As the years go by, signs of aging inevitably begin to show. One way of combating these effects is through a facelift procedure. Also known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is a procedure done by a cosmetic surgeon to reduce the signs of aging while improving the facial appearance of an individual. There are many facelift procedures that you can go under to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. However, as you reach for these goals, it is essential that you align your expectations with the expected outcome of the procedure that you are considering. One of the most popular facelift procedure is the Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System facelift.
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Defining Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System Facelift?
The Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System, abbreviated as SMAS, consists of a relatively thin but continuous fibro-muscular layer of tissues that support the face. It surrounds and covers the deeper facial and neck tissues which include the facial muscles, adipose tissue, as well as those in the cheek area. The SMAS also consists of the skin that covers these areas s well.
Regarding the anatomy of the face, this area attaches to the superficial muscles that cover the lower part of the face along the line in addition to the neck. And because the Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System connects to so many parts of the face, a SMAS facelift procedure can elevate the skin as well as the entire underlying areas.
This will help lift or elevate the soft tissues and underlying structures of the face in addition to the lax skin itself. This shall see to the patient getting a complete and comprehensive rejuvenation effect of their skin and facial tissues.
This is why the SMAS facelift technique produces more natural looks and has longer-lasting results than some other facial rejuvenation techniques such as the mini lift in patients whose underlying facial structures and skin have gone through advanced age effects.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for a SMAS Facelift Procedure?
The most apparent effect of aging is usually a sagged skin, jowls, and sunken cheeks. This is because the muscles of the SMAS area get progressively weak as we advance in age. Therefore, a weak SMAS will also cause deep wrinkles around the eyelids and mouth. Consequently, it is people who are experiencing these advanced age effects that stand to benefit most from a SMAS facelift.
Additionally, individuals that smoke should not undergo a SMAS facelift until they quit the habit. Smoking enhances the risk of developing operative or postoperative complications while significantly slowing down the recovery process. Other conditions that may inhibit a person from undergoing a SMAS facelift include diabetes, keloid formation, bleeding problems, and collagen diseases.
Nevertheless, some of the factors that make a person the ideal candidate for a SMAS facelift procedure include:
- Good Skin Elasticity
A flexible skin is ideal because the skin will be tightened during the surgery in a bid to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. A supple skin, therefore, will give the best results since it will be able to conform to the new placement successfully.
- A Strong Bone Structure
A sharp and defined bone structure is also a welcome addition for the best results. For those of us who have a less distinct bone structure, having facial implants done before the procedure should see you get excellent results as well.
Nonetheless, just like with any other cosmetic procedure, it is essential that you maintain realistic expectations. The SMAS facelift should help you achieve a stronger, healthier, and more attractive skin nevertheless. It is also necessary that you discuss all the procedure with an experienced and reputable plastic surgeon so that they can help you understand what the method entails in detail and what to expect.
Which is the Approach Taken During a SMAS Facelift Procedure?
A SMAS facelift procedure is typically carried out while the patient is under general anesthesia. Your cosmetic surgeon will begin by first making incisions, starting at the temporal region and moving down the hairline to curve your natural facial contours. After finishing with the incisions, the surgeon will separate the skin from the adipose tissue and facial muscles. This separation can be done using fingers or a scalpel. Excess fat is usually removed using a liposuction cannula, and then the Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System flap is separated from the deep tissue. Your cosmetic surgeon will now attach your SMAS’s flap to the temporal fascia muscle using a few sutures. An additional stitch shall be administered to the jawline. After this is done, your skin shall be attached with careful precision to avoid tension. Your plastic surgeon shall hide the sutures in your hairline to prevent the surgical scars from being visible.
Post-Operative SMAS Facelift Procedure Recovery
For most patients, they will need to remain in the hospital for up to 48 hrs for specialized postoperative care. Nevertheless, there are scenarios where the patient can be discharged if they can access proper medical care at home. It is recommended that you maintain a cold compress on your face during the first 72 hrs following your procedure. Additionally, it is essential to keep your head elevated to enhance healing. Your surgeon may also prescribe painkillers and anti-nausea medication to relieve postoperative symptoms.
You will also have to take prescribed antibiotics during the first five days post-surgery to avoid infections. On the first day, your doctor may remove the drains, examine your wounds, then redress the area. You should manage to take a short shower on the second day. The sutures should be removed by the seventh day.
What are the Risks?
As with any invasive procedure, there is an element of risk involved. However, an experienced surgeon will ensure that you are not at risk for side effects such as an infection, excessive scarring, or nerve injury.
Even though all facelifts help with rejuvenating the skin and restoring a youthful appearance, the Superficial Musculoskeletal Aponeurotic System facelift procedure is much more useful as it addresses the internal issues as well. The results are therefore longer-lasting and natural-looking.