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What Is an SMAS Facelift?

By The Landings Surgical Centre on April 08, 2014


Nova Scotia SMAS Facelift TechniquePeople may gain signs of aging at different points in life and to different degrees, but no one can escape the apparent effects of aging indefinitely. Wrinkles and loose skin are a few typical results of this process, which may be further accelerated by genetics or environmental factors. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with an older visage, some people may feel that these effects have come on too quickly.

To help you reenergize your appearance and self-confidence, our Nova Scotia practice offers the SMAS facelift procedure. A facelift allows patients to achieve smoother, younger looking facial features for years. Refer to the information below to learn whether a facelift may be right for you.  

How Does a Facelift Work?

Over time, skin tends to loosen while fat deposits accumulate and muscles tighten. Together, these factors account for the changes that are typically associated with an aging face. A facelift therefore attempts to reverse each of these changes by manipulating muscles and fatty tissue under the skin, and then tightening the skin along the midsection of the face. Once completely healed, there is little evidence that surgery took place. The results often last for 10 years, throughout which patients benefit from a revitalized, more youthful look.

The SMAS Technique

A superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) facelift can provide more dramatic results than other techniques, and thus is commonly called a full facelift. Whereas a MACS, or mini, facelift is primarily performed through incisions near the top of the forehead, an SMAS facelift utilizes incisions that are lower and closer to the target areas. This allows easier and more direct access to the relevant muscles, and the lateral skin tightening offers better treatment of the nasolabial folds.

Patients who undergo SMAS surgery will experience the following procedure:  

  • Patients will first be anesthetized through general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.
  • Incisions will then be made on either side of the face, beginning near the ear and curving up toward the hairline.
  • The skin will be partially pulled back, giving the plastic surgeon access to underlying tissues
  • Excess fat will be removed to create a more even appearance.
  • Muscles will be repositioned and held in place with internal sutures.
  • Excess skin will be trimmed, and remaining skin will be pulled horizontally into place.
  • Incisions will be sutured shut.  

After surgery, most patients require about a week’s rest before returning to work and similar daily activities. Minor swelling may not completely resolve for weeks or months afterward, but it will not be long before you begin to see the results of treatment.    

Ideal Candidates for an SMAS Facelift

Patients who are in good overall health and are looking to reduce signs of facial aging are most likely good candidates for a facelift. The desired changes should be located primarily below the eyes, with a particular emphasis around the cheeks, mouth, and jawline. Although all facelifts procedures can achieve results in similar areas, the SMAS facelift is ideal for patients seeking a more noticeable improvement. Particular problems treated by a facelift include:

  • Loose skin
  • Drooping cheeks
  • Wrinkles
  • Creases at the nasolabial folds (between the mouth and nose)
  • Jowls
  • Loose skin in the upper neck

Some of the best candidates for a facelift are in their late 40s to 50s, as the treatment is very effective in treating earlier signs of aging. Moreover, when patients still have some elasticity in their skin, the results tend to look better and last longer.   

Schedule an Appointment

A facelift can be a rewarding procedure, but patients must have their candidacy for treatment evaluated first. Schedule a consultation with one of our highly qualified doctors to learn more about which cosmetic options are best for you.

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JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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