At Plastic Surgery Center of Fairfield, CT, a facelift is often performed to reduce signs of aging in the face and neck by addressing sagging in the middle of the face and jowls. It also smooths the jawline while tightening loose neck skin to reduce the look of a double chin.
In order to better assess and identify your personal needs, we invite you to consult with Dr. Alfred Sofer about facelift surgery. Request your consultation online or call (203) 336-9862 to schedule your appointment.
Dr. Sofer’s Approach
There are multiple surgical techniques for facelifts, including the SMAS plication, SMAS excision, deep SMAS technique, periosteal lift, and more. Dr. Sofer believes there is no one technique that best suits all patients, but that the SMAS layer (the fascia underneath the skin) typically needs to be addressed in all patients. In younger patients with minimal sagginess, plication may suffice, while patients with poor collagen and elasticity may require a more involved procedure.
In your consultation, we will also talk about fat transfer, typically in the midface within the malar area (i.e., the cheeks) and the tear trough region. The new trend in plastic surgery involves fat restoration rather than fat removal.
We often perform these rejuvenation procedures in conjunction with a facelift, as well:
Dr. Sofer will take into account your physical and aesthetic needs, medical history, lifestyle, desired results, expectations and/or limitations in order to recommend the best possible surgical choice to meet your cosmetic goals.
About the SMAS Facelift
Otherwise known as the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, the SMAS is made of several connections to the dermal layer of the skin made by subcutaneous fat. These associations cause the skin to move in sync. The SMAS facelift is different from most traditional forms of facelift surgery because it lifts the deeper layer of the face.
The SMAS system is more prevalent around the nasolabial folds. The entire network of associations reaches from the cheekbone below the eye to the bone in front of the ear region. Between the SMAS and the deeper structures of the face, there is a gliding plane that grants us the ability to create facial expressions. However, as time goes on, the epidermal layer of skin and the SMAS membrane gradually become less elastic.
The sagging of the cheek skin is mainly caused by gravity. This force is also responsible for creating double chins. The loss of elasticity in the fatty portion of the skin along the jawline occurs when the cheek fat droops forward, which then emphasizes the nasolabial fold. This movement continues downward to produce a jowl.
The drooping of the SMAS membrane, as well as the gradual loss of elasticity in the dermal layer, are both responsible for the appearance of an aging face. More traditional facelift surgeries only target the superficial dermal layer, which ends up giving an overly tight appearance.
Dr. Sofer performs the SMAS facelift using great skill and new techniques that add volume to the face, reversing facial aging without a pulled or pinched look.
Duration of Facelift Surgery
2.5 to 4 hours depending on the amount of work required
General anesthesia is provided. An accredited surgical facility or hospital will have a board-certified anesthesiologist for the anesthesia.
Recovery After Facelift Surgery
While experiences vary, recovery after facelift surgery generally proceeds as follows:
- 1 to 2 hours in the recovery room
- 10 to 14 days to resume everyday activities
- 3 days managing surgical discomfort (pain medications and muscle relaxants will be needed)
- 4 to 6 weeks to resume exercise
Cost of Facelift Surgery
Facelift surgery is typically billed as a 1-time fee that includes your entire experience from start to finish. Associated fees may include:
- A 1-hour initial consultation that includes the doctor and nurses
- A 1- to 2-hour preoperative appointment that goes over paperwork and information (medication, follow-up appointments, photos)
- A surgery fee for your plastic surgeon and fees for your on-call surgeon
- An operating room fee (equipment, staff and room fee), garments (may or may not be included), and anesthesia
- 15 to 30-minute follow-up visits (usually 3 to 6), along with bandages and equipment used during these visits
- Postoperative photographs
FAQs About Facelift Surgery
What is a SMAS facelift?
It is a surgical procedure that addresses problems with the lower two-thirds of the face, including sagging skin, excess fat, loose neck muscles, jowls, and insufficient volume in cheeks, which may appear hollow and deflated. SMAS surgery goes to the deeper dermal layers to create a foundation for more natural-looking results and a longer-lasting facelift.
What are the benefits of a SMAS facelift?
A SMAS facelift can help you look years younger for a lot longer (up to 10 years or more). It is often used to improve the look of jowls, hollow cheeks, and even nasolabial folds (smile lines). The SMAS technique targets deeper layers of skin for the best, most natural-looking results.
Who is a good candidate for a SMAS facelift?
If you are in your 50s or older and have a realistic desire to turn back the clock, then you are probably a good candidate for Dr. Sofer’s SMAS facelift surgery. You must be in otherwise good health, have reasonable and realistic goals and expectations, and be able to clearly communicate your concerns to Dr. Sofer during your initial consultation.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Dr. Sofer will perform your SMAS facelift surgery in a state-of-the-art, outpatient surgery center.
How long will my SMAS surgery take?
The time varies with each patient because many patients choose to combine other procedures with their facelift surgery. Dr. Sofer recommends planning on surgery lasting several hours.
Will I have scars after my SMAS facelift surgery?
Dr. Sofer places the incisions in very inconspicuous locations, such as behind the ears and in the natural creases of the skin. These normally heal as thin, thread-like lines and are well camouflaged.
Is the SMAS facelift surgery painful?
You may experience mild pain and discomfort, although patient experiences vary. Discomfort is typically managed with oral pain medication and subsides after a few days.
What can I expect during recovery?
Swelling, bruising, puffiness, numbness and paleness are all normal during recovery and should be expected. You must keep your head elevated for the first few days to help manage swelling. These issues clear gradually over several days.
What can I expect right after surgery?
Bandages will be applied to your head and neck and then removed on or around the following day.
When will I be able to return to work?
Typically patients are able to return to work in about 1 to 2 weeks; however, recovery rates vary.
What about exercise and daily activities?
You will need to restrict your activities based on instructions that we will give you. You will not be able to perform any strenuous activities until healing is complete, which is about 2 to 3 weeks.
Will I be able to drive myself to and from surgery?
No. You must have a responsible adult drive you to the surgical center, drive you home, and stay with you overnight for a couple of days, if possible.
Will insurance pay for my SMAS facelift surgery?
Insurance does not cover elective or cosmetic procedures.
Has Dr. Sofer performed many facelift surgeries?
Dr. Sofer is a skilled, board-certified surgeon who has had years of surgical training in all surgeries of the head and neck. He has performed hundreds of facelift surgeries, and he performs them on a regular basis.
What will I look like after surgery?
We can answer this question in your consultation, using the latest technology in 3-D imaging: the VECTRA® 3D imaging system. This tool will help you and Dr. Sofer visualize potential surgical outcomes and develop a surgical plan.