What’s the Difference Between a Deep Plane Facelift and Traditional Facelift?


What’s the Difference Between a Deep Plane Facelift and Traditional Facelift?

Dr Adam Honeybrook, one of the specialist head & neck surgeons practicing at Valley Plastic Surgery, explains the difference between the two surgical techniques of a meloplasty, more commonly known as a facelift.

“Concerns about looking ‘pulled’ or unnatural after facelift surgery are common among individuals,” explains Dr Honeybrook. “Often my patients have seen celebrities, news anchors, or individuals in their own communities with obvious signs of having undergone a traditional facelift.”

Technique of the Traditional Facelift:

The most frequently performed facelift procedure, known as a SMAS plication lift, is a superficial technique that involves lifting the skin and suturing the SMAS without elevating or releasing the deeper structures of the face and neck.

The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a tissue sheet of collagen and elastin fibres, and fat cells extending from the neck up to the forehead. It plays a key role in facial expression by connecting mimetic muscles to the dermis.

While this method is an improvement over skin-only lifting, separating the skin from the underlying muscles can create a taut, unnatural appearance. Moreover, this method only addresses the lower third of the face and jawline and does not lift fallen cheeks.

Technique of the Deep Plane Facelift:

In contrast, the deep plane facelift technique repositions the fallen muscles and fat of the face as a unit, without separating the skin from the underlying soft tissues.

“Traditional facelift techniques also typically involve tightening the face horizontally,” explains Dr Honeybrook. “This will often result in an artificial and stretched appearance that may also affect the positioning of the corners of the lips.”

“In contrast, the deep plane technique that I specialise in, involves redraping the tissues in a vertical vector to lift the lower face in a way that produces an even and proportionate outcome.”

The deep plane technique may also help restore volume to the cheeks, elevate tissue in the corners of the mouth, and reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds and marionette lines.

Note: Individual results will vary according to several factors, including genetics, age, diet & exercise. All surgeries carry risk & require an appropriate recovery period & aftercare regime which may include wearing compression garments or modifying your lifestyle post-operatively. You should seek a second opinion from a Specialist Surgeon before proceeding. More information about these risks and aftercare can be easily found on our website here:

(Image Reference: The Art and Science of Extended Deep Plane Facelifting and Complementary Facial Rejuvenation Procedures. Dr Andrew Jacono.)