A revolutionary procedure is changing the way that people think about facelifts. Known as a “deep plane” facelift, it goes farther beneath the skin than other types, allowing for more natural and longer-lasting results. Like any cosmetic process, however, it has advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll want to weigh both sides carefully before deciding if a deep plane is right for you.

Pro: Natural-Looking Results

A deep plane procedure goes underneath the SMAS, a layer of connective tissue beneath the skin that plays an important role in how your facial muscles move. You can think of the SMAS as a support system for your face.

Traditional facelifts don’t go below the SMAS. Instead, they manipulate the SMAS itself. This is why a “bad” facelift can make the face seem stiff, waxy, or otherwise unnatural: It’s negatively impacted the connective tissue upon which everything else rests.

By contrast, a deep plane affects change deep within the structure of your face. It will tighten your skin, redefine the contours of your cheeks, jawline, and neck. The lift will undisturbed your facial muscles. You’ll retain mobility and flexibility.

Con: A More Costly and Invasive Procedure

Since a deep plane goes deeper into the skin than other types of facelifts, it’s a more intense and complex surgery. You’ll need to be under full anesthesia as your surgical team works magic.

You’ll also need to be prepared to pay more. While the average facelift only runs $8,000, a deep plane can be twice that. Prices usually average around $16,000 but can reach as high as $30,000.

The difficulty of performing a deep plane also means fewer surgeons are capable of it. They need a specific, technical set of skills for the job. On top of that, deep planes are a relatively new procedure, so there’s limited availability for the training required to master it.

What does all of this mean for you? Only a small number of cosmetic surgeons can offer deep-plane procedures. If there isn’t one in your neighborhood, you might have to travel to another city or state to find an appropriate clinic. Depending on the surgeon’s availability, you might be put on a waiting list.

Pro: Long-Lasting Results

If you’re looking for long-term results, a deep plane might be just the procedure for you. Unlike other skin treatments that can wear off within weeks, a deep plane facelift can last 10 – 15 years.

It won’t “wear off” all at once, either. Your face won’t revert to its original appearance before the surgery. Instead, you’ll gradually lose the definition of the lift, a process that will mimic the natural effects of aging as the skin begins to lose its elasticity. At this time, you can talk to your cosmetic surgeon about having the procedure redone.

Another benefit of a deep plane is that its initial recovery period is shorter than other facelifts. Most people only experience a few weeks of swelling. Without waiting and waiting for your face to return to normal, you’ll get to enjoy the results of your procedure for an even longer period.

Con: Potential Side Effects

Like any surgery, a deep plane can have side effects. For example, you might have more severe swelling that requires a longer recovery time than what’s typical. Some people can experience swelling and bruising issues for several months after their procedure.

There’s also the risk of losing sensation after a deep plane. You might experience numbness, tightness, or immobility in the facial muscles. It’s also possible to suffer a facial nerve injury.

It should be noted that these side effects are rare. Deep planes have yet to be shown to be any riskier than traditional facelifts.

A deep plane procedure allows cosmetic surgeons to tighten the skin more dramatically and longer-lastingly than other facelifts. As a bonus, a deep plane can also achieve more natural results. You’ll have to weigh these benefits against potential cons, such as a high price tag and limited availability of surgeons. Ultimately, you’re the only person who can decide if a deep plane is right for you.