Does the Smartlift Facelift Work?

Hi doctors I have been reading about the new smartlift facelift done with lasers. It is supposed to offer all the benefits of a facelift with little downtime. It sounds too good to be true! Is it effective? If so, how long are the effects meant to last? Many thanks

Doctor Answers 19

Smart lift

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You should always be skeptical of procedures with catchy names that promise you the world.  You should concentrate more on finding the right plastic surgeon for you based on experience, reputation, and results.  There is no magic out there, but plenty of slick marketing waiting to capitalize on a naive public as well as the fascination people have with lasers.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Smartlift or Dumblift?

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 To give you an idea of my level of confidence in the Smartlift,  consider that I own the rather expensive laser used in the procedure, yet I have never had any desire  to perform a Smartlift.  This is because the best way to get a natural facial rejuvenation result is to perform any one of the variants of the SMAS facelift. These procedures aim to put tissues back where they once belonged,  and offer a natural appearing, long-lasting result. 

Ben Lee, MD - Account Suspended
Denver Plastic Surgeon

The answers below are, in general correct, however..

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When relaxation of the face is extreme, the ligaments that span from the skin down to the bone [ basically these hold your skin on your face] can become loose. In addition the skin appears loose because there is fat loss from the fat compartments of the face and there is a "deflation" effect, just like a ballon  that all of the air has been let out. 
The laser used in Smart lifting produces a significant and ongoing tightening of the facial and neck skin for 7 to 9 months after the treatment. It has been shown to tighten up to 30% (when tested in abdominal skin) which is quite impressive. Sometimes this amount of tightening alone is enough to significantly improve the overall facial appearance. However, the tightening from the laser may not be enough for your situation and surgically opening and tightening the skin and underlying structures may also be needed to get the result you are expecting. 
A surgeon that performs both the standard facelift and Smartlifting can tell which would be better for your situation. 

Douglas Hendricks, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Does the Smartlift Facelift Work?

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Yes and no. The smart lift is usually a more minimal procedure than a standard face/neck lift. Too many surgeons try to name their facelift so that it sounds exclusive. Many of us do similar procedures when performing a facelift. Don't fall for the advertising hype.

Is a Smarflift Facelift as Effective as a True Facelift?

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In short, the answer is no. They are not the same thing. A true facelift releases the sagging soft tissues below the skin and repositions them to a higher more youthful position, as well as tightening and removing lax skin excess. This cannot be achieved with a laser. While the latest cleverly named procedure that promises miraculous benefits with little downtime may sound appealing, they are always long on marketing and short on results. As you noted, it sounds too good to be true.................

There are some laser treatments that can reduce the fat layer under the chin and in the jowl area, and this might be an effective treatment for a younger patient with more elastic skin, but it is not a facelift, and will not give you the same kind of overall results. There is new device called Precision Tx which can do what I described but the benefits are limited. You should consult with a surgeon who has experience with both procedures so they can give you realistic appraisal of what each procedure might achieve. 

When it comes to facelift beware shortcuts.

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One of the problems solved by a facelift is excess skin in the cheek, jowls, and neck. There is no way to shrink skin –period. Lasers can change the surface of the skin but cannot delete surplus. Furthermore they do nothing to the deeper structures that are repositioned as part of the facelift.

How effective is the Smartlift?

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Lasers are effective at rejuvenating the superficial portion of the skin. Most of the effects of aging in the face are due to sagging of the muscles in the neck and face as well as shrinking of the fat in the face. Surgery remains the most effective and thorough solution for this problem. Laser treatment can be added as a supplemental treatment to a facelift for skin enhancement, but it will not address the muscle and skin laxity.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Smartlift - no so smart

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Laser lifts are not very dependable and have minimal and short-term results as they don’t address the most important aging layer of the face - the muscle and fascia

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Lasers are only part of the solution.

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Lasers are certainly part of the solution when it comes to rejuvenating the face. However, the aging process also affects the overall volume of the face and the position of the deeper tissue layers. I explain to my patients that each of these factors needs to be addressed to achieve a comprehensive rejuvenation of the face. Of course each patient needs an individual assessment and plan for their particular needs but in general true rejuvenation often needs form of surgical lift as well. Naturally, the best thing to do as a patient is to see several doctors and get a variety of opinions. Then you should trust your instincts as to which doctor simply makes the most sense for your individual concerns and that you relate best with. 

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

The facelift is an operation of release and resuspension! No shortcuts work.

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You are absolutely right to be weary of a laser actually being able to correct sagging jowls, and loose skin. The underlying structures of the face must be addressed  in order to obtain a result that is satisfactory.  There are no lasers on the market that can substantially resuspend what gravity has caused over time. The facelift is an operation of release of skin, tissue and the deeper structures of the facial musculature. These then must be resuspended in a natural vector to rejuvenate the face.  Newer technologies like Ultherapy tighten the skin but do not deliver nearly the same result as a well-executed facelift. I would recommend a consultation with a board-certified surgeon.

Best of luck,

Sachin Parikh, MD 

Sachin S. Parikh, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.