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Decoding the Deep Plane Facelift: A Comprehensive Exploration

Aging skin and the effects of significant weight loss can lead to loose skin around the face and neck. At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Naperville, IL, we can treat many of these concerns with a deep plane facelift. This procedure goes beyond superficial changes to reposition deeper layers of the face, offering a more comprehensive and lasting result.

What Is a Deep Plane Facelift?

A deep plane facelift is a type of rhytidectomy that reaches into the structural foundation of the facial anatomy, targeting the deeper layers beneath the skin and muscle. This technique distinguishes itself from other facelift methods by adjusting these foundational layers rather than merely tightening the surface skin. By repositioning the deeper tissues, a deep plane facelift enhances facial contours with a natural-looking appearance.

A Closer Look at the Deep Plane Facelift

Layered Approach

Facelift surgery often involves a nuanced, layered approach, strategically targeting different facial structures to achieve a balanced and natural-looking lift. When tissues are repositioned at varying depths, it provides a more comprehensive enhancement and an appearance that is much more natural looking. This layered approach allows for the changes on surface layers to be supported by changes beneath.

Anesthesia Options

Various anesthesia options are available to patients undergoing a deep plane facelift. These options will always be discussed with your surgeon before the procedure. Local anesthesia with sedation is commonly used for patient comfort, while general anesthesia might be recommended for more extensive rejuvenation efforts. The choice depends on several factors, including patient health, preference, and the surgeon’s assessment of the most suitable method for the specific surgical plan.

Incision Techniques

The incision techniques in a deep plane facelift are hidden within the hairline or natural contours of the ear to minimize visible scarring. This approach allows surgeons to access the deeper layers of the face without compromising the aesthetic outcome.

Underlying Muscles and SMAS

In a rhytidectomy, special attention is given to the underlying muscles and the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), which are an important part of facial aging. By adjusting these structures, surgeons can address sagging and loss of volume more effectively than with skin tightening alone. This technique supports a lifted, youthful facial contour that reflects the underlying muscular and structural adjustments.

Skin Redraping

After the deeper adjustments are made during a facelift, the skin is carefully redraped over the newly sculpted contours. This step is executed with precision to avoid any undue tension, which helps minimize scarring and avoids a “windblown” effect.


Closing the incisions with sutures is the final step of the facelift process. Our surgeons use techniques that promote healing and limit the visibility of scars. The type of sutures, their placement, and how they are secured are all selected based on optimizing the healing process and enhancing the overall aesthetic outcome.

Who Is the Right Candidate for the Deep Plane Facelift?

The ideal candidate for a facelift procedure is someone experiencing moderate to severe facial sagging and volume loss due to aging or significant weight loss. Individuals in good overall health, non-smokers, and those who have talked to their surgeons about potential outcomes of the surgery are the best candidates. This procedure is particularly suited for those seeking a lasting improvement in facial structure and a reduction in the appearance of deep wrinkles and loose skin.

Preparing for Your Deep Plane Facelift

Preparation for your facelift surgery involves several key steps to ensure the best possible outcome and a smooth recovery. Patients are advised to stop smoking, avoid certain medications that can increase bleeding, and maintain a healthy diet to support healing. Prior to surgery, detailed discussions with the surgeon about goals, potential risks, and the recovery process are essential to align expectations and plan for post-operative care.

Deep Plane Facelift Recovery

  • Immediately Post-Op: After a deep plane facelift, patients may experience numbness, tightness, or discomfort around the incision sites, which is manageable with medication prescribed by the surgeon. Resting with the head elevated is crucial during this initial period to minimize swelling.
  • The First Week: During the first week of facelift recovery, patients will notice a reduction in swelling and bruising. It’s important to follow the surgeon’s care instructions closely, including keeping the incision areas clean and avoiding any strenuous activities.
  • Managing Swelling and Bruising: To manage swelling and bruising after a facelift procedure, applying cold compresses and maintaining a gentle, low-activity lifestyle can be beneficial as approved by your surgeon. Over-the-counter medications may also continue to be recommended by your surgeon to help reduce these symptoms.
  • Follow-Up Visits: Facelift recovery includes follow-up visits to the surgeon to monitor the healing process. These appointments are essential for ensuring the incisions are healing properly and to address any concerns that may arise during recovery.
  • Activity Restrictions: After a facelift, patients are advised to avoid vigorous physical activities, heavy lifting, and any actions that might strain the facial area for at least a few weeks.
  • Long-Term Care: Long-term care following a facelift involves protecting the skin from sun exposure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and following a skincare routine to support the durability of the results. Regular check-ups with the surgeon can also help in addressing any age-related changes as they occur.

Find Out If Our Facelifts Are Right for You

A deep plane facelift offers a comprehensive solution for those seeking to address signs of aging with results that are both natural-looking and enduring. At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Naperville, IL, we have years of experience in facelift procedures and a heart for our patients. For more information or to discuss how this procedure can benefit you, please contact us or call us at (815) 267-0231 to schedule a consultation; our online form is a convenient way to get started.

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