairline and behind the ear to minimize scar visibility.
Some fat tissue and muscles of the face and neck are then excised, lifted, and sculpted to the desired form and position.
The excess skin is removed, and the skin is re-draped.
The SMAS Facelift surgery can take several hours, depending on the extent of the procedure.
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Recovery After SMAS Facelift
SMAS Facelift may involve a slightly longer healing period than other types of facial surgeries (See Mini Facelift for less extensive face lifting).
Allowing good healing and recovery time is crucial. However, for best results from a SMAS lift, you’ll also want to follow your surgeon’s post-op care instructions very carefully.
After your SMAS Facelift or Rhytidectomy, your Surgeon will wrap the incisions in bandages and often place a thin drainage tube in the area of surgery. Removal of the drain usually occurs the next day.
You should expect some swelling, bruising, numbness, and discomfort for a few weeks.
After two to three weeks, most patients are able to return to work and return to regular daily activities.
Your surgeon will give you detailed recovery instructions to help you get through the most inconvenient period of the first few days after the operation. Your surgeon can prescribe painkillers and other medications to help manage any pain and discomfort. Applying cold compresses on the face can also help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Minimising Scars after SMAS Facelift
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including those that are said to be “scarless”.
Experienced plastic surgeons are extremely careful about scar placement and minimisation, with surgical scars generally fading over time with most scars being barely visible after 12 months.
We will arrange weekly post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team after your procedure to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and organise scar minimisation treatments.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customised selection of Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils, Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help minimise scars. Ask the Coco Ruby Team!
Note – The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure and your health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person – resting helps healing.
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
For how long do I need to apply cold compression after the SMAS Facelift Surgery?
- Usually patients apply cold compressions for 3-7 days after the surgery to reduce swelling and bruising.
How long will SMAS Facelift last?
- It depends on the patient.
- However, most results usually last for 7-10 years.
Are you asleep when IV sedation is applied?
- Most patients are in and out of sleep when under local anesthesia with IV sedation.
- In other words, you probably wont remember anything after the procedure.
Why should I stop smoking before and after the SMAS Facelift surgery?
- Smoking not only increases the chance of risks and complications but it also prolongues the recovery time.
Is there a limit of how many facelifts can a person have?
- Not really, however, 1 facelift every 10 years is a common practice.
Can SMAS Facelift affect skin tone?
- Changes in the skin tone after SMAS facelift is not common. But minor changes can occur.
Can you combine a Necklift with a Facelift?
- A Facelift is quite a complex surgical procedure in terms of facial anatomy, skeletal structures, muscles, fat, nerves, tendons and other structures relating to the surgery.
- Often, neck rejuvenation or a neck lift surgery and skin refinement may also be needed to get a great result from a Facelift surgery.
SMAS Facelift Cost
Every patient is different, therefore facelift surgery is different for every patient. Furthermore, the surgical cost can vary depending on a surgeons skill and the location of the surgery. These variances cause a variation in the cost of a facelift.
During your first consultation, you will be given a detailed price quote.
Your SMAS Facelift Surgery quote will include your surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, perhaps a surgical assistant fee, and the hospital fees.
Please visit the pricing page for more information about a facelift payment plan or using your Super Fund.
Funding SMAS Facelift – Medicare, Payment Plans and Super
Some Facelift procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely cosmetic Facelift procedures are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance. Therefore, if your facelift is purely cosmetic you will have to fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Many patients ask about payment options and medical finance – You can learn more about payment options for funding your SMAS Facelift procedure on our Funding Surgery page here.
Your super fund may also be able to help pay for your procedure in certain circumstances – visit the Super for Surgery page to find out about the early release of super on compassionate grounds.
How to find the best SMAS Facelift surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend on the surgeon you choose. Since SMAS facelift is a major procedure, you’ll need a top SMAS facelift plastic surgeon. A reputable SMAS facelift surgeon has the following qualities:
- A Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is a Member of ASPS5 star online reviews from patients.
- Extensive experience in different types of SMAS facelift.
- Patient Before and After Photos .
- Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
- A great support team with long term follow up.
Complications and Risks of SMAS Facelift
All surgeries have risks and should never be entered into lightly or without full knowledge of the procedure.
You want to be very comfortable with the expertise and experience of your selected Specialist Surgeon. Please ask any questions you may have about the procedure, including risks and the fact that results can sometimes be unpredictable (each patient is unique and results can vary).
The most common risks and complications of SMAS Facelift include:
- Dissatisfaction with the results
- Nerve damage
- Hair loss in the incision area
- Swelling and bruising
Commonly combined surgery
A SMAS Facelift can be performed on its own or in combination with other surgical procedures such as liposuction. SMAS Facelift can also be performed with a procedure on another part of the body – for example breast and tummy surgery is commonly combined as a Mummy Makeover.
As a guide it is best not to exceed a total of 4-6 hours of surgery and also to work on associated parts of the breast, body or face. See the BLOG on Combining Different Surgeries.
Further Reading – Medical References
- SMAS Facelift AEdit
- SMAS Facelift: Submuscular Aponeurotic System
- What does SMAS facelift mean?
- SMAS Plication Facelift
- SMAS Plication Facelift: Background, History of the Procedure
- “High SMAS” Face Lift Technique | Aesthetic Surgery Journal
- Facelift and Necklift | Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Facelift Surgery Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeons – Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery
Your SMAS Facelift Journey
In addition to the usual consultation about your expectations and wishes, the doctor’s insight into your medical history, and all the medications and supplements you use, some other measures are taken before the operation itself. The surgeon will first take a few photos of your face from different angles, and also examine the structure of your facial bones, facial shape, fat distribution, and skin quality to determine the best options for surgery.
SMAS Facelift is usually performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation and takes from 2-3 hours or more.
It is crucial to follow your Specialist Surgeons recovery instructions to improve the results and ease and shorten the recovery process.
Also, you will attend a follow-up appointments so that Specialist Surgeon can monitor your recovery and progress.
Why Choose Us?
Many Specialist Plastic Surgeons who focus on Facelift Surgery use the SMAS Facelift technique as a preferred facial rejuvenation method.
There are important facial nerves and blood vessels in your face and neck. Only a highly skilled Surgeon knows how to best work around these nerves and vessels in the safest way possible during a facelift procedure to reduce potential complication risks from a Facelift, such as the loss of facial sensations and/or skin, muscle, blood vessels or nerve damage).
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.