What Is a SMAS Facelift & How Does It Work?

woman (model) touching her smooth face as she looks into the camera

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I understand the complexities of aging and the desire to look vibrant and youthful. One effective way to achieve that rejuvenated look is the SMAS facelift, a procedure that targets the foundational layers of the face to produce natural-looking and long-lasting results.

If you’re considering ways to rejuvenate your appearance, let’s explore why a SMAS facelift could be an ideal choice.

Understanding SMAS Facelifts

The term SMAS is an acronym for the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, which refers to a layer of tissue deep under the skin of the face. This layer is key to achieving aesthetic improvements in facial surgery because it supports the skin and helps maintain elasticity.

In a SMAS facelift, we reposition this layer to restore youthful contours. This method allows for a comprehensive and durable lift, ensuring the changes are structurally effective.

SMAS Facelift Before and After

SMAS Facelift Before & After by Dr. Andrew H. Rosenthal in Boynton Beach, Florida
SMAS Facelift Before & After by Dr. Andrew H. Rosenthal in Boynton Beach, Florida

The Procedure Explained

The process begins with a personal consultation to discuss your concerns and goals. This understanding allows me to tailor the facelift to your aesthetic preferences, using techniques that best achieve your desired outcome.

During the surgery, I make incisions hidden within the hairline and natural creases in front of the ear. This approach minimizes visible scarring. After gently lifting the skin, I meticulously reposition and tighten the SMAS layer, then carefully re-drape the skin over the newly sculpted contours, removing any excess.

This careful technique avoids the overly tightened, “windswept” look that less advanced facelift methods may cause. Instead, you’ll see a refreshed, more youthful version of yourself.

The Benefits of Choosing a SMAS Facelift

This advanced SMAS facelift technique offers several aesthetic benefits:

  • Reduction of jowls and sagging skin, creating a sharper jawline.
  • Minimization of nasolabial folds and other deep wrinkles on the lower face.
  • Rejuvenation of the neck, making it smoother and slimmer with less visible aging signs.

The results are designed to look natural, reflecting a version of you that feels true to how you envision yourself.

Recovery & Expectations

We typically perform this surgery under local anesthesia with oral sedation, which not only keeps you comfortable during the procedure but also significantly reduces recovery time and the risk of complications.

Most patients return to normal activities within a couple of weeks, with full results becoming more apparent as healing progresses. My team and I provide detailed aftercare instructions and are always available for follow-up appointments to ensure your smooth and satisfactory recovery.

Longevity & Aging Gracefully: The Lasting Impact of a SMAS Facelift

You can expect to enjoy your results for about 10 years. By repositioning the deeper layers of your face, a SMAS facelift essentially resets the clock. It doesn’t stop the aging process— nothing can—but it does alter its course.

As we age, gravity continues its relentless pull, but having tightened the SMAS layer, the descent is slower, and the signs of aging will be less immediate and less severe.

Read more about the longevity of facelift results in our related blog post.

Combining Procedures & Treatments for Comprehensive Results

Many patients combine their facelift with other surgical procedures for a harmonious, comprehensive rejuvenation:

  • Brow Lift: A brow lift corrects a drooping brow and reduces the forehead wrinkles that contribute to a tired look.
  • Neck Lift: While the SMAS facelift improves the jawline and the appearance of the neck, a dedicated neck lift further refines this area.
  • Blepharoplasty: Also known as eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty removes excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids.

Nonsurgical treatments such as lasers, fillers, and neuromodulators offer distinct benefits that can enhance and prolong the vitality of your surgical results:

  • Lasers: These devices improve skin texture and tone, providing a refreshed skin surface to complement your renewed facial structure.
  • Dermal Fillers: Injections of hyaluronic-based dermal fillers restore lost volume, particularly in the cheeks, lips, and around the eyes—areas that facelift surgery may not fully address.
  • Neuromodulators: Treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic smooth out dynamic wrinkles, such as crow’s feet and frown lines, enhancing the overall youthfulness of your facial appearance.

The key to optimal results is creating a customized treatment plan and carefully selecting surgical and nonsurgical treatments to meet your needs and lifestyle.

Costs & Financing Options

Most patients find investing in a SMAS facelift is rewarding—both for their physical results and the boost they gain in their confidence.

The cost of an SMAS facelift at our clinic starts at $34,000, but it varies based on individual cases and specific needs. We understand this is a significant investment, so we happily work with financing companies such as CareCredit®, PatientFi®, and Yes Doctor to make the process more accessible.

Schedule Your Consultation

At Rosenthal Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery, we focus on delivering results that enhance your appearance with the utmost care and precision. If you’re ready to see how a SMAS facelift can transform your look, I invite you to call our office at (561) 880-8866 or book an appointment using our online scheduler.

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