Dr George Marcells

Dr George Marcells

So, you’re thinking about or have decided to have a facelift. What sort are you going to have? Yes, there is more than one type of facelift and you should probably look into which one you would prefer to have. Of course, the most important thing you can do is to find a surgeon you trust is going to do a good job and knows what is going to work for you, but it makes sense to have a bit of an idea about your options beforehand. We had a chat with Dr George Marcells, ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon from Sydney, about the two main types of facelifts performed by surgeons and asked him “What’s the difference between a Traditional Facelift and a Deep Plane Face and Neck lift?”.

What does a traditional facelift involve?

Early facelifts simply involved the outer layer of skin being pulled into position to create a tighter and less wrinkled appearance. This created the completely unnatural and windswept look you might remember on a few actresses and stars from the 80’s and early 90’s, and the results scared many patients off wanting a facelift. Then, as cosmetic plastic surgery became more accepted and popular, facelift techniques were improved and it was recognised that the deeper layers under the skin also needed to be addressed and the SMAS facelift was borne. It was around this time that the DPFN (Deep Plane Face and Neck) lift was also created. So, what’s the difference between them and is one better than the other?

What’s the difference between an SMAS lift and a Deep Plane Face and Neck lift?

The SMAS lift involves the SMAS layer being lifted as well as the skin, however they are both lifted separately. SMAS stands for Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic system which is a layer of connective tissue that wraps around the face and is connected to the muscles in the neck. Some surgeons prefer the SMAS technique as they say it allows more control over where they are moving the skin and SMAS to.

The DPFN lift lifts all three layers of the face; the skin, fat and SMAS layer; together. Dr Marcells says there are specific reasons why he prefers this technique and explains why. “In a traditional facelift such as the SMAS lift, the SMAS layer is not free from the deeper tissues and can only be tightened by a minimal degree. This leads to several problems such as restricted lift; severe tension being placed on the skin leading to problems with wound healing and stretched scars that are often lumpy and red; the lift does not last long and earlier revision is required. The Deep Plane face and Neck lift involves the complete dissection below the SMAS layer which separates it from the underlying muscles, fat and ligaments. This allows the whole face to be lifted vertically creating a much more natural and even lift. It also greatly reduces your chances of scarring because there is minimal tension placed on your skin.

“The Deep Plane face and neck lift produces longer lasting results than other facelifts around. This improvement can be expected to last many years. The results do not “wear off,” but rather, the aging process will continue starting with your new rejuvenated appearance. We can expect the results to last anywhere from 10 – 15 years.”

If you’d like more information on facelifts or to arrange a consult with Dr Marcells to see what facelift is going to suit you phone his clinic on 1300 555 095.


Trish is a plastic surgery blogger. She is passionate about wellbeing, health and beauty, and doesn't mind a little bit of 'help' from the amazing cosmetic and beauty procedures that are available today. Trish spends her days talking to women and men who are looking for suggestions and advice on procedures that are available to them. Cutting through the sales pitch and hype, a down-to-earth response on general information is what you will get.

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