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Comparing the SMAS and the MACS Facelift

Posted May 25, 2021 in Facelift

5 Minute Read: 

Which Facelift Is Right for Me?

Although aging is inevitable, we all dread the signs of it as we get older. Fine lines and wrinkles are some of the first marks that develop, which can be frustrating and make individuals insecure. 

Yet, your face and neck do not always have to reflect the age you are. If you want to turn the clock back to look like a younger version of yourself, a facelift could be the answer. Face lifting enhances and rejuvenates your appearance by removing excess skin, correcting wrinkles, and tightening the deep facial tissues. Older woman looking at herself in the mirror, noticing aging signs on her neck and collarbone

Every facelift patient has different degrees of facial sagging and visible aging. Therefore, it makes sense that the same surgical techniques will not work for everyone. With new technology and expertise, numerous facelift techniques have been created to fit various needs and achieve different goals. 

Read this blog to learn more about each facelift technique offered and how each one can benefit men and women tremendously. 

While a consultation with Dr. Boyd will determine which facelift is best for you, it is advisable that you do your research early to better understand what facelift surgery and recovery entails. Dr. Brian Boyd performs either the SMAS or the MACS facelift technique to create a more youthful facial appearance with smoother contours and improved definition.

The SMAS Facelift Technique

SMAS is short for superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, which is the thin sheet of muscle and connective tissue deep in the subcutaneous fat in the mid and lower face. 

The SMAS facelift technique targets both sagging skin and the underlying muscular-aponeurotic structures of the face. For this technique, Dr. Boyd makes incisions in the hairline that extend discretely down in front of and around the ears. 

Scars are hidden within the hairline, behind the tragus of the ear, and in the post-auricular groove. 

He then suspends and tightens sagging facial tissues to eliminate the jowls, clean up the neck, and, by redraping the facial skin, highlight the new facial contours. Trimming away excess skin tightens what is left, and selective weakening of the platysma muscles eliminates visible neckbands. 

A variant of the SMAS facelift, the California Lift, has been pioneered by Dr. Boyd. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation. It is not some form of lesser facelift, such as the ‘mini’ facelift, the ‘weekend’ lift or perhaps the ‘lifestyle’ lift. It is a full facelift employing Dr. Boyd’s special SMAS weaving technique using barbed sutures.

Before and after image showing the results of a facelift performed in Palos Verdes

What Kind of Anesthesia Is Used for the SMAS? 

The SMAS technique is usually performed under general anesthesia, so you are comfortable and without pain throughout the surgery. Patients undergoing the SMAS facelift technique will need to bring someone with them to the appointment since they cannot drive themselves home. Additionally, being put under general anesthesia often requires more preparation than local anesthesia or IV sedation. 

The California Lift variant is similar to the standard MACS lift but is performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation. The patient is able to cooperate as the head dressing is applied and can literally walk out of the operating room unaided. Since there is no anesthesiologist and it is performed in the office, it is less expensive than the traditional MACs lift but is just as extensive. The results are equivalent.

Dr. Boyd will explain how to prepare for surgery during your initial consultation. 

Who Benefits From the SMAS? 

The SMAS facelift technique is best for those who need significant correction of facial drooping and loose skin. The SMAS facelift dramatically reverses many signs of aging and restores a firmer and more youthful face and neck.

The MACS Facelift Technique

MACS is the acronym for the minimal access cranial suspension technique. This procedure targets the underlying muscular structures of the face and is ideal for those with limited facial sagging and good skin tone. 

To limit the scar, Dr. Boyd’s incision again passes down in the front of each ear from the hairline, but this time ends at the earlobe. He then tightens the facial muscles and may also perform limited undermining and excision of facial skin. 

What Kind of Anesthesia Is Used for the MACS? 

The MACS facelift technique is usually performed with local anesthesia and, since significant skin is not removed, is best for younger individuals.

What Are the Benefits of the MACS Facelift Technique? 

The MACS facelift has a faster recovery than the SMAS facelift, as the procedure is less extensive. Like the SMAS facelift, the MACS facelift also reverses many signs of aging to restore smooth and youthful facial contours. It is best performed on the younger patient.

What Other Procedures Can Correct Facial Aging?

While a facelift is highly effective in eliminating aging signs, it only focuses on the lower two-thirds of the face. Many patients interested in undergoing facelift surgery can benefit from other procedures that correct facial aging. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, works to lift eyelids to eliminate drooping, puffiness, and wrinkles around the eyes. A brow lift eliminates forehead and brow wrinkles while elevating sagging eyebrows to create a youthful, rested appearance. 

Interested in Learning More About Facelift Surgery?

Both the SMAS and the MACS facelift techniques can enhance the facial appearance and correct moderate to severe signs of facial aging. If you are not certain which procedure will be best for you, Dr. Boyd can advise you during your consultation. To learn more, schedule your facelift consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Boyd. Call (310) 597-4734 or fill out our online contact form to book your appointment with Dr. Boyd today. 

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Dr. Boyd's office is located in Palos Verdes (Rolling Hills Estates)

550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 283
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

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