Why LiteLift is Better than a Deep Plane Facelift: Navigating Choices in Facial Rejuvenation


Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter

Facial rejuvenation procedures have witnessed remarkable advancements over the years, offering individuals a spectrum of options to address signs of aging and enhance facial aesthetics. Among these options, the deep plane facelift, and some short scar SMAS techniques such as the  LiteLift stand out as long-lasting techniques. Both procedures aim to restore youthfulness and vitality to the face, yet they differ in their approach, depth of tissue manipulation, and outcomes. Below is a  comparison between the deep plane facelift and LiteLift, exploring their techniques, benefits, limitations, and considerations for patients seeking facial rejuvenation.

Deep Plane Facelift: Technique and Outcomes

The deep plane facelift is a surgical procedure designed to address moderate to severe facial aging by repositioning deeper layers of facial tissues, including the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system). Unlike traditional facelifts, which primarily tighten superficial layers, the deep plane technique offers a significant rejuvenation by releasing and repositioning the underlying facial structures. This is not a new technique and was first proposed by Sam Hamra in 1990.

The procedure involves making incisions along the hairline and around the ears, through which the surgeon accesses the deeper layers of the face below the SMAS.  By dissecting between the SMAS and deeper facial muscles, the surgeon can lift and reposition the facial soft tissues more  resulting in rejuvenation of the midface, jawline, and neck.

By addressing deeper layers of tissue, this technique can produce significant improvements in facial contour and definition, while minimizing the risk of a “pulled” or overdone appearance. Moreover, the longevity of results is often cited as a key benefit, with many patients enjoying the effects of their deep plane facelift for years to come.

However, the deep plane facelift is a far more invasive procedure compared to less extensive techniques, such as the LiteLift. The surgery typically requires general anesthesia and entails a longer recovery period, during which patients may experience more swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Additionally, because of its deeper dissection, there is the potential higher risk of complications such as nerve injury or hematoma, although these risks are generally low when performed by a skilled surgeon.

LiteLift: Minimal Invasive Approach with Rapid Recovery

In contrast to the deep plane facelift, the LiteLift is a minimally invasive procedure that targets mild to moderate signs of aging in the lower face and neck. Similar to a MACS lift (Minimal  Access Cranial Suspension Lift), and  S-lift, the LiteLift involves smaller incisions and less extensive tissue undrmining compared to traditional facelift techniques.

During a LiteLift procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions around the ears or in the natural creases of the face, through which excess skin is removed, and underlying SMAS tissues are tightened without dissecting deep to it as done with a Deep Plane technique. While the LiteLift does not involve the same depth of dissection as the deep plane facelift, it still produces similar improvements in facial laxity and contour, particularly in the jawline,  jowls, and upper neck.

One of the primary advantages of the LiteLift is its minimal downtime and quicker recovery compared to more extensive facelift procedures and can be done in the office under local anesthesia or in a surgery center under general anesthesia or IV sedation. For example, the incisional scar is hidden behind the earlobe crease so that a woman can wear her hair in a pony tail or cut short without tell-tale signs of surgery. The smaller incisions used in the LiteLift result in minimal scarring, which can be particularly appealing to patients concerned about visible surgical scars. Because the surgery is less invasive, patients typically experience less postoperative swelling and discomfort, allowing them to return to their normal activities sooner.

However, the LiteLift may not be suitable for individuals with more significant signs of aging or laxity in the deeper facial tissues, such as a large “Turkey Waddle” redundant neck skin. Fortunately,  it can provide effective rejuvenation for most patients. Together with ancillary procedures such as a scarless neck lift (MyEllevate procedure) if needed will give maximum results with less invasive surgical techniques.

Considerations for Patients: Choosing the Right Procedure

When considering facial rejuvenation options, patients should weigh the benefits and limitations of each technique in consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Factors such as the extent of facial aging, individual anatomy, and personal preferences will influence the choice between a deep plane facelift and LiteLift. Make sure you select a surgeon with the most experience, great reviews and perhaps most importantly one you have the maximum trust with following the consultation.

Ultimately, the decision between these two techniques should be based on a thorough understanding of the patient’s goals, anatomy, and the expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure. By carefully considering these factors, individuals can make informed choices to achieve their desired facial rejuvenation outcomes.


Facial rejuvenation is a dynamic field offering a range of options to address signs of aging and enhance facial aesthetics. The deep plane facelift and LiteLift represent two distinct approaches to facial rejuvenation, each with its own set of benefits and considerations. The LiteLift is a newer procedure that gives similar results but is less invasive.

Both techniques can produce significant improvements in facial contour and definition, tailored to the individual needs and preferences of the patient. Ultimately, the choice between a deep plane facelift and LiteLift should be made in consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon, taking into account the patient’s unique anatomy, goals, and tolerance for downtime. By partnering with a skilled surgeon and understanding the nuances of each technique, patients can achieve natural-looking results and restore youthfulness to their appearance.