Rae clinic Face treatment category
Face Surgery

Deep Plane Facelift

Our recommended surgeons are among a few offering the comprehensive deep plane facelift, which is widely recognised as the gold standard of facelifts. They use a multidisciplinary approach that is tailored according to the needs of each individual patient, thus providing a bespoke facelift that looks natural to the patient. 

9 months
Surgery time
4 hours
Hospital time
12 hours
6-8 weeks
6 hours
3 days
Stay home
3 days
2 weeks
4 weeks
Full recovery
6-8 weeks
10-12 years if at all

What is a Deep Plane Facelift?

The deep plane refers to the space between the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) and deeper structures of the face that control our facial expressions. The deep plane technique is a type of facelift in which the surgeon releases the masseteric and zygomatic ligaments that tether the SMAS layer to the deeper facial structure. In doing so, the surgeon can produce a more extensive vertical lift to the face. 

It is the most comprehensive facelift as it can lift and reposition both the skin and muscles of the lower face and upper neck as one unit. The main difference between a deep plane and a standard facelift is that the former untethers the ligaments that attach the SMAS layer to the bone. 

As a result, the surgeon can treat hard-to-reach areas of the face, such as the marionette lines and nasolabial folds. Furthermore, since the surgeon doesn’t separate the skin from the muscle layer, it eliminates the risk of distorting the skin and leaving it feeling and looking too tight.

Is a Deep Plane Facelift Worth It?

A deep plane facelift is an increasingly popular treatment in the UK that many patients find worthwhile for the following reasons: 

  • A deep plane facelift produces results that last longer than a standard facelift. 
  • A deep plane facelift is the most likely to produce a natural appearance for the patient as it pulls both the skin and the muscles in the lower facial region and neck together. In contrast, the standard facelift technique separates the skin from the SMAS layer, which in some cases gives the skin a distorted appearance. Therefore, it’s essential that you and your surgeon carefully consider the most appropriate technique for addressing your specific cosmetic concerns.

Deep Plane Facelift Cost

The cost of a deep plane facelift in the UK usually starts from £12,900 for the face, £8,900 for the neck, and £17,900 for both the face and the neck. A facelift is a bespoke procedure that takes into account a range of factors such as the extent of skin laxity and other signs of ageing. As such, the cost of a facelift varies depending on the individual circumstances of each patient. 

Deep Plane Facelift Procedure

A deep plane facelift usually takes four hours, and is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia. The incisions of a deep plane facelift are similar to that of a standard facelift in that it extends along the hairline and around the front and back of the ears. The surgeon will then operate below the SMAS layer of the face by releasing the ligaments connecting it to the bone to lift and reposition the skin and muscles of the face as one unit.

Deep Plane Facelift Recovery

It usually takes 6-8 weeks to make a full recovery following a deep plane facelift, although most patients are able to resume most of their daily routine, including going back to work, within 2-3 weeks. During this recovery period, you may experience swelling and bruising on the face that will gradually dissipate. 
For more information on managing your recovery, please visit our blog on how to reduce swelling after facelift surgery.

Deep Plane vs. SMAS Facelift 

A SMAS facelift is the standard facelift technique. In contrast to a deep plane facelift, a surgeon performs a SMAS facelift by separating the skin from the muscles in the SMAS layer. Therefore, they lift and tighten the skin and muscles separately. 

The main difference between the two procedures lies in their longevity. By operating beneath the SMAS layer, surgeons can correct the laxity in the deeper structures of the face to produce results that last 2-3 years longer than a SMAS facelift. However, the recovery period for a deep plane facelift is 2-3 weeks longer, as there’s a greater risk of disrupting the blood vessels and nerves. 

Furthermore, a deep plane facelift is the most effective approach for treating some indications, such as smile lines, marionette lines, and nasolabial folds. Therefore, the most suitable facelift procedure for you will depend on the specific signs of ageing in your face.

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How long does a deep plane facelift last? 

Patients that have a standard facelift usually require a revision facelift or a deep plane facelift in 8-10 years to maintain a rejuvenated face. In contrast, the results of a deep plane facelift usually last 2-3 years more.    

Who is the ideal candidate for a deep plane facelift? 

Most patients develop signs of ageing in their 40s. Therefore, a deep plane facelift is ideal for patients between the ages of 40-70 that are showing noticeable signs of ageing, such as skin laxity, wrinkles, and jowls. Additionally, your surgeon will assess your suitability for a deep plane facelift during a consultation.

When will I see results from a deep plane facelift? 

Once the surgeon removes the dressing 24 hours after the surgery, you will notice the immediate results. You will see continuous improvement in results over the next few weeks as the swelling from the surgery gradually dissipates. However, it may take up to 9 months for the full effects of the surgery to become visible. 

Where are the incisions made in a deep plane facelift?

The exact placement of the incision varies depending on the facial features of each patient. Typically, the incision for a deep plane facelift starts at the temple, extends along the hairline and in front of the ear, and ends behind the ear. 

Does a deep plane facelift leave behind scars?

Due to the placement of the incisions, the scarring from the facelift will be hidden behind the natural contours of the face. Therefore, if a cosmetic surgeon performs a deep plane facelift correctly, it should not leave behind any visible scarring. 

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