Deep Plane Facelift

For many, the onset of ageing brings along its subtle, yet persistent reminders that we are indeed not getting any younger. For starters, our skin starts to lose its elasticity as collagen levels diminish. Consequently, the soft lines that once only appeared with a smile deepen, the vibrant contours of youth begin to soften, and you’ll start to notice the formation of more prominent wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, jowls, nasolabial folds, and sagging skin particularly around the neck. 

In our modern world, where 50 is the new 30, accepting these visible signs of ageing no longer has to be a foregone conclusion – instead, we have advanced medical treatments such as the deep plane facelift designed to bring back your youth in a natural way.

But what is the “deep plane”? 

The deep plane refers to the region sandwiched between the (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) SMAS layer and facial muscles. Our face is intricately structured, comprising layers such as the skin, the fatty tissue beneath it, the SMAS, facial muscles, and finally, the protective lining over the facial bones, not to mention the bones themselves. 

A deep plane facelift in London zeroes in on the deep plane, during which Mr Kshem Yapa repositions the cheek fat to its original, youthful spot. This procedure often produces more inconspicuous scarring than traditional facelift measures as it does not require as much undermining of skin and can have a more powerful impact on your midface.

At a glance

Procedure Length:
Procedure Length:

Typically 2-5 hours.

Hospital Stay:
Hospital Stay:

An overnight stay maybe recommended.


Typically general anesthesia. Local anaesthesia with sedation may be an option.


10-14 days for visible recovery.


Sleep with the head elevated for the first week post surgery.


Should be avoided at least 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery.

Direct Exposure to Sunlight:
Direct Exposure to Sunlight:

Should be avoided for 6 weeks post procedure and a high SPF applied when outdoors.


Refrain from applying make-up for at least 10 days post procedure.


Strenuous activities or heavy lifting to be avoided for at least 4 weeks.

Benefits of Deep Plane Facelift

Understanding the benefits of a deep plane facelift can help you make an informed decision. A handful of these benefits include:

  • Comprehensive Ageing Redressal:

    This procedure doesn’t just tackle superficial wrinkles. It targets the root causes, adjusting deeper tissues and ligaments for a profound rejuvenation.

  • Minimal Scarring:

    Designed to focus on deeper tissues, resulting scars are subtle, easily concealed, and diminish rapidly over time, ensuring a more natural appearance.

  • Durable Results:

    Unlike traditional facelifts lasting 5-7 years, the deep plane approach can offer rejuvenation that endures for an impressive 10-15 years due to its depth.

  • Authentic Enhancement:

    Patients achieve a naturally refreshed appearance, steering clear of the obvious “work done” look. It’s a holistic adjustment of skin and underlying muscles.

  • Gentle Recovery:

    Emphasis on deeper structures means less skin trauma. Expect reduced bruising and swelling, ensuring a discreet and smoother recovery period.

Deep Plane Facelift vs Other Facelift Procedures

There are multiple facelift techniques that can be applied by Mr Kshem Yapa depending on your goal, facial characteristics, and outcomes following your initial consultation. Below is an outline of how the deep plane facelift compares to other facelifts offered by us:

A Deep Plane Facelift specifically targets the deep plane layer, positioned between the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) layer and facial muscles. The procedure repositioning the whole facial architecture (including skin, SMAS, and muscles – as a singular entity). This comprehensive approach is particularly effective in rejuvenating the midface region. A traditional SMAS Facelift focuses solely on the SMAS layer beneath the skin and does not address the deeper muscle layers. This approach can produce less natural results than the deep plane method. Skin-only facelifts are an older method, which involve addressing solely the elevation and adjustment of the skin, neglecting the SMAS or muscle layers underneath. Though there might be a quicker recovery period, the results may not be as natural or long-lasting as more profound techniques.

A deep plane facelift is often undergone for the natural outcomes can produce, which will help prevent your face from looking excessively taut or ‘stretched by the wind’. Its effects are durable and often lasting over ten years. This differs from other Facelift methods which concentrate solely on the skin or the SMAS layer and as such might not yield as organic results, with outcomes often having a reduced lifespan, possibly necessitating further interventions sooner.

Due to its comprehensive tissue manipulation, recovery from a Deep Plane Facelift might be more prolonged, with patients potentially experiencing increased swelling and bruising. The typical recuperation period is around 10-14 days. Other Facelift methods which are less invasive, like the mini facelift or the SMAS lift, may have expedited recovery times, usually between 5-10 days.

Other Facelift Methods: Less invasive approaches, like the mini facelift or the SMAS lift, may have expedited recovery times, usually between 5-10 days.

