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What is the SMAS?

The SMAS is a fascial support layer of the face. It lies beneath the skin and subcutaneous fat. The SMAS is connected to skin at multiple places in the face, and this creates facial folds. It was the study of facial anatomy in the 1960s that created substantial advancement of facelifting techniques; specifically, the recognition that the SMAS provided the main support for the face and that treating it can lead to much longer-lasting facelift results.

How is the SMAS facelift performed?

Dr. Hessler performs a vertical vector SMAS facelift. The vertical component of the surgery places tissues back to their original position, not into the pulled back position that creates the “windswept” appearance patients fear. Treating the SMAS level also provides a long-lasting result, because the outcome does not rely on the strength of the skin, which can relax and stretch over time.

What areas does an SMAS facelift treat?

The SMAS facelift is ideal for those individuals that have extra skin and laxity of the neck and jowl area of the face. By elevating the deeper SMAS tissue, the jawline will have a smoother contour and the jaw and neckline will be better defined.

SMAS facelift vs. a deep plane facelift

An SMAS facelift creates an incision in the SMAS layer of the facial tissues parallel to the nasolabial fold to lift the jowl and neck tissue. A deep plane facelift not only goes deep below the SMAS layer to lift the areas of the neck and jowl, but also treats the midface or tissue of the upper cheek.

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