Dr. Patti Flint

I Use the SMAS Facelift Technique, and Here’s Why

If you can tell someone has had a facelift, they’ve likely had a bad one.

The reason for this is simple—traditional facelifts that rely solely on pulling the skin tight don’t look natural. Overly tight skin, wrinkles that are pulled in the wrong direction, earlobes that are stretched forward, and visible scars around the ears and hairline are just some of the telltale signs of outdated facelift techniques.

At 25, our skin was supple and mobile, not tight like a drum, so that’s not the look I’m aiming for when I perform a facelift. Instead, I use a more advanced technique known as the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) facelift. It’s a more effective and longer-lasting technique that involves lifting the deeper tissue layers back into place and gently draping the skin over them without applying tension to the skin. Only about 38% of facelifts in the U.S. use this technique, which is unfortunate because the results are so much better.

The SMAS technique is more labor-intensive and takes longer to perform than traditional facelifts, so not all surgeons are comfortable with it, but the results speak for themselves. Using the skin as a lifting tool just looks weird and puts too much tension on incisions, leading to visible scars and a clear indication that someone has had work done. I’ve done many revision facelifts where the original physician removed so much skin and pulled the patient’s remaining skin so tightly that I don’t need to remove much, if any, skin at all. I do however, focus on repositioning the deeper tissues to restore the facial structures to their natural positions. Using the appropriate tools for the problem at hand in the right balance is the key to the best rejuvenation possible.

Besides surgical procedures, I also incorporate scientifically proven skin care products, lasers, BOTOX, and dermal fillers to address wrinkling, volume loss, and other issues. I do my own injections and laser therapy, which sets me apart from many other practices and contributes, I think, to my patients’ results and overall satisfaction. When it comes to fillers, I use hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers rather than injectable fat for more structured volumization in the cheeks, lips, and other areas needing sculpting. I don’t overfill because, after 25 years as a plastic surgeon, I know that you don’t need much filler to create a beautiful outcome. Finally, I believe in educating my patients about maintenance and skin care. It’s an essential part of achieving a natural-looking result that maximizes your unique beauty.

Categorized in: