Deep Plane Facelift

At Kensington Medical, we have specialist facial plastic surgeons who are experts in deep plane facelift surgery. There has been a lot of social media information surrounding a deep place facelift. On the right face, the results can be outstanding. The most important aspect of your research is that you consult with a plastic surgeon who understands the anatomy and has experience in all forms of facelifts, including a deep plane facelift. Ultimately, you want to be able to decide with your plastic surgeon on the best type of facelift for your face.

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What is a Deep Plane Facelift?

A deep plane facelift is a surgical procedure that addresses the deep structures beneath the skin, specifically the deeper facial musculature. The procedure involves repositioning and lifting the deeper tissues, resulting in a comprehensive and natural facelift.

We like to describe it by dividing it into a breakdown of processes that include:

Tissue Repositioning:

Unlike traditional facelifts, the deep plane facelift technique involves lifting and repositioning not only the sagging skin but also the deeper layers of facial musculature. This targeted approach aims to address sagging skin in a more comprehensive manner.

Fat Repositioning and Sculpting:

In some cases, fat may be repositioned or redistributed to restore volume and achieve a more youthful facial contour. This can enhance the natural fullness of the cheeks and midface. We sometimes suggest that fat grafting or fat transfer is a welcome addition to achieve this.

Neck Contouring:

The deep plane facelift can address sagging in the neck by tightening the underlying structures. This helps improve the definition of the jawline and reduces the appearance of jowls and loose skin in the neck area.


Our specialist facial surgeons aim to make the scars discreet. The scars are hidden within the hairline and around the ear’s natural contours. Over time, they fade, becoming less noticeable.

Deep Plane Facelift - Key Information

Procedure length

2.5h to 3.5h


General anaesthesia

Hospital stay

Day care

Up & mobile

Same day

Sleeping position

On your back for around 2 weeks


1 week to 10 days

Sexual activity

Restricted for 4 weeks

Back to work

Approximately 10 days


4 to 6 weeks

Who is Suitable for a Deep Plane Facelift?

We believe the ideal patient to undergo facelift surgery will have moderate to severe facial sagging. Deep plane facelifts are long lasting, often up to 10 years or longer, although the ageing process does not stop once you have had a facelift. Following a good diet, sleep, and exercise helps. It targets multiple areas of the face, including the midface and jowls.

What to Expect During the Procedure:

The surgery typically involves incisions made along the hairline and around the ear. The surgeon then lifts and repositions the deeper tissues, addressing both skin laxity and the underlying structures for a more holistic result.


Are There Non-Surgical Alternatives to a Deep Plane Facelift?

There are non-surgical options such as Ultherapy, radio frequency, however, they are short lived, usually lasting 12 months and the skin tightening effect is minimal. For long lasting and more dramatic results on skin laxity and droop with results such as repositioning of the cheek and jowl area, a deep plane facelift is preferred.

Deep Plane vs. SMAS Facelift: Which One is Best?

Deep plane lifts do address deeper tissues and can often give a more significant facial rejuvenation and natural lift. A SMAS is less invasive however the results can be dramatic. We always advise our patients to discuss in detail what they want to achieve. We also advise you to bring in photos of when you were younger. We believe two consultations are important, so you feel 100% comfortable in what you want to achieve. It is an exciting time and we want you to be feeling at ease and looking forward to your newfound facial changes.

Deep Plane vs. Mini Facelift: Which One is Best?

Mini facelifts are less invasive and are suitable for mild sagging. Deep plane facelifts offer a more extensive correction for those with moderate to severe signs of ageing. In deciding between facelift techniques, consulting with a facial plastic surgeon is paramount to determine the best approach for what you want to achieve.


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What is the Best Age to Have a Deep Plane Facelift? 

The ideal age for a deep plane facelift varies from person to person and depends on individual factors. These can include skin elasticity, the type of and degree of facial aging, the overall health of a patient, and factors such as do they smoke, or are they healthy, can also affect the age of a facelift. We see patients for a deep plane facelift in their late 40s (to a lesser extent), 50s, 60s and 70s.

What Are the Benefits of a Deep Plane Facelift? What Can it Achieve?

Natural-looking results

Deep plane facelifts address multiple layers of facial tissue, resulting in a more natural and long-lasting rejuvenation.

