What Is A Deep Plane Facelift? Inside The Plastic Surgery Procedure

The original version was invented in the '90s

Given the onslaught of ridiculously high aesthetic standards in modern society (thank you, Kardashians), it’s only natural for many of us to consider getting a bit of a nip and tuck in an effort to reverse the ageing process.

While the concept of plastic surgery can feel intimidating (especially when it’s involving your face), few things can be more inspiring than seeing an excellent before-and-after shot of a procedure gone right.

Dr Andrew Jacono, a New York City-based plastic surgeon, has been gaining plenty of attention on Instagram for his life-altering facelifts, using a method he bills as the ‘deep plane facelift’.

According to his Instagram page, which has nearly 20,000 followers, he is able to shave decades off his patients using the technique, prompting awed comments from his stunned fans.

“The deep plane facelift focuses on release and movement of muscle and fat layers instead of skin pull and removal,” Dr Jacono’s website explains.

“The extended deep plane facelift that Doctor Jacono has developed incorporates release of the ligaments tethering the deep plane layer to achieve tension-free movement so that no tightness can be created by the facelift procedure.”

So, what exactly is a ‘deep plane facelift’? And how does it differ from a regular facelift? Keep reading to find out.

What Is A ‘Deep Plane Facelift’?

The ‘deep plane’ approach to facelifts has actually been around since 1990, when it was devised by a plastic surgeon from Texas named Sam Hamra.

The original concept was that you operate beneath the supportive layer of the face, below something we call the SMAS (Superficial muscular aponeurotic system) layer, rather than just operating on the skin.

What surgeons found was that when you pull on the skin you end up getting that tight, operated look and the results didn’t last long because skin is naturally elastic. Instead, if you correct the face by operating under the SMAS layer you get longer lasting change. It’s definitely more subtle.

Dr Jacono’s version is actually new method that builds on this technique known as the ‘minimal access deep plane extended (MADE) vertical vector facelift’.

The procedure works by combining the optimal features of the deep plane facelift and those of the short-scar minimal access cranial suspension lift, resulting in “more significant vertical motion of the mid-face and jawline, greater neck rejuvenation, a significant decrease in the need for additional tucks and completely hidden scars all while providing a more natural result.

A recent addition to Dr. Jacono’s approach is also the repositioning of excess soft tissue to the back portion of the jaw to restore the contour and volume that creates the arc of a youthful feminine jawline.

How Is It Different To a Regular Facelift?

“In traditional face-lifting, the skin is lifted but the underlying SMAS is not lifted or supported which can create an unnatural tight stretched appearance to the face,” Dr Jacono explains on his website.

“The Deep Plane technique which lifts the skin and muscle (SMAS) together as one unit and repositions all deep facial musculature is performed by less 5% of surgeons because it is a technically more difficult procedure even though the results are more rejuvenating and longer lasting by 10 years, on average.”

What Are The Downsides Of A ‘Deep Plane’ Facelift?

As previously mentioned, the traditional ‘deep plane facelift’ has fallen out of favour with top surgeons in recent years because it has its limitations.

That is to say, the technique that has the brand name ‘deep plane’ doesn’t treat the skin and the SMAS differently, which is the downside.

Dr Jacono’s technique, however, allows him to treat the skin and SMAS differently.

One of its main benefits, according to Dr Jacono, is that it “restores significant volume to the midface region (cheek area from the lower eyelids to the nose and the corner of the mouth) without the addition of any injectable filler or grafted fat”.

How Long Does A Facelift Surgery Take?

While the original deep plane technique can be completed in under two hours, most good surgeons will take around four hours to do a proper facelift.

Dr Jacono says he typically spends around three to five hours performing his facelift procedures on patients.

What’s The Recovery Time For A Facelift?

Dr Jacono says it’s typically seven to 10 days before his patients are able to get back to regular activities.

How Much Does A Facelift Cost?

For a less-experienced or well-renowned surgeon, a facelift could be below the $20,000 mark, most good facelifts (including surgery on both the skin and the SMAS layer) will set you back anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000, once you consider hospital costs.

Before you commit to anything, however, do your homework and be clear with your surgeon about what look you want to have, what results you want to see and what your problem areas are.

And, of course, do your requisite Instagram stalking and look at photos of that surgeon’s work on people like you.

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