Does a Deep Plane Facelift Address Sagging Cheeks?

I had a deep plane facelift in March and am very happy with my jawline, however I felt it did very little to address my cheeks and nasolabial folds. Is this normal or is there another procedure i could have done to lift the cheek?

Doctor Answers 8

Deep Plane Facelift For Cheeks and Nasolabial Folds

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Deep plane lifts are designed to lift the cheek area and jawline.  There is not a reliable lift available for addressing the nasolabial folds.  These are best treated with fillers.  


Ideally, in a deep plane facelift the cheek is elevated as well, creating a higher cheekbone and improved facial structure, one of the best benefits of a deep plane facelift.  However, every surgeon's technique and every patient's anatomy has some unique characteristics.

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Does a Deep Plane Facelift Address Sagging Cheeks?

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Deep plane facelift, traditional facelift, FAME facelift, SMAS facelift, extended SMAS facelift, subperiosteal facelift, MACS facelift, etc.

They are all terms that can mean something to a surgeon but fly over the head of patients - but not to worry. The bottom line is you had a facelift and part of it looks great to you and part of it is under your expectations. Remember, all of us want our patients to be happy, yet what we can do for someone has limitations (it is a balance). I always suggest to discuss with your surgeon in a friendly manner what your concerns are. At only 4 months post op he may ask you to wait a few more months. You may feel like getting a second opinion and if so, it really helps to have proper before surgery pictures.

Brett Edward Lehocky, MD
Bakersfield Plastic Surgeon

What To Do With Sagging Cheeks Following a Deep Plane Facelift

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A facelift is designed to smooth the neck, lift the jowls, add crispness to the jaw line, and to elevate the cheeks. As a general rule, smoothing the neck, improving the jaw line, and lifting the jowls are the easiest to achieve. The higher you go on the face, the harder it is to get great results. For many years the standard facelift procedure gave great results to the neck, jaw line, and jowls, but often failed at lifting the cheeks, especially the upper portion of the cheeks. For this reason, newer techniques have been developed to address the difficulties with the upper cheeks ( a high SMAS facelift, the third suture in a MACS lift, are examples). As far as a deep plane facelift is concerned, how well it will address the cheeks and upper nasolabial folds depends on where your surgeon designed the upper edge of the flap. A flap that starts below the zygomatic arch will not lift the upper portion of the cheek very well. A flap that starts at the top of the zygomatic arch will give much better cheek elevation. Given your description, it is likely that the flap did not include the upper part of the zygomatic arch and is the reason why the results in the cheeks was not as good as you would have liked. At this point (assuming you don't want to redo the entire lift), cheek implants are a reasonable option. A great non-surgical option would be to have one of the high volume fillers injected into the cheeks (Radiesse or Perlane), which would give an immediate improvement with essentially no down-time.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Does a Deep Plane Facelift Address Sagging Cheeks?

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 I would need to see photos of your face and cheeks in order to make a determination but typically the tissues, of the face/cheek, fall inward towards the nose creating the nasolabial folds in a greater extent when the volume of cheekbone is relatively flat.  This is treated using a combination of excess subcutaneious fat removal and Cheek Implants (if appropriate) or fillers like Perlane.  The proper aesthetics of facial beauty, especially that pertaining to the ideal cheek shape is paramount in these types of cases for the creation of a naturally, more attractive face.  The ideal cheek is aesthetically quite different between men and women and the proper shaping is critical in its creation.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Deep plane facelift and sagging cheeks

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A deep plane facelift can address sagging cheeks depending on how the incision was designed. I agree with the other surgeons that the higher you go in the face, the more difficult it is to get a reliable, effective results. There are many less invasive options for addressing the cheeks. Implants are an option. Another option would be fillers such as juvederm, restylane, sculptra, radiesse, etc. Another option would be autologous fat transfer which can create very natural, rejuvenated look in the cheek region.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sagging cheeks treatment with cheek lift or cheek implants.

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Sagging cheeks treatment with cheek lift or cheek implants. It depends on the size of your cheeks which is best for you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Comparing facelift options

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One reason why there are different facelift techniques is so that the procedure can be tailoered to the patient's individual needs and expectations. A deep plan facelift can certainly elevate the cheeks nicely, but less invasive options can also reshape this way. Deep plane may be associated with more swelling and higher risk of nerve injury, but it is also possible that the results may last longer (though this is hard to prove.) You should discuss your results with your plastic surgeon, as no one can give you advice about your specific case without personally seeing you.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Deep Plane Lift and Cheeks

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   A deep plane lift can address cheeks.  SMAS plication can address cheeks as well.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.