Improved facial contours and definition

By repositioning deep facial structures, this technique enhances facial contours and restores youthful definition.

Longer-lasting results

The deep plane technique targets deeper tissues, which can provide longer lasting results compared to traditional facelifts.

Reduced risk of a pulled appearance

By lifting deeper facial layers, the risk of a “pulled” or overly tight appearance is reduced, resulting in a natural result.

Targets the midface and lower face

Deep plane facelifts target sagging in the midface and jowls.

Potential improvement of nasal labial folds

The deep plane technique repositions tissues vertically and horizontally which results in an improvement of the nasolabial folds or nose-to-mouth lines.

Why Would Our Plastic Surgeon Recommend Another Type of Facelift?

At Kensington Medical, our plastic surgeons, following a comprehensive consultation, will recommend the best facelift for your facial anatomy, health and areas you want to address for example an eyelid lift and desired outcome. For example, if we have a patient who has minimal facial sagging or who wants to target specific areas, a mini facelift or a targeted approach like a neck lift or temporal lift may be more suitable.

Sometimes patients with medical conditions or risk factors may benefit from less invasive techniques with shorter recovery times. Deciding what is best for the patient will depend on each patient's needs and goals. There is no one size fits all and we really believe that chatting and asking lots of questions in your consultation with our plastic surgeons is so important. Feeling confident in your choice of surgeon, their experience and the type of procedure is crucial.

What Are the Reasons for Choosing a Deep Plane Facelift?

  • Comprehensive Rejuvenation: Deep plane facelifts offer a thorough facial rejuvenation by addressing both the skin and the deeper facial musculature. This can result in a more natural and harmonious outcome.
  • Significant Sagging skin: It is an excellent choice for individuals with moderate to severe facial sagging and aging, especially in the midface and jowl areas. A neck lift may be recommended as part of the same procedure. this is called an extended deep plane facelift and neck lift surgery.
  • Natural-Looking Results: The deep plane technique aims to create natural-looking results, avoiding the “pulled” or unnatural appearance that can sometimes be associated with some traditional facelifts.
  • Long-Lasting Effects: Looking for a longer lasting facelift, patients may decide to have a deep plane facelift.

What Should I Expect on the Day of Surgery?

Prior to surgery, we will give you a full list of what you need to do to be prepared. We ask that someone be able to come with you and take you home.

Organise to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Do not wear makeup or jewellery.

On the day of surgery, to arrive at the hospital a few hours before the procedure. After checking in at the hospital reception, you will meet with your plastic surgeon, the anaesthesia team and the anaesthetist to review the surgical plan and chat with you about any last-minute questions or concerns. It can sometimes be a time of worry; we work hard to relay any concerns, so you feel ready for your exciting journey.

We will have advised on any pre-operative fasting instructions and refrain from taking any medications that may interfere with anaesthesia.

Your Journey with Kensington Medical

We offer specialist facial rejuvenation treatments in the heart of London, Harley Street or Wimbledon. Our team of expert plastic surgeons are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive and personalised experience. Our 5 star hospitasl have the experience and quality care. With our expertise in facial cosmetic surgery, we can help you look and feel confident. If you have a special date in mind or event we can work towards those timelines. 

Your journey begins with a dialogue between you and your surgeon: the pre-operative consultation, which is central to the operation's success. At Kensington Medical, patients interested in the deep plane facelift technique undergo at least two consultations with the surgeon. We are keen for our patients to be fully informed before deciding whether to proceed with surgery. So, we encourage them to see the surgeon more than once and ask as many questions as they wish. Typically, our patients go through two pre-operative consultations.

The first consultation tends to be face-to-face. During the consultation, the surgeon will:

  • Listen to your concerns and understand what you would like to achieve;
  • Examine you;
  • Show you examples of their work in the form of before-and-after photographs;
  • Suggest a treatment plan.

Following the first consultation, we will:

  • Write to you summarising the surgeon’s recommendations;
  • Quote for the treatment plan suggested by the surgeon;
  • Send you extensive information about the procedure, the risks involved and the precautions you should take pre- and post-operatively.

A second consultation is often necessary for the following reasons:

  • After the first pre-operative consultation, and once you have been through the information sent to you, it is likely that you will have more questions for the surgeon.
  • The surgeon often finds it necessary to speak to patients again to ensure they have fully understood the risks of surgery and they know exactly what to expect from surgery.
  • It is common that several treatment options are discussed at the first consultation, and another meeting is necessary to decide which is the most appropriate.

