SMAS Facelift

Evidence Basedcheckmark

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 - 685

The Skinny

Average Recovery

18 days




Surgical Procedure




$10000 - $15000

The Specifics

What is a SMAS facelift?

A SMAS facelift is a surgical facelift technique producing long lasting improvements to the facial aesthetic. The SMAS layer or superficial muscular aponeurotic system is a thin fibrous layer covering the anterior face and neck. In the SMAS facelift technique, by trimming excess skin tissue and altering the SMAS layer a tighter smoother, and more youthful appearance is achieved. A SMAS facelift can also address concerns such sagging skin in the cheeks or jowls.

What cosmetic concerns does a SMAS facelift procedure treat?

  1. Facial Skin Laxity: SMAS facelift alter excess skin, excess fat, and facial muscle to lift and tighten the facial skin correcting the nasolabial folds, lower face, and loose skin of the neck and jawline.

Who is the ideal candidate for a SMAS facelift procedure?

The ideal candidate for a SMAS facelift is a middle aged individual in generally good health with early signs of aging, and sagging skin in the cheeks or jawline. A SMAS facelift is not recommended for those who are regular smokers, a history of keloid scarring, bleeding abnormalities, or certain other medical conditions.

What is the average recovery associated with a SMAS facelift procedure?

The acute recovery phase following a SMAS facelift is about two to three weeks of acute bruising, swelling, redness, and discomfort. A compression garment must be worn for the first 10 days. Sutures are removed after one week. Patients need to refrain from strenuous activity, sleeping without the head elevated, and hair treatments for six weeks. Some side effects may linger for up to one year.

To better understand the healing and downtime associated with the procedure, check out our complete guide to facelift recovery.

What are the potential side effects of a SMAS facelift procedure?

The potential side effects of a SMAS facelift include numbness, tightness, burning, tingling, bruising, swelling, hair loss, facial nerve injury, necrosis of the skin flap, scarring, and prolonged edema.

What can someone expect from the results of a SMAS facelift procedure?

The results of a SMAS facelift are significant improvements to the face, neck, and jawline lasting for 10 to 15 years. The results will change naturally with aging, use, and sun exposure.

What is the average cost of a SMAS facelift procedure?

A SMAS facelift procedure can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. The actual cost of a SMAS facelift is dependent upon location, board certified plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of a facelift.


  • Less Invasive
  • Greater Improvement In Neck Skin Laxity


  • Visible Scars
  • Longer Recovery Than Plicated SMAS Facelift

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

A SMAS facelift tightens facial muscles to address sagging cheeks, jowls, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a SMAS facelift.

The Takeaway

A SMAS facelift is a facelift technique targeting the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS layer) for adjustments to underlying tissue and excess skin. This plastic surgery when performed by an expert plastic surgeon produces significant results and facial rejuvenation.

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Park, S The Mini Zygoma Reduction Surgery: a Simple and Reliable Approach for Mid Face Narrowing; 2016-07-27
  2. Samad Rezaee Khiabanlo Innovative techniques for thread lifting of face and neck; 2019-12-02


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