A Deep Plane Facelifts incisions are inconspicuously positioned to ensure minimal visibility, often behind the ears or within the hairline. The profound tissue manipulation also assists in reducing skin tension, thus lowering visible scarring risks. Other Facelift methods risk overtightening the skin which could increase visible scarring risks.

Other Facelift Methods: Incision placements might differ, but overtightening the skin could increase visible scarring risks.

A Deep Plane Facelift offers a comprehensive solution that exceptionally covers and treats the midface, jowls, and neck. Other Facelift methods offer techniques that might address specific regions, such as a mini facelift for the lower facial area or a brow lift for the forehead.

Deep Plane Facelift Procedure

Deep plane facelifts are typically performed under a general anaesthetic, administered by a fully qualified anaesthetist. Mr Kshem Yapa will be accompanied by a surgical team when performing the procedure to ensure your utmost safety. This procedure can be done as a day case but often requires an overnight stay.

  • Strategic Incisions

    Once anaesthesia has been administered and you are comfortable, Mr Kshem Yapa will start by creating precise incisions along the sideburn region, circulating around the ears, and behind the ears to make them less visible. Sometimes a second incision is required beneath the chin. These incisions are carefully positioned within the natural contours of the ears and chin, ensuring that the resultant scars remain discreet and blend seamlessly as fine lines. The key to fine scarring is avoiding tension on the skin to produce a natural more youthful appearance.

  • Tissue Manipulation and Contouring

    Through these incisions, the deeper facial tissues are elevated using specialised surgical instruments. The focus is on the space between the SMAS layer and the deeper muscle layer, associated with facial expressions.

    Ligaments in the deep plane region are released, effectively diminishing marionette lines and ensuring free facial movement. This results in a reduction of sagging skin and a beautifully refined facial contour without tension and therefore a longer-lasting result.

  • Excess Skin and Fat Removal

    After the tissues are repositioned, any surplus face and neck skin, as well as excess fat, is carefully excised. This ensures a youthful appearance without over-tightening.

  • Closure and Drains

    The incisions are finally sutured closed. Depending on individual needs, a drain tube may be placed to prevent fluid accumulation, ensuring a smooth post-operative recovery.

Side Effects and Risks

As with all surgical procedures, a deep plane facelift comes with a set of risks and side effects. Mr Kshem Yapa will do his best to alleviate the likelihood of these occurring, however, despite following strict protocols, the risk of side effects or complications occurring cannot be dropped to zero.
Some of the potential risks attributed to a deep plane facelift are:

Common after the procedure, they usually subside within 2-3 weeks.

Temporary sensation loss around the surgical area may occur, which typically resolves over time.

As surgery occurs close to the facial nerves which move the face, patients may experience facial weakness postoperatively. This nearly always completely resolves with time.

Though incisions are strategically placed for minimal visibility, scars are an inevitable part of the process.

Accumulation of blood under the skin, requiring surgical drainage in some cases.

A rare but possible complication, requiring prompt treatment.

Occasionally, areas might heal with an irregular texture or contour, although again this normally resolves.

As with any procedure under general anaesthesia, there’s a minimal risk of complications such as allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. Anaesthesia has never been safer and our expert anaesthetists will chat to you beforehand and put you at ease.


Post-surgery recovery from a deep plane facelift can differ among individuals. Typically, the initial days following the procedure might bring on some swelling and bruising around the operated area, which generally diminishes within a week. Deep plane facelift can lead to more swelling than some traditional facelift techniques but reduces significantly in the first 3-4 weeks. 


Incorporating cold compresses frequently can further alleviate swelling, and allowing yourself the time to rest wouldn’t do you any harm.


While the rejuvenating effects of the surgery are noticeable almost immediately once you remove your bandage, the most authentic and refined appearance emerges around the three-month mark, as all facial components – skin, muscle, and tissues – fully adapt and settle.


You will be provided with a direct phone line to our experienced specialist cosmetic surgery nurse who provides an on call service 24 hrs a day, from the moment you have surgery, for any questions or concerns you may have or any other support you may need. We take pride in making sure our patients are well looked after following surgery and want you to feel well supported throughout your journey with us.

Book your consultation

If you would like to discuss this procedure in detail and understand if it’s the right procedure for your goals, book a consultation with Mr Kshem Yapa.


Get in touch today

If you would like to book a consultation with Kshem Yapa or learn a little more about our procedures and services please contact us via the form below to request a call back. We offer face-to-face consultations at our Harley Street Clinic and virtual consultations for those unable to attend our clinic.