The second consultation can also be face-to-face. Alternatively, it can be via a video call.

Following your consultations, our medical team is always available should you have further questions before your surgery.

Once you have decided to go ahead with surgery, we will book your operation in one of our specialist cosmetic surgery hospitals.

Before your operation, the medical team will send you a health questionnaire. This will be reviewed by your anaesthetist, who may call you to discuss specific aspects of your medical history. In certain cases, you may be required to attend the clinic for blood tests. This will be discussed with you by one of our medical team members before your scheduled appointment date.

We will also issue you with preoperative instructions. In particular:

  • You should discontinue smoking for several weeks before your facelift, as smoking can increase the risk of complications during the healing process.
  • You should refrain from taking blood-thinning drugs (such as aspirin) for ten days before your procedure.
  • You should not eat six hours before surgery; you should not drink two hours before surgery.

You will arrive at least one hour before the time of your procedure. The nursing staff at the hospital will monitor your blood pressure and other relevant essentials. You will then meet your anaesthetist and surgeon for a final markup.

The actual operation involves carefully sculpting and repositioning underlying tissue and fat within the face to create a more youthful contour around the eyes, chin, neckline, and jawline area. The result is smoother skin texture while preserving natural facial expressions throughout different movements. The incisions are then closed using sutures. This will leave small scars hidden along areas such as the hairline or scalp, which can fade over time depending on how well they are cared for.

We typically perform this procedure under general anaesthesia. It lasts 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours.

Aftercare following a facelift is essential to ensure we achieve optimal results.

Following your surgery, you will be transferred to the hospital’s recovery room, where the nursing staff will ensure that your recovery is smooth. You should stay there for two to four hours, depending on the surgery. Once the nursing team are happy that you are in a fit state to go home, you will leave the hospital accompanied by a friend or a family member. You should also arrange for someone to stay with you overnight for the first night following your operation. Generally, post-operative pain is minimal, but you will be given painkillers in case you need them.

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, our nursing team will be available 24/7 to ensure your post-operative journey is comfortable and pain-free and to field any questions you may have.

Your surgeon will see you a number of times in the weeks following your operation to monitor the facial skin and scars and to support you:

  • The next day, the surgeon will remove the drains and check the wounds and dressings.
  • One week post-operatively, there will be another consultation and depending on your healing progress, the surgeon may decide to remove sutures then.
  • You will see the surgeon again two weeks post-operatively, at which stage all remaining sutures will be removed and your progress monitored.
  • The last post-operative consultation is at six weeks. Generally, you will be discharged from the surgeon's care at that stage.

Bruising and swelling can last up to one month following this surgery.

Our medical team will provide detailed aftercare instructions based on your current health status and treatment received, including when it is appropriate for you to resume normal activities such as exercise, wearing makeup, and strenuous movements. It is essential to follow these instructions carefully to avoid complications or risks associated with the procedure.

Protecting your face from sun exposure is especially important, as it can cause scarring, discolouration, and other unwanted side effects. Wear sunscreen when outdoors and use hats or umbrellas if possible. It would be best to avoid strenuous activities involving facial movements, such as exercise and sports, until cleared by our medical team at Kensington Medical.

By following the instructions of our medical team and taking precautions to protect your face, you can ensure that you achieve the best results from facelift surgery. Following a healthy lifestyle with sufficient rest, nutrition, and hydration is essential for healing and maintaining long-term effects. It is strongly recommended to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption before and during the recovery period.

Deep Plane Facelift Surgeons

What Other Treatments Can Complement a Deep Plane Facelift Procedure?

Deep Plane Facelift with an Upper or Lower Eye Lift 

A deep plane facelift is often combined with other treatments associated with ageing such as an upper eyelid lift (upper blepharoplasty) or an eye bag removal (lower blepharoplasty). This option can often give you a better overall result and reduce the need to come back later for more surgery. Get in touch to find out if you are suitable. 

Deep Plane Facelift with Facial Fat Transfer

A deep plane facelift may not be enough to stop the fat loss effects of ageing. Fat transfer to the face can help to restore the volume and create a more youthful look. A micro liposuction procedure will take the fat from other parts of your body, for example, the stomach or thigh area.

