Everything to Know About the Deep Plane Facelift, According to Top Plastic Surgeons

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While the concept of a facelift can feel quite intimidating, there are few things more inspiring than a surgery gone right, and Palo Alto, CA facial plastic surgeons David Lieberman, MD and Sachin S. Parikh, MD have a flawless track record. While they’re professionals at executing a traditional facelift, here the surgeons share everything to know about the trending deep plane facelift, a bigger and better technique that makes up over 90 percent of the facelifts performed in their office. 

What is a deep plane facelift?

“A deep plane facelift is a lift that addresses the deeper tissues and muscles of the face. It involves the release of key facial ligaments, which allows for a natural, youthful repositioning of those tissues. The deep plane facelift is one of the only lifts that fully address volume loss, gravity and other age-related changes in the mid face. It is also designed to rejuvenate three components of the lower face: the neck, jaw and lower face. The reason why our deep plane facelift looks so natural is that we restore tissues to their initial positions. In fact, we don’t move tissues in new directions but restore them to their initial position for a more youthful and natural look.

This specialized technique should be performed by board-certified surgeons with a very intricate understanding of facial anatomy. In our practice, we believe that having definition from ear to chin with no soft tissue or jowl spilling over the mandible (the movable part of the jaw) is important for creating a natural and youthful appearance. During the procedure, we make great efforts to establish tension lines that allow for youthful contours of the jawline, mid face and neck. There’s a tension line that goes from the central neck to the angle of the jaw and it creates two 90-degree angles: one under the chin and the neck and the other at the end of the jawbone towards the neck.”

How is it different from a traditional facelift?

“A deep plane facelift addresses multiple layers and involves a dissection and release of the deep tissues of the face and neck. A regular facelift has many variations—what one surgeon calls a facelift could be a more superficial facelift that involves lifting of skin and limited work on the deeper layers.”

Do you perform these facelifts more than traditional facelifts?

“Over 90 percent of the facelifts we perform are modified deep plane facelifts. More of our patients request this procedure over a regular facelift, and we think this increased popularity is due to an uptick in medical studies as well as social media education.”

 How much post-procedure downtime is required?

“Downtime after a deep plane facelift can vary from patient to patient, and is influenced by several factors like skin type, underlying health conditions and nutrition and diet. Generally speaking, our patients are presentable between 10 to 20 days after their procedure.”

What is the typical age of people receiving this procedure? 

“The average age is mid- to late-40s, but in our practice we offer a modified deep plane facelift for patients in their 30s through early 80s. A more limited facelift candidate would be someone who is younger (most likely in their early 30s), doesn’t have much midfacial aging and is only looking for improvement of their jowl and neck.”

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