Do You Lose Cheekbone Definition on the Side of the Face After a SMAS Facelift?

I really didn't want to lose the tightness I had on the sides of my face which included a well-defined cheekbone area. Have I lost this definition and the hollowness under the my cheekbones, which I actually liked?

Doctor Answers (19)

Cheekbone definition after SMAS facelift


On the contrary, a SMAS facelift is designed to move tissue over the cheekbones and accentuate the appearance of the cheekbones.  Not the other way round!  I am not sure what happened so I would recommend reviewing before and after photos of yourself and give the operation a good bit of time (6 months) to heal.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Facelift Changes


Facelifts do not change the underlying bony skeleton in any way. If your surgery was within the last few months, it is more likely that you have swelling of the cheek fat that will go down over time.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Losing cheekbone definition with SMAS facelift?

Hard to say without photos.  The SMAS facelift has really become the "gold standard." The soft tissue is re-positioned, most patients notice increased definition over the cheekbone area.  Again, everyone is different  Please discuss the operation in detail with your experienced surgeon. Ask questions, and tell him your concerns. 

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Do you lose cheek bone definition on the side of the face after a SMAS face lift?

 Patients do not lose cheek bone definition on the side of the face after SMAS facelift. Most patients  receive a subtle augmentation of the malar mound and cheekbone from the rotation of the SMAS flap and muscle layer underneath the skin. For many examples, please see the link below to our SMAS face lift  photo gallery

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Cheek bones should be more defined after a Facelift


When doing a face lift one of the maneuvers we as Surgeons will do is to liFt up the sagging muscles and tissues that are causing the jowls in way that helps provide more volume by the cheeks and more definition under the cheek bones. This helps create a nice clean jaw line and and a youthful "heart shaped" face. In the first 3 months after a face lift it is not uncommon not to see these nice changes due to the healing that needs to occur.

Take Care,

Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

SMAS Facelift improves appearance of cheekbone definition


The short answer is: No you should not lose any cheekbone definition following a SMAS facelift. In fact you will probably gain some.

A SMAS lift in general refers to any facelift technique that tightens the SMAS layer along with the overlying skin, and underling cheek pad in a more youthful position making you look younger. Specifically the SMAS face lift does its magic by lifting and tightening the jowls, neck, and cheek fat to a more rejuvenated position. These techniques generally produce more natural and long-lasting results than the "skin only" face lifts, and now considered by most board certified plastic surgeons as the most preferred method.


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Cheekbone Definition and SMAS Facelift


The use of a high-SMAS facelift actually repositions the facial fat using the SMAS as a vehicle to lift the fat.  This repositioning of the facial fat restores softness over the cheekbones and will augment the cheek bones.  By limiting undermining of the flap in the area of the cheek the hollowness under the cheekbones is preserved.  I am not sure what happened in your case that has caused this loss of cheek definition.  

Michael Sundine, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Cheekbone definition


The SMAS lift can at times be secured to the cheek bone and that can make the area look fuller in some cases, especially when the SMAS was imbricated instead of trimmed. It is not the usual though as the surgeon can typically see what technique needs to be done prior to performing the procedure.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Cheek contouring after a SMAS facelift


The loss of cheek definition may be due to swelling.  If the loss of definition is still present after 12 months, you may want to consider cheek implants or fillers.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

SMAS Facelift and bone structure

A well performed SMAS Facelift actually enhances the facial structures and does not detract from it. The purpose of the Facelift is to lift and restore the lost volume and laxity that aging has caused. The SMAS actually gives you some augmentation that promotes a youthful appearance. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.