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Deep Plane Facelifts: Everything You Need to Know

    The older we get, the wiser we get, and along with that wisdom inevitably comes fine lines from our years of smiling, laughing, crying, and more. As we age, the skin on our face tends to weaken, droop, and wrinkle due to several environmental factors such as gravity, sun damage, lifestyle habits, and even genetics. As much as you may try to take care of your skin through various skincare routines, it is virtually impossible to prevent signs of aging, let alone reverse them, without some form of cosmetic treatment. Keep moisturizing your skin, but bear in mind that great products need to be paired with cosmetic procedures for the best anti-aging results. 

    When it comes to facial rejuvenation, patients choose different paths in terms of invasiveness. Some patients come to Dr. Kaplan’s office inquiring about non-surgical, minimally invasive routes to facial rejuvenation such as Botox, threads, laser skin resurfacing, and Ultherapy, while others decide to take things to the next level with surgeries such as facelifts. What many patients are unaware of is that there are multiple variations of facelifts, one being the deep plane facelift.

    What is a deep plane facelift?

    During a deep plane facelift, Dr. Kaplan repositions tissues on a level below the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (or ‘SMAS’, for short). Traditional facelifts target and adjust the tissues of the face on the SMAS layer. As the deep plane facelift goes below the surface of the SMAS layer, it remodels deeper attachments and allows Dr. Kaplan to lift more thoroughly without pulling tissues too tight. This in return leads to exceptional results without causing the patient to lose the natural appearance of their face. Your deep plane facelift will have old classmates at high school reunions saying, “Wow! You’ve aged like fine wine.”

    Some traditional modern facelifts make the face appear too tight and overly filled, the deep plane facelift avoids this look by targeting the tissue below the muscle layer rather than those attached to the muscles. Deep plane facelifts do the multipurpose job of both lifting and adding volume without fillers, traditional facelifts typically just lift the lower face and need some type of filler added to the cheeks at the end to maximize results. Aging is a beautiful thing, so why not age gracefully by choosing a procedure that highlights the natural beauty you had in your younger years?

    What is the goal of a deep plane facelift?

    The goal of a deep plane facelift is to restore the youthful appearance of the face by making excess, weak, and wrinkly skin appear tighter, resulting in a more natural appearance than the SMAS facelift. The deep plane facelift ensures long-term, natural-looking results by releasing tension on the level of the fascia.  

    The deep plane facelift sets itself apart from other facelift techniques because it enhances natural volume to the cheeks rather than giving them a faux appearance and can redefine the entire length of the jawline. Unlike traditional facelifts, the deep plane facelift reverses signs of aging in the mid-face along with the lower face. Traditional facelifts are typically limited to the lower face to help define the chin and jawline, and this leads to many patients needing Botox, which freezes muscles under facial skin, and fillers to add volume to the cheeks. If fillers are abundantly added to the face, they can give the face an unnatural, overfilled look, especially when combined with Botox.

    What does “deep plane” mean?

    The term “deep plane” refers to the embryologic cleavage plane between the SMAS layer and the deeper layer of muscles that play a role in facial expression and structure. Deep plane facelifts uniquely target this layer to tighten the appearance of the skin more effectively without diminishing the natural contour of your face.

    Am I a good candidate for a deep plane facelift?

    Typically, patients who come into Dr. Kaplan’s office for a deep plane facelift consultation are between 50-60 years old, but depending on personal aspects such as genetics and lifestyle factors, some patients can receive the procedure as young as 40 years old. There is not necessarily an age restriction when it comes to the procedure and if you think you may be a good candidate for a deep plane facelift over a traditional facelift, you should contact Dr. Kaplan. If you are between the age range mentioned above and wondering if a deep plane facelift is right for you, consider the following factors:

    • Are you looking to tighten wrinkles and excess skin in the face without looking too tight and overfilled?
    • Do you want to avoid using fillers for additional volume?
    • Do you want to avoid Botox?
    • Are you in good overall physical health?
    • Are you currently, and planning to remain, a non-smoker?
    • Do you have reasonable expectations of your results?

    What is recovery like for a deep plane facelift?

    Although bruising and swelling from a deep plane facelift can last for a week or more, it is often not as harsh as from a traditional facelift, and may only last a few days for some patients. Any pain that requires regular use of medications can last a few weeks, but patients are typically able to resume their usual activities after about two weeks with no issues. It is best to avoid strenuous physical activity such as heavy lifting or running for a minimum of 4 weeks as this may affect your final facelift results and lengthen the period of your recovery.

    Your sutures will likely be removed by Dr. Kaplan after about a week, and once they have been removed you may resume your usual cosmetic routine. Deep plane facelift recoveries, in most cases, do not involve any major risks or potential complications, so they don’t put much of a halt on your typical day-to-day routine.

    Make sure to plan ahead for your recovery before having your deep plane facelift. Ensure that you have arranged the necessary time you will need away from work, and research and schedule any necessary childcare or pet care. Talk to Dr. Kaplan about the appropriate length of time you should spend away from work and certain activities.

    Do deep plane facelifts leave scars?

    Dr. Kaplan creates the incisions for deep plane facelifts along the hairline and ears, lifting tissue in an outward direction to create a tighter appearance. Despite their effectiveness and the fact that they are surgically invasive, deep plane facelift incisions typically heal with little scarring, and if visible scarring does remain, it will most likely be hidden by the structure of the ears.

    How long do the results of a deep plane facelift last?

    During a deep plane facelift, deeper and heavier tissues are supported independently from surrounding tissues, which can make results last longer before the tissues start to weaken and cause excess skin to droop again. Many patients who inquire about facial rejuvenation with Dr. Kaplan opt for a deep plane facelift over a traditional facelift because the results can last significantly longer. Deep plane facelifts can last as long as 10 years or more depending on varying factors for individual patients, such as smoking, weight loss, age at the time of the procedure, genetics, and more.

    Can a deep plane facelift be combined with other facial rejuvenation features?

    The most common procedures Dr. Kaplan combines with the deep plane facelift for patients are neck lifts so the neck’s youthfulness is restored along with the face, and blepharoplasties, or eyelid surgery, to ensure excess skin and wrinkles around the eyes are removed and reduced to promote a fully rejuvenated face.

    What do I do if I think a deep plane facelift is right for me?

    You’ve probably heard the old saying, ”wrinkles are the sign of a happy life,” as the smile lines around our mouths and crow’s feet around our eyes are from our years of happiness, and it’s true. Looking at areas of your face in which wrinkles and fine lines have formed may bring you back to the time in college when you were laughing with good friends at the bar, but if you had the option to remember those memories while appearing as if you have barely aged, why not take it? A deep plane facelift is an excellent option for reversing signs of aging while keeping the natural glow you have always had.

    If you are looking to correct aging damage to both the mid and lower face in a way that contours your natural beauty and restores youthfulness rather than looking too artificial and unlike yourself, you may be a great candidate for a deep plane facelift. If you’re interested in the life-changing and rejuvenating procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kaplan here.