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The goal of a deep plane facelift is to restore a more youthful but natural facial appearance. Deep plane facelift surgery avoids the “tight” and “overdone” appearance some facelifting surgeries can produce.

One of the primary causes of facial aging is the gradual descent of fat from the upper cheeks to the lower cheeks (link to Aging Face condition section). A deep plane facelift elevates this fat to restore volume in the upper cheeks while removing it from the lower face. A deep plane facelift surgery both removes sagging facial skin and elevates the facial volume (fat and muscle), restoring a youthful, heart-shaped appearance to the face. By elevating the fat and excess skin from the neck and jawline, deep plane facelift surgery results in a more youthful neck and jawline contour (see photo below).

Deep plane facelife - UNC Center for Facial Aesthetics

What makes a facelift “deep plane?”

The deep plane of the face is below the skin, fat, and fascia, or the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) in the face and platysma in the neck. To free up the tissue above this deep plane, ligaments which tether the skin, fat, and fascia to the deeper structures in the face have to be released. Once these ligaments are released, the volume, which has dropped with time into the lower face and neck, can be elevated to restore a youthful, heart-shaped facial appearance.

Elevating the facial volume also smooths out jowling to improve the jawline and softens the nasolabial folds. The deep plane lift can be extended into the neck, creating long-lasting and natural improvements to the jawline and neck contours. Since the skin has minimal tension after a deep plane facelift, there is very low risk of a tight or overdone appearance after the procedure. Since the deep plane is so strong, a deep plane facelift typically provides longer lasting results compared to other facelift procedures.

Why choose a deep plane facelifting surgeon at the UNC Center for Facial Aesthetics?

A deep plane facelifting surgeon should be very familiar with the anatomy of the facial nerve to minimize the risk of damage to facial nerve branches during surgery, which can lead to facial asymmetry. Dr. Matthew Miller is the Director of the UNC Facial Nerve Center and is a world expert in treating facial nerve injuries. He speaks internationally on how facial nerve surgery and facelifting surgery complement each other. Dr. Miller’s expertise allows him to be comfortable performing even the most complicated facelift procedures. (link to Dr. Miller).

What are possible side effects from deep plane facelifting surgery?

With any surgery, bleeding and infection are considered risks, but these risks are extremely low in deep plane facelift surgery. Patients frequently have bruising and swelling after surgery, which gradually subsides over a few days to a few weeks after surgery. Your deep place facelift surgeon will discuss your post-op care and recovery with you during your consultation visit.


If you would like to schedule a deep plane facelift consultation visit at the UNC Center for Facial Aesthetics, please call 984-974-2255 to make an appointment.