Northwest Face & Body

Procedure Time

2-4 hours

Recovery Time

1 week

Deep Plane Facelift Bellevue & Kirkland

Aging is an inevitability. There is no true way to stop wrinkle formation or the loss of production. Modern science and technology can help us slow down how quickly we show our age. Whether it be through injections such as Botox, skin rejuvenation like microneedling, or even at-home skincare, there are several ways to prolong the aging process. When non-surgical methods are no longer enough, facelift surgery may become an option. One of the most effective facelift techniques is known as a deep plane facelift. Dr. Ludwig Allegra at Northwest Face & Body performs the best deep plane facelift Bellevue and Kirkland offers.

Overview: Deep Plane Facelift Surgery

When facelifts began more commonly performed in the mid-to-late 20th century, surgeons largely only tightened the skin of their patients. This lead to the windswept look often associated with bad facelifts. However, facelifts evolved to also tighten the underlying muscles. This became known as a SMAS facelift and part of the standard facelift. SMAS facelifts do look more natural than their predecessors.

However, the exact technique for lifting the SMAS has begun to vary in the latest evolution of the facelift. This is what differentiates the SMAS technique from a deep plane facelift. Still, for most patients in the United States, SMAS facelifts are the most commonly performed, but the deep plane technique will likely start to become the standard.

What Is The SMAS?

SMAS stands for superficial musculoaponeurotic system and is a fibrous network of tissue that connects the facial muscles to the skin. When lifting the SMAS, there are two primary techniques.

First, during a traditional SMAS facelift, the skin and SMAS layer are separated. This allows the surgeon to tighten each portion separately. This can and does look natural in most circumstances and tends to age well. Thus, why the technique has been the standard for facelift surgery for several years.

The second technique is the one used during a deep plane facelift. In this technique, the surgeon does not separate the skin and SMAS. Instead, they lift them and remove excess tissue together. Many believe that a deep plane lift looks more natural since the connections between them are not completely severed.

Benefits & Risks

A deep plane facelift surgery comes with many benefits for patients wanting to address skin sagging and loss of laxity. Among some of the benefits that patients may enough following a deep plane facelift include:

  • Extra skin removal
  • Tightening of skin and muscles
  • Possible correction from the neck to the midface
  • Improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reposition descended fat pads
  • Can help reduce the appearance of smile lines and nasolabial folds
  • Younger looking facial profile
  • Overall more youthful appearance
  • Correction of loose, saggy skin
  • Reduces surgical trauma by lifting the skin and muscle as one
  • Increases support for aging structures
  • Tends to provide more natural results
  • Longest lasting results (on average) of any facelift surgery
  • No extended incisions; uses traditional facelift incisions
  • Reduces risk of future revision surgery
  • Performed by a plastic surgeon with decades of experience performing facelifts and other facial plastic surgeries

The risks of a deep plane facelift procedure are generally considered low and minimal. However, like any surgery, there are inherent risks. For most healthy patients who are good candidates, significant complications are extremely unlikely. However,  it is still important to know and understand them. Dr. Allegra will also evaluate the risks with your health history and profile as this can affect the likelihood of developing complications. The risks of a deep plane facelift may include:

  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Visible or raised scarring
  • Fluid collection
  • Skin necrosis
  • Prolonged bruising and swelling
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Complications associated with general anesthesia

Overall, most patients have a low risk of significant complications. However, patients who smoke or have certain major diseases may be at a higher risk of complications. Dr. Allegra will evaluate and discuss this with you at your consultation.

Deep Plane Facelift For Men vs. Women

Men and women can both undergo a deep plane facelift. While facelifts are more associated with women, the number of men seeking out facelifts and plastic surgery, in general, is increasing. While technically the same procedure, Dr. Allegra does slightly alter the surgical techniques because men and women have certain different anatomical structures and features that warrant slight deviations to ensure a good result for both. The table below details some of the possible differences between a deep plane facelift for men versus women.


  • Consistent incision location (in front of and behind the ear)
  • Weaker facial structures which make tightening without over-correcting easier
  • Aim to maintain/restore a soft overall face shape
  • May focus equally on the lower face, neck, and midface
  • Can benefit from skin-only facelifts in certain situations
  • Follow averages for recovery time and side effects


  • Incision location may vary to avoid disrupting facial hair
  • Tightening must be done carefully to avoid over-correcting due to stronger facial structures
  • Aim to maintain/restore strong and sharp facial structures
  • Less focus on the midface (for most facelifts)
  • Unlikely to benefit from a skin-only facelift
  • May experience longer lasting side effects

Every facelift is different. Some women with naturally sharp features may not want the softer results. Additionally, some men may be able to benefit from traditional facelift incisions without alteration. Dr. Allegra will examine your unique facial features and structures to determine the ideal facelift surgery for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get A Deep Plane Facelift If I Have Medical Conditions?

It depends. In most cases, yes, medical conditions that as well managed often pose little extra risk that will stop you from having surgery. However, certain medical conditions such as blood disorders, immune-suppressing disorders (or those that require you to take immune-suppressing medications), untreated or severe diabetes, a history of deep vein thrombosis, or significant heart conditions may complicate your candidacy. Dr. Allegra evaluates each patient as an individual and holistically to determine if they are a good deep plane facelift surgery candidate.

What Is The Healing Process Like?

Healing from a deep plane facelift is generally found to be fairly easy when compared to other major surgeries. Patients typically take about one week off of work and cease using prescription pain medication after two to three days. Many patients can get up and be fairly functional after three days or so, but this will vary based on medical history and the specifics of the surgery.

Side effects are expected and usually not severe. Side effects may include:

  • Post-operative pain or discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Itchiness
  • Redness

Patients can use cold compresses or ice to help with swelling in the first two days following surgery. Though, most side effects are fairly mild and resolve within two weeks. From there, patients tend to return to work between five and ten days following surgery. Dr. Allegra will clear you to return to work during one of your post-operative appointments.

What Causes Facial Aging & How Can I Prevent It?

Facial aging has several contributing factors. First, the body starts to produce less collagen as you get older which means it may begin to show signs of aging such as wrinkles and hollowing. Additionally, environmental factors such as sun damage, air pollution, and free radicals can all speed up the process of aging. Finally, not taking care of your skin and smoking can cause premature aging.

While there is no surefire to completely stop or prevent aging, there are several ways to promote more graceful aging. Some of the ways to slow and prevent aging include:

  • Do not smoke
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Cleanse and moisturize your skin
  • Stay hydrated
  • Consider Botox injections
  • Always wear SPF, even in the winter months
  • Consider retinol and/or specialized anti-aging skincare

How Many Years Younger Can A Deep Plane Facelift Make You Look?

It depends on the patient’s starting anatomy. On average, patients tend to look ten to fifteen years younger following a deep plane facelift. However, for people with more advanced aging or correction necessary, they may expect a result somewhere closer to seven to ten years younger.

Once Dr. Allegra can examine your anatomy and understand your goals, he will be able to provide a more accurate idea of what you can expect from deep plane facelift results.

The Best Deep Plane Facelift In Bellevue With Dr. Ludwig Allegra

Northwest Face & Body is a top-rated plastic surgery practice in Kirkland, Washington. Having served the Eastside for over three decades, it is conveniently located minutes away from downtown Bellevue and Kirkland. Our Medicare-certified surgical center meets the highest standards and takes advantage of the newest technology. Northwest Face & Body’s facility allows them to provide the best deep plane facelift Bellevue and Kirkland offers.

Dr. Ludwig Allegra is a board-certified surgeon who bridges the gap between aesthetics and medicine. Not only is Dr. Allegra a talented and capable plastic surgeon, but he is also an Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist who has performed many sinus surgeries. Thus, he has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and aesthetics. He utilizes this knowledge and skill as one of the best Bellevue plastic surgeons.

To schedule a consultation at Northwest Face & Body, call us at 425-576-1700. You can also connect with us online via our contact page, Price Simulator, or chat.