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the SMAS Laser

The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a critical anatomical structure in the face. Located beneath the skin and fat layers, the SMAS is a dense network of connective tissues and muscles that extends across the face and neck. It is a support structure for the facial features, responsible for maintaining the integrity and contour of the face and controlling facial expressions. A full or SMAS facelift manipulates and adjusts this underlying layer of connective tissues and muscles for more dramatic facial rejuvenation.

Full/SMAS Facelift Treats:

  • Sagging jowls and cheeks
  • Deep wrinkles and folds
  • Loose neck skin and turkey neck
  • Loss of facial volume
  • Prominent nasolabial folds
  • Aging-related facial droopiness

Full/SMAS Facelift, Explained

An SMAS facelift is a procedure to address the advanced signs of facial aging. Dr. Guida makes incisions around the hairline and ears, then lifts and repositions the underlying SMAS layer, which includes facial muscles and tissues. This technique effectively tightens sagging skin and reduces deep wrinkles. The result is a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance lasting over a decade, making it suitable for those seeking significant facial rejuvenation.

Traditional Facelift vs. SMAS Facelift

A traditional facelift primarily focuses on removing excess skin and minimal adjustments to the superficial layer, making it suitable for individuals with milder signs of aging. In contrast, an SMAS facelift targets the deeper tissues, including the superficial musculoaponeurotic system, for a more comprehensive, longer-lasting solution. While traditional facelifts can provide noticeable results, they may not address sagging muscles and tissues as effectively.

The SMAS facelift often produces more natural-looking outcomes as it repositions and tightens the underlying structures, offering a more youthful facial contour. However, it is a more complex surgical procedure that may involve a slightly longer recovery period than traditional facelifts. The choice between the two depends on your unique concerns and goals.

Benefits of Full/SMAS Facelift:

  • Dramatically reduces sagging skin and jowls
  • Smoothes deep wrinkles and folds
  • Lifts and tightens facial muscles and tissues
  • Enhances overall facial contours
  • Provides long-lasting results
  • Customizable to individual patient needs
  • Minimizes the need for future touch-up procedures

The Recovery Process

In the days after surgery, you’ll likely experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Dr. Guida will provide specific instructions on how to manage pain and reduce swelling, which may include pain medications and cold compresses. It’s essential to keep your head elevated to minimize swelling, avoid strenuous activities, and follow your post-operative care plan diligently.

Most patients can return to work and light activities within two weeks, although complete healing may take several months. Over time, the initial swelling and bruising will subside. Remember to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with Dr. Guida to monitor your progress and address any concerns. The final results appear gradually over six months.

Full/SMAS Facelift FAQs

How long does the recovery process for a full/SMAS facelift take?

Recovery times can vary among individuals, but most people can return to work and light activities within two weeks. Complete healing may take several months, with residual swelling gradually subsiding over time. Strenuous workouts should be avoided for at least six weeks.

Will there be visible scarring after the surgery?

While scarring is inevitable with any surgery, skilled surgeons like Dr. Guida make incisions discreetly along the hairline and around the ears to minimize their visibility. Over time, these scars tend to fade and become less noticeable.

Are the results of a full/SMAS facelift permanent?

While the effects of a full/SMAS facelift can be long-lasting, they are not permanent. The natural aging process will continue, but the surgery can set the clock back significantly, and many patients enjoy their rejuvenated appearance for years.

Are there risks associated with full/SMAS facelift surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks, including infection, scarring, bleeding, and anesthesia-related complications. However, Dr. Guida takes all available measures to mitigate these risks and provides detailed aftercare guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery.

Can I combine a full/SMAS facelift with other cosmetic procedures?

Yes, many individuals choose to combine a facelift with other procedures such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow lift, or dermal fillers for a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

Consult Dr. Guida,
Board-Certified Facelift Expert

Dr. Robert Guida is a double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a stellar reputation for delivering consistent, safe, natural-looking facial rejuvenation outcomes. In addition to completing multiple residencies and a prominent fellowship, he completed 10 years of full-time academic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. His multi-generational clientele is a testament to his ability to deliver excellent results to patients of all ages. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Guida for an SMAS facelift today.

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