The Benefits of the SMAS Facelift Technique
Although age can bring many good changes to a person’s life, it also tends to bring negative physical changes past adulthood. Even when a person remains healthy into old age, the impact on one’s skin and underlying facial features is often undesirable. Wrinkles and sagging skin are a few classic signs of aging, replacing a look of vitality and youth with one of fatigue. For those who wish to recapture their younger appearance, a facelift may be well worth consideration.
An SMAS facelift is the more traditional facelift technique, directly addressing the skin and underlying tissues. Like any plastic surgery procedure, the SMAS facelift has its advantages and disadvantages, and should be reserved for only those candidates who are best suited for it. Consider the nuances of this effective technique before consulting your Fort Worth plastic surgeon on how it may benefit you.
What Is the SMAS Facelift Technique?
The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) comprises the muscular tissues within the face, which are largely responsible for your facial features and, in turn, signs of aging. Over time, these muscles tend to both weaken and tighten, resulting in drooping features and wrinkles, respectively. The accumulation of fat deposits under the skin, in addition to the loss of skin elasticity, also contribute to the stereotypical characteristics of an aging face.
An SMAS facelift seeks to reduce and even reverse these effects by manipulating the skin, fat, and musculature of the face. After creating incisions near the hairline, the surgeon will remove excess fat and skin while pinning the musculature into a fixed position. Unlike other facelift techniques, which may only partially address these problems through a limited procedure, a full facelift gives patients the best opportunity to achieve a noticeably revitalized appearance.
Candidates for an SMAS Facelift
Patients who wish to benefit from a full facelift should have signs of aging that range from the middle of the face to the upper neck. Common problems addressed by a facelift include:
- Drooping cheeks
- Loose skin
- Sagging skin and fat
- Wrinkles and creases
- Lines along the nasolabial folds
- Jowling along the jaw
- Excess skin along the upper neck
For any problems above the eyes or with the eyelids themselves, an alternative procedure may be suggested instead of a facelift or in conjunction with it. Good candidates should also have accurate expectations for their results, as per a pre-operative discussion with the doctor.
Because a facelift does pose certain risks, as does any surgical procedure, patients should also be in good overall health. Any systemic diseases or conditions that decrease one’s ability to heal should be discussed beforehand, especially if a patient has had previous post-surgical complications.
The Procedure for an SMAS Facelift
If you are deemed a good candidate for surgery and wish to have an SMAS facelift, you can expect an outpatient procedure under the experience and expertise of Dr. Rumalla. After administering either general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation, Dr. Rumalla will perform the following steps:
- An incision will be made near the hairline on each side of the face, beginning near the ear and curving upward.
- The skin will be gently lifted upward to reveal the facial musculature and subcutaneous tissues.
- Excess fat and skin will be removed from areas where they have accumulated.
- Muscles will be repositioned and pinned in place via internal sutures.
- The skin will be pulled taut horizontally toward the ears, and the incisions will be closed with temporary sutures.
Due to the nature of surgery, you will most likely require at least a week’s rest before returning to work and similar daily activities. Discomfort, bruising, and swelling should be expected, particularly over the first three days. After seven to 10 days of recovery, you will see the results of your facelift, with gradual improvements surfacing as swelling continues to subside.
Is a Facelift Right for You?
Before deciding exactly which plastic surgery technique is best for you, consult Dr. Rumalla for a more in-depth explanation of our procedures. More specifically, you can discuss your goals for surgery and learn which treatment will be safest and most effective to that end. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with us.