Fat transfer for the cheeks or under-eye area, adds volume, creating more youthful contours. It increases fullness in the cheek area, nasolabial lines or marionette lines, and the areas around the eyes.

The advantages of fat transfer over dermal fillers include:

  • There are no rejection issues because the fat comes from the patient
  • Between 50% and 70% of the amounts injected stay in place permanently 

Deep Plane Facelift with Lasers

A deep plane facelift tightens the muscles and skin of the face. It will not however help with skin texture. If this is a concern our plastic surgeon can discuss combining a laser treatment for smoother skin after surgery. Lasers can increase collagen production, reduce sunspots, or brown spots, and resurface the skin to make scars less visible.

Deep Plane Facelift with a Lip Lift

A deep plane facelift will not address the lengthening of the area between the nose and the mouth. Sometimes through ageing, loss of collagen in the lip, upper lip and even the gum area makes the mouth and lip appear flat, and a longer area results between the nose to lip. A lip lift in conjunction with a deep plane facelift can bring more harmony to the face and create a fuller lip.

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Frequently asked questions

After a deep plane facelift, you can expect some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. This will be managed with prescribed pain medication and cold compresses. It's normal to experience temporary numbness or tightness in the face as the tissues heal and settle into their new position. Understanding that your face needs the time to heal and looking after yourself is important. We usually suggest it is great to have someone around who can give you the warmth and support be it a partner, family member or close friend.

The initial recovery period involves wearing a compression garment to minimise swelling and support the healing tissues. We advise patients that they can resume light activities within a week. However, they should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, resistance training and weights for several weeks. Your surgeon will see you the next day, at day 7 and 6 week follow up. The follow up appointments help the surgeon to monitor your progress and ensure proper healing.

Recovery time can vary but expect initial swelling and bruising to subside within 1 to 2 weeks. Most of our patients can resume normal activities after a couple of weeks. The results continue to improve over a number of months.

If you have a particular date in mind, a wedding, a holiday, a new partner, a birthday celebration or changing jobs, they all require careful planning. We will work hard to get that timing right and consider all health factors, time of year and available down time.

The deep plane facelift is popular because it looks to address concerns about skin laxity, fat pad positioning and those seeking a natural looking facelift.

A patient who has minimal sagging will be advised to have a mini facelift, not a deep plane facelift. A patient with significant medical conditions or unrealistic expectations may not be suitable.

A vertical lift facelift, also known as a vertical facelift or “deep plane vertical facelift,” is a surgical procedure designed to address signs of aging in the lower face and neck. Unlike traditional facelifts, which focus on horizontal repositioning of tissues, the vertical lift technique involves lifting and repositioning facial tissues vertically, providing a more natural and longer-lasting result.

Results can often last up to 10 years or more, depending on individual factors. Looking after your health, lifestyle, diet and sleep can make a big difference.

As with any surgical procedure, risks include infection, scarring, bleeding or hematoma, nerve injury, scarring and asymmetry and anaesthesia related complications. Ensuring your plastic surgeon understands your health, any conditions you may have, medication you may take and lifestyle factors such as smoking, all play a part in ensuring risk factors are covered in surgery. This will be discussed in your consultation when we take your medical history. Your facial surgeon will discuss these risks with you during your consultation and take steps to minimise any risks.

Preoperative and post operative instructions are supplied and fully explained to minimise risk. If at any time you are feeling worried, or need a question answered, we are here to help before and after the operation.

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The next step to a refreshed you

A deep plane facelift cosmetic surgery procedure at Kensington Medical starts first with a consultation with your plastic surgeon. You will discuss the best facelift options to achieving a more youthful appearance.

Your plastic surgeon will cover all the information which will include a discussion about your facial structure, skin laxity, possible fat removal to the neck and whether neck micro liposuction is required or neck lift surgery and other factors. We will show you deep plane facelift before and after photos of past patients and time lines can be discussed, along with recovery and facelift surgery results. Your plastic surgeon will develop a customised plan to help you accomplish what you want to achieve.

Find out more in your personal consultation. A deep plane facelift is a highly successful procedure at Kensington Medical. Consultations can be arranged in our Harley street, London or Wimbledon location.

Medically reviewed by Mr David Gateley MA, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), GMC number 2939470 on 28 February 2024.

Medical Sources