Not Sure How Patients Can Find the Right Surgeon for Their Needs.

Many answers here have emphasized that facelift techniques (such as deep plane) are technically challanging and that the more experience a surgeon has the better the result should be. I also notice that most surgeons here do not do many deep plane facelifts. So what happens when a patient presents for whom this would be the ideal surgery for near and long term results. Do you always inform them that the surgery you rarely do is the perfect one for them?

Doctor Answers 23

Excellent facelift results can be achieved without the risks of a deep plane facelift

Thank you for your question.  The skill and experienced of your facelift surgeon R the most important factors which determine the result you will achieve.

Be more concerned about finding an experienced plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who has a well-known reputation for face lift surgery and has done a facelift on patients whom you can speak with.

Modern SMAS face lifting techniques produce excellent results when done by an experienced skilled board certified plastic surgeon.

Many plastic surgeons have abandoned the deep plane facelift technique because of the risk of injury to the facial nerve which can cause permanent disfigurement.


Not Sure How Patients Can Find the Right Surgeon for Their Needs

     A surgeon can say that he or she does a deep plane or a SMAS plication or a SMASectomy, but I can tell you that just saying this does not produce a great result.  A great surgeon can adapt any technique to a given anatomy and turn out a great result under any name.   Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of facelifts, facelift revisions, and facial procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Finding a good surgeon for facelift requires research.

There different types of facelifts and different skills of surgeons who perform the procedure. Your best served by an experienced surgeon who explains the procedure as well as demonstrates many results using his technique.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Not Sure How Patients Can Find the Right Surgeon for Their Needs.

Dear Grace,

thank you for your question.  There are many, many, types of face lifts in this era.  Having a long discussion with your plastic surgeon regarding the many different types is important, as well as the risks of these.  Deep plane is less popular now because many other facelifts that have excellent results are available with less risk. If the SMAS layer is elevated (which is not necessarily a deep plane), then in the right hands you will get a good result.  

Best Wishes, 

PAblo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Deep plane face lift

Thank you for asking about a deep plane face lift.

  1. A deep plane face lift lifts and tightens the skin of the face and neck - and the deep layer too, called SMAS in the face, platysma muscle in the neck.
  2. If the SMAS is fragile, it may only be possible to tighten, not lift it. 
  3. I find the deep plane face lift clearly better than any other face lift technique but takes more surgical confidence. SMAS plication results are quite acceptable. Mini-lifts, I find, are distorting and have poor long term results. Surgeons tend to recommend face lifts they know how to do. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Deep Plane Face lift losing popularity for good reasons

There is a good reason most facelift surgeons do not use the deep plane technique: long recovery, increased complication rate, and many other negative factors. It is however a great technique in the right hands but losing popularity because other facelift procedures also give great results with less risk and morbidity.

An experienced facelift surgeon will let you know the best procedure for you.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Deep plane face lift and what is the best type of face lift for you.

I have done over 1300 face lifts and many of them deep plane. In my opinion, I think the deep plane technique isn't what its all hyped up to be. It is more risky for facial nerve damage and the results aren't necessarily as good. Facelifts and facial Plastic Surgery are changing and new alternatives are paving the way to younger and more natural results.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Selecting a Plastic Surgeon

When looking for a Plastic Surgeon for a face and neck lift start by making sure they are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and that they have a lot of experience in facelift surgery. The terminology can be confusing in the age when there are "names" for various procedures.  Expect to ask during you consultation about the various pros and cons of each type of facelift and which would be recommended for you.Don' forget to ask about resurfacing with peels and lasers as this is often forgotten and can significantly enhance the results.. Most techinques can give excellent results as long as they are performed well and the patient is well selected. Be sure to find out where the surgery would be and about the anesthesia. Best of Luck!

G. Wesley Price, MD
Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Hello Grace60-

You are looking for a plastic surgeon that can optimize your chance of a good, natural, safe result while minimizing your chance of a bad result or risk to life and limb.

Start with surgeons with the most training and that would be one that has completed a residency in plastic surgery and is board certified by the American Board of Surgery... a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities.

Find one that has also completed a Fellowship in Facial Surgery. 

Find one that has been in practice for more than 10-15 years. 

Find a plastic surgeon who has equally good natural postop results in noses, breasts, abdomen, thighs, etc.... As a great plastic surgeon should be able to sculpt all areas equally well and would know the anatomy and physiology of tissue equally well in all areas.

Obviously, find a surgeon whose postop photos you love and when you meet him/her, you feel like you can trust their word implicitly. 

In my opinion, the best, long-lasting, most natural appearing and safest facelift technique involves lifting the SMAS up well, as well as naturally redraping the overlying skin. 

Good luck to you.

Mark Anton, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Finding the right surgeon for a facelift

Finding the right surgeon for your facelift can be challenging. There are many different techniques and many different opinions. I perform many different types of facelifts, including deep plane (Composite) facelifts. I feel that it is my job to select the right type for the particular needs of the patient. i do not perform the same procedure on everyone. In choosing your surgeon, make sure that you like their photos and don't be fraid to ask questions. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 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.