SMAS Facelift

A facelift, or what is sometimes referred to as rhytidectomy, is a procedure used to reduce signs of aging in the face and neck regions. By flattening the nasolabial folds, areas of skin that form deep creases between the neck and upper lip, the SMAS facelift can create a younger, tighter appearance. A SMAS facelift also address the sagging of the cheeks or jowls that inevitably come with age.

SMAS Facelift Overview - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

SMAS Facelift
avg. recovery
18 days
Surgical Procedure
$10000 - $15000

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 08.05.2021

To address the inevitable consequences of aging on the face and neck region, a SMAS facelift incorporates a surgical technique to flatten creases in the face and neck regions while also adjusting and negating the sagging in the cheeks and jowls. This particular type of facelift addresses the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), which is a thin layer of fibers that cover the anterior face and the neck. A SMAS facelift ranges in cost from $10,000-$15,000. To begin the procedure, first, an incision is made starting in the hairline and extending along the ear, behind the ear and into the hair. With the incision made, the skin is then separated from the SMAS and raised off of the facial muscles. Next, the tissue beneath the face is trimmed and then re-holstered higher into the face, creating the desired effect- tighter and “lifted” facial muscles. In some cases, fat deposits can be removed at this point to enhance facial definition further. Then to close the procedure, the skin is trimmed and re-draped.

Facelifts aim at making the candidate rejuvenate their face for a more youthful look. By "lifting" sagging cheeks and jawline skin, facelifts remove excess skin and tightens underlying tissue and muscle. Used in correcting midface sagging, marionette lines, jowls and double chins.


SMAS Facelift addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

After surgery a dressing will be wrapped around the face and drains inserted into the incision site. Swelling and moderate discomfort is expected. A compression garment is to be worn for 8-10 days. After 1 week all stitches will be removed. During recovery, patients should sleep with their head elevated and avoid strenuous activities. After 6 weeks, regular hair coloring and styling can also be resumed. It is common to experience residual swelling and changes in skin sensation for up to a year.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for a SMAS facelift is middle aged with sagging cheeks and jawline skin.

Not Recommended For

A SMAS facelift is not recommended for patients who are regular smokers, have a history of keloid formation, bleeding abnormalities, or other conditions that contribute to hematoma formation and poor wound healing

Side Effects

Side effects from a SMAS facelift may include numbness, tingling, tightness or burning, swelling, bruising, hair loss, facial nerve injury, hematoma formation, necrosis of the skin flap, scarring, edema, and ecchymosis.


  • Less invasive
  • Greater improvement in neck skin laxity


  • Visible scars
  • Longer recovery than plicated SMAS facelift

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