High SMAS Facelift

The High SMAS facelift is an enhanced variation of the general SMAS facelift technique, which is considered to be the “gold standard” facelift method among many professionals in the aesthetic enhancement industry. SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) refers to the fibrous extensions that attach through the subcutaneous fat layers of the face to the epidermal (outermost) layer of the skin, allowing the three layers of the facial skin to move together as a single unit. Basically it is the fatty tissue you can grab with your hands.

As a result of the natural aging process, the facial skin loses elasticity in the SMAS membrane layer, and the skin often begins to sag in the cheeks and along the jaw bone. The face develops a square appearance and loses its youthful oval appearance. This loss of elasticity and increasing skin laxity (looseness, sagging) can result in aesthetically unappealing developments that can substantially age one’s facial appearance, such as a double chin, fleshy jowls, or prominent nasolabial folds (creases running from the nose to the angle of the mouth).







Beverly Hills


Santa Barbara

Before and After

Facelift before and after patient 1 case 5192 front view
Facelift before and after patient 3 case 3507 front view

More Face Lift Examples

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The High SMAS facelift, now a part of every 360 Facelift®, allows an elevation of the SMAS tissues at a very high level, much higher than the must-stop-at-the-cheekbone approach we were all taught in our residencies. It’s simply not enough to elevate the SMAS just to the cheekbone in the majority of patients.

This allows an elevation of the outer part of the cheek pad. It is complemented nicely by the USIC® (Ultrashort incision cheek lift) in elevating the cheeks.

Believable beauty comes not just from tightening. It comes from redistributing the fatty tissues of the face, especially in the High-SMAS region.

Benefits of High SMAS vs. Traditional Facelift

The traditional or classic technique employed during facelift surgery only addresses the problem of skin laxity in the superficial skin layers, and often produces a tight, pinched look. The SMAS facelift lifts the face from the deepest layers, and pulls upward rather than back, which provides a more natural-looking result and decreases the potential for an excessively pulled back appearance.

The High SMAS facelift is a game-changing technique that is revolutionizing the field of facial plastic surgery by improving upon the SMAS procedure in the following ways:

  • More realistic cheek rejuvenation can be achieved with the High SMAS procedure, especially when combined with the USIC or LUSIC cheeklifts®
  • High SMAS technique allows the outer part of the cheek to be elevated
  • Older SMAS techniques (i.e. SMAS, Deep SMAS) do not address issues of volume elevation because their elevating functions stop below the zygoma (cheekbone)
  • High SMAS facelift enables the plastic surgeon to achieve enhanced elevation of the SMAS membrane as a whole, including the facial region up to, and around the sides of, the eyes
  • Offers more consistent and reliable results than earlier techniques
  • The High SMAS procedure also serves to flatten and eliminate the jowls; diminish the prominence of the nasolabial folds; add fullness to the cheeks, and lift and tighten the neck region

At Dr. Moelleken’s Plastic Surgery offices in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, CA, we are very excited to offer this procedure, and are pleased to say that it is now generally offered to patients.

High SMAS Facelift Procedural Details

High SMAS facelifts are performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation and may take several hours (depending upon the complexity of your surgery). During the procedure, Dr. Moelleken will utilize incisions made along the lateral hairline to free the SMAS layer from the overlying skin and subcutaneous fat layers, as well as from its underlying attachments.

He will then tighten and lift the 3-layer unit of facial and neck skin together in an upward direction, placing the tension on the underlying SMAS layer. At this point in the surgery, Dr. Moelleken will excise any surplus fat or loose skin and will use sutures to close the surgical incision. Patients can expect to experience some degree of bruising, swelling, numbness, and discomfort for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery, and will need to limit physical activities until they are sufficiently healed.

Critically important, the skin will not go upward in the 1990’s fashion. This allows Dr. Moelleken to avoid one of the many stigmata that produce a ‘windswept’ appearance.



Beverly Hills


Santa Barbara

High SMAS Facelift Beverly Hills & Los Angeles

At Moelleken Plastic Surgery, our patient-centric philosophy ensures that you will receive the highest quality of care throughout your aesthetic enhancement experience. We take pride in providing our patients with safe and effective cosmetic surgery procedures, and beautifully natural-looking results. Our skillful staff understands how precious your time is, and will take care to ensure that your surgery fits conveniently into your busy schedule. You will never feel rushed while in our care, as Dr. Moelleken will take the time to provide a comprehensive overview of your treatment options and procedural details.

If you would like to learn more about the Beverly Hills Facelift procedures, please contact Moelleken Plastic Surgery today. We look forward to speaking with you, and to scheduling your initial consultation with Dr. Moelleken.

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