What is a Deep Plane Facelift?

What is a Deep Plane Facelift?

Woman lightly touching the skin on her cheek after cosmetic surgery.

There are many different types of facelifts available today, but out of all the different options, the deep plane facelift is one of the most effective. It can take a decade or more off your appearance! But what exactly is a deep plane facelift? What occurs during the procedure? And what is recovery like? Let’s take a closer look at this life-changing procedure.


What Happens During A Deep Plane Facelift?

A deep plane facelift is a facial surgery where the skin and SMAS, a layer of connective tissue underneath the facial skin, are lifted to tighten the cheeks, jawline, and neck and provide a more youthful appearance.


The procedure will begin with the administration of general anesthesia, so you will be completely comfortable. Dr. Schmidt will then make incisions around the ears and sometimes under the chin. The incisions are placed along the hairline and in natural skin creases to hide them as much as possible. The skin and SMAS layer will then be elevated and some of the ligaments that anchor the connective tissue and muscle will be released.


The SMAS will then be lifted and tightened to help achieve a smoother, firmer, and more youthful look. This improves the jowls and nasolabial folds. Your surgeon may also address the neck area by removing any excess fat and tightening the platysma muscle. Once the SMAS and platysma are sutured into place, excess skin will removed and all incisions will be closed.

Deep Plane Facelift Recovery

Recovering after a deep plane facelift surgery can take about 2 to 4 weeks. It all depends on how extensive the surgery is. As you recover, you may feel some soreness and tightness in the face and neck. You will also likely notice some swelling, numbness, and bruising. Most patients feel well enough to return to a desk job 2 weeks after surgery, however, it typically takes 3-4 weeks for most of the swelling and bruising to go away. You may want to avoid activities where your appearance is important to you for about 1 month.


After your deep plane facelift, you will need to limit your level of activity for the first month to prevent complications. For most patients, Dr. Schmidt recommends walking only for the first 2 weeks, no exercise or lifting more than 10 lbs. After 2 weeks, it’s okay to resume light cardio, then at 4 weeks you can return to your normal activities and more strenuous exercise.


While life may be back to normal within a month, it will take about a year for full recovery. Numbness will take time to resolve and scars take time to mature and fade.

When Will I See the Results?

While you may see some results immediately after your deep plane facelift, bruising and swelling can mask many of the changes. In the weeks and months that follow, the swelling will go down, and you’ll start to see the full results. It can take up to six months before swelling has completely gone away and you see how much the procedure has changed your appearance.


The deep plane facelift won’t stop the aging process, but it can turn back the clock quite a few years. Typically, patients look 10-15 years younger, and those results last approximately 10 years.

Schedule A Consultation

Are you struggling with sagging skin on your face or neck and deep creases and folds? A deep place facelift may be exactly what you’re looking for. It can erase the years from your face and give you a more youthful appearance. Take the first step and schedule a consultation at Mountain Lake Plastic Surgery today. Call our Burlington, VT office at (802) 231-4284 or fill out our online contact form.