What are the different types of facelifts?

What are the different types of facelifts?

In this interview, Mrinal Supriya discusses what the best variety of a facelift is.

Laura Livesey: What are the different types of facelifts? Can you tell us more about them?

Mrinal Supriya: Sure, Laura. Broadly you can divide facelifts into a nonsurgical and a surgical variety. Nonsurgical would be things like putting fillers or doing thread lift. The problem with these nonsurgical techniques is that they give a very subtle short-lasting impact. Therefore, they are only appropriate for people who are in their 20s or early 30s. Once you are beyond that age group, you have to choose one of the surgical techniques.

The best kind of facelift, which would be applicable to most people who are above the age of 40, would be a deep plane facelift.

The surgical facelifts are divided into three different types. The first and more commonly offered is when a surgeon just pulls your skin back. The problem with that is it gives you a very artificial, tight, stretched out appearance, which does not look natural. Most patients will not be satisfied with this technique.

Laura Livesey: Is that the type of facelift that most people are familiar with, would you say?

Mrinal Supriya: I would say so because most of the offering clinicians are not well versed in the other variety of facelift. They tend to offer just a skin lift, which is quicker and can be done under local anaesthesia. This means that you do not need to be put to sleep. But as I said, it gives a very artificial appearance, and the outcome does not last long.

This brings me on to the second type of facelift, called a SMAS lift. This involves pulling the underlying tissue a little bit, which is a bit better than the skin variety of facelift. But again, it does not give you an optimum outcome because you have not mobilized the whole underlying muscle and the tissues and the ligaments, which have sagged. It can be useful for somone in their 30s, who has a very subtle impact of ageing and does not require extensive surgery.

The best kind of facelift, which would be applicable to most people who are above the age of 40, would be a deep plane facelift. The deep plane facelift differs from the first two varieties in the sense that it addresses the underlying muscle and the ligaments in totality. These ligaments and muscles are the main cause of sagging over time, that leads to the ageing of our faces.

The deep plane facelift goes under those muscles and takes care of these lax ligaments so that we can completely elevate and reposition them back into place. Once you do that, the benefit is that you have a natural lift, the results last for longer, and you do not have that artificial, stretched out, or pulled back skin appearance.

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In a nutshell, if you are in your early 20s or early 30s, perhaps you can get by without a surgical facelift. If you are in your 30s and you want something subtle, then you should go for the SMAS lift. Once you are beyond the age of 40 and you have significant changes of ageing on your face, you will get the best outcome if you go for the deep plane comprehensive face and neck lift.

Laura Livesey: When you look at the three types of facelifts together, is it always clear which one is which? Or are they sometimes called different things? Because I’ve been a little bit confused myself by how they’re named online.

Mrinal Supriya: You’re absolutely right. As a layperson, if you go on Google or any website and type the term facelift, a lot of pages will appear that do not clearly distinguish between the different varieties. It can be very confusing because what is meant by a facelift on a particular website or by a particular surgeon, can be completely different from what I have told you right now.

That’s why it’s very important that you do not rely completely on the information that you read on the website. It is vital that you go and speak to the surgeon and specifically ask them whether they will be addressing the underlying muscle and the ligaments and repositioning them properly. If they are not going to do that, then it is not a comprehensive deep plane facelift.

If you are above the age of 40 or 45, you are not going to get the optimum outcome without this procedure. So it is important that you do not get misguided by the lack of clear distinctions on the internet and go and speak to your surgeon.

Read more about deep plane facelift

I’m an expert in this area and have all of the answers to any questions you might have. However, If you’d like to continue learning about facelifts, open up the toggles below to read more.

Here is an interesting abstract about the benefits of the deep plane facelift incision entry points compared to other facelifts. Click here for more information.

Here is a general overview of the deep plane facelift treatment. Click here for more information.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons wrote a great post regarding deep plane facelifts and how patients look five years after treatment. Click here for more information

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has provided a brief history of the facelift procedure and the various treatment options available. Click here for more information.

About the expert

Mr Mrinal Supriya | Facial Cosmetic Surgeon


Mr Mrinal Supriya is a Consultant ENT Head and Neck Surgeon with a special interest in facial cosmetic surgery. He is among 30 cosmetic surgeons who are members of the Royal College of Surgeons’ voluntary registration scheme – a professional body that works to advance surgical practice and patient care.

Mr Surpriya has previously worked in top hospitals around the world including the UK, Australia and the USA. He has also spent time with Dr Andrew Jacono who has been named one of the top plastic surgeons in the USA.

In the UK, Mr Supriya has worked as an ENT Consultant at Northampton General Hospital & St. George’s University Hospital, London as well as Ninewells University Hospital, Dundee.

Mr. Supriya’s clinical interests are minimal-access facial cosmetic procedures with a further expertise in Deep Plane Facelift and Rhinoplasty. By focusing his cosmetic practice solely to the face, Mr Supriya has developed super-specialised skills and achieved extremely reliable results with high patient satisfaction.

Mr. Supriya is able to provide comprehensive expertise that can only come from super specialisation: eyelid rejuvenation, nose job, endoscopic brow, face and neck lift, lip rejuvenation, cheek rejuvenation, ear surgery, chin surgery, buccal fat pad resection and skin treatments.

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