The key to stable and longer-lasting facelift is going beyond the skin; this entails lifting the deeper structures of the face as a single unit. Occasionally, a concurrent fat injection or fat grafting is also performed to correct facial volume shrinkage that comes with aging.
Dr. Tarick Smiley, one of the pioneers of three-dimensional facelift in Orange County plastic surgery, has recently posted Snapchat photos depicting facelift after one year.
About a year ago, the patient simultaneously received facelift, neck lift, and fat grafting performed in one of Dr. Smiley’s accredited surgical centers. Upon closer inspection, the scar that curves around her ear curvature is imperceptible thanks to meticulous incision placement and suturing technique.
Dr. Smiley always positions the facelift scar in discreet areas—i.e., behind the temporal hairline, which then extends behind the tragus (small bump in front of the ear) and curves behind the ear. Sometimes, this incision line is extended into the nape area, although it still remains hidden by the hairline, should the patient need a simultaneous neck lift.
The patient’s imperceptible scar is not the only thing that makes her “extremely ecstatic with the results.” She has also maintained the appearance of taut jawline, youthful cheek (i.e., right amount of volume/plumpness), tight neck, and smooth chin-neck transition.
Furthermore, the patient has avoided the windswept or overly pulled appearance, which gives facelift a bad rep. This surgical stigmata, according to Dr. Smiley, can be prevented by lifting and pulling the SMAS (layer beneath the skin) at around 45 degrees angle.
The 45 degrees angle is the best direction of pull as it restores the lost volume of the cheek, softens the appearance of nasolabial folds or “laugh lines,” and creates a tauter jawline.
Her simultaneous fat grafting to the cheeks and lower lid-cheek junction has further fostered natural and more youthful results.
While the surgeon’s technique has the most influence on the facelift results and longevity, the impact of underlying anatomy cannot be discarded nonetheless. For instance, the patient has enjoyed a certain advantage because even before surgery she has a relatively good skin quality.
“When the skin has significant photo damage caused by the sun, after facelift it will not redrape as good as the skin that has been taken care of,” said Dr. Smiley in a previous video on Snapchat.