According to Glen Burnie, MD plastic surgeon Adam Summers, MD, facelifts don’t have to disrupt your lifestyle. At his practice, patients who want to undergo a dramatic change can do so in just one hour with the ‘SMART Facelift’ technique he developed and return to normal social activities in a few days.
What It Is
“In this procedure, the word SMART is an acronym for ‘Skin, Muscle, Adipose, Reduced Tension’ facelift,” says Dr. Summers. “Unlike a traditional facelift where the skin is pulled, with the ‘SMART Facelift’ we tighten the loose facial ligaments using permanent suspension sutures. This provides the unique feature of lifting the cheeks and jowls while simultaneously reducing tension on the skin. With this procedure, lax facial ligaments are repaired with permanent suspension sutures that hold up the soft tissues.”
As we age, the mid-face loses both facial fat volume and facial skeletal bone density, he explains. Combined with the effects of gravity and traction, these changes result in a loosening of the facial ligaments. “I like to address the root cause of the problem. In this case, the ligaments holding up the muscle and fat need to be repaired. As this is done, the deep soft tissue layers are repositioned and the skin is brought along for the ride, so to speak. Because of this, with the ‘SMART Facelift,’ there’s never any tension on the skin,” he explains.
What It Does
Conceptually, Dr. Summers likens his technique to the treatment of uterine prolapse, which many women experience. “After pregnancy, many women find that the internal ligaments which hold their uterus in position have stretched out. As these ligaments lengthen, the uterus will prolapse, or fall. Typically, a gynecologist will surgically repair those ligaments using permanent sutures to restore the uterus to its prior position. This is identical to the ‘SMART Facelift’ where we use permanent sutures to correctly position the soft tissues which had fallen.”
The Best Candidates
Because the ‘SMART Facelift’ technique does not pull the skin, it gives natural-looking results. But not everyone is a candidate. “Some people have severe elastosis, or thinning of the skin from years of sun exposure,” says the surgeon. “With those patients, we repair the skin first with laser treatments. Once we have restored the collagen, these patients can become candidates for the ‘SMART Facelift’. This is great for the patient because both the surface layer and the deep layers are corrected.”
The Major Payoffs
“Typically, with my ‘One Hour SMART Facelift’ procedure, there is very little bruising or swelling, so patients usually have almost no downtime,” he adds. “Because the procedure repositions the sagging cheeks and jowls without pulling on the skin, patients never have a ‘pulled or wind-swept’ appearance. In addition, since permanent sutures don’t stretch, they will continue to support the cheeks for many years.”
How Long Results Last
Having performed the SMART Facelift procedure on over 2,000 patients, Dr. Summers says he now has countless patients that have maintained their elevated cheeks for more than a decade following their surgery. In addition, he says the benefit of this procedure is that years later the lift can be retightened without redoing the entire surgery.
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