Is an SMAS Facelift a Good Choice for Me? How is Recovery?

Hello, I am 46 years old. I have a slight waddle on my neck fat, just skin. I have slight jowling and nasal labial folds. Overall I look very young, great skin, etc. Would an SMAS lift be a good choice for my situation? Also, what can I expect for recovery? My doctor has recommended a SMAS over a mini...says it is better and lasts much longer. I am mainly worried about going too far, looking unnatural, and having a difficult recovery if I go the more aggressive route.

Doctor Answers 9

SMAS Facelifts Look Natural and Last Years

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Lifting and tightening the underlying SMAS always gives better and longer lasting results. An SMAS lift can also address early jowling and minor waddles. However, if you have significant sagging in your neck you may require a necklift as a separate procedure. As far as recovery, the goal at my center is to make any procedure as minimally invasive as possible, depending on the individual patient's anatomy and needs. You may have bruising and swelling for up to two weeks after an SMAS lift. I hope this helps.

SMAS Face Lift and Recovery

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Without photos it is difficult to say exactly what procedure would be best for you but in general, whenever some work is done to the SMAS, (lifting, tightening, plicating, pulling; there are all kinds of techniques) the results have been shown to have much better longevity.  These lifts usually look very natural.

The recovery is about the same for all lifts.  You should be able to do most things within a day or two but you will have swelling and bruising to the extent that you may not want to go out for a week or so. 

I hope that helps. 

Best regards.


Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

SMAS Facelift over Minilift

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    The SMAS facelift will usually give a better result, and, from your description, I think your doctor is giving you sound advice.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

SMAS Facelift Choices and Recovery

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With a SMAS facelift such as the  Lite Lift™ you can achieve natural results. The benefits of SMAS tightening is that it supports the overlying soft tissues and most surgeons feel that there is more lasting benefit. There are many ways to perform the SMAS lift and we prefer minimal a minimal scar technique for faster recovery. To learn more see the links provided. Remember it is the skill of the surgeon that makes the most difference, not the specific technique.

Like you, our patients want to look like themselves, but more rested and youthful. Because of its minimally-invasive counter-gravity nature, the Lite Lift™ rejuvenates the face without altering its essential character. Our patients often say that their friends comment on their refreshed appearance, but never guess that they’ve had surgery. Healing time for the Lite-lift™ is relatively quick, requiring no more than a week or two for most patients’ early recovery period. While you heal, you will be seen frequently by the doctor and his staff to make sure that all of their instructions are being followed and your recovery is going well. The additional treatments noted above can lengthen the recovery period depending upon the number of areas treated. 

SMAS facelift is a good choice

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SMAS facelift generally is a good choice because it tightens the base on which the skin is redraped.  There are some studies that show that the incidence of complications with extensive SMAS surgery are greater and some show that the SMAS tightening does not give a long-lasting effect.  However, most surgeons feel that if there is a relaxed SMAS, that the patient is better off with a moderate SMASectomy with permanent closure.  The SMAS can be combined with a mini-lift to give more tightness to the nasolabial folds and jowls as well as the submental neck area.  This can be done and you can still look natural. The main thing is that you have confidence in your surgeon and in the advice he or she gives you.

James Carraway, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon

Is an SMAS Facelift a Good Choice for Me? How is Recovery?

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Based on your description a SMAS facelift is likely a very good option. The results are robust and the ability to tighten the neck is very good. Most patients look presentable at about one week and very good at 2-3 weeks. The biggest recovery issues are related to bruising and swelling. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Smas facelift would be excellant choice for you.

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If you are thin with no excess fat, a SMAS facelift with only SMAS plication should give you a superior result if performed by an experienced facelift surgeon.  Using the SMAS plication will help tighten the deeper tissues and contour your neck and jawline so the skin can be redraped over the new foundation  with minimum tension, giving you a natural look.  As the SMAS is not dissected at all, just tightened, the recovery is quick with minimal bruising and excellent contour.

SMAS Facelift

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From your description it sounds like a SMAS facelift would be a good choice for you. Your results would last a lot longer than a mini facelift and will look natural when done by an experienced surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Facelift choice

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At 46 years of age there are probably minimal signs of aging.  If a picture were present it would enable us to give a better opinion.  Without a picture it is hard to give a solid opinion.  A mini lift tends to give mini results.  A mini lift will only raise the jowls and not address any issues of the aging neck.  A comprehensive SMAS face/neck lift addresses jowls, sagging facial and neck skin, along with tightening the neck muscles, the SMAS, and removal of fatty deposits in the neck.  In our practice, patients undergoing a full comprehensive SMAS facelift are in their 50s and 60s.  For further examples of our surgical results, please refer to the link below.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 155 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.