Donald B. Yoo



What is a Deep-Plane Facelift?

Unlike traditional facelift techniques which rely heavily on pulling the skin, the deep-plane facelift (rhytidectomy) addresses the midface, jawline and neck along the deeper layer underneath the skin that supports the facial muscles, referred to as the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). This advanced method enables maximal lifting without excessively pulling or putting excess tension on the skin, thus creating a more natural, longer-lasting face and necklift.

Facelift - Incision Before and After

By applying the lifting tension at a deeper level along the SMAS below the skin, excess skin remaining after maximal movement of the skin and soft tissue can be excised and the skin closure performed with no tension, leading to the thinnest most imperceptible incisions and a nearly scarless appearance.

Traditional SMAS facelift techniques demand excessive dissection and undermining of the skin, as they rely on the skin to provide the pull of the facelift. Besides creating a less durable lift, this increased skin dissection can cause more disruption of the blood supply to the face, with increased bruising and prolonged swelling as a result. The deep-plane facelift is performed in a relatively avascular layer below the skin and below the SMAS, thereby preserving the delicate blood supply that nourishes the skin and allows for the most rapid healing.

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Facelift - Incision

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Facelift - Deep plane exposed

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Facelift - Skin closure

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Facelift - Deep Plane Incision

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Facelift - Skin redraping

With the inherent advantages of deep-plane facelifts, one might reasonably wonder why not all surgeons perform rhytidectomy and facelift in this manner. One of the primary reasons remains the technically demanding nature of deep-plane facelifting, as it involves developing a surgical plane where the nerves of facial expression are encountered. It takes the experience and expertise of an advanced facial plastic surgeon to perform this surgery safely and optimally.

For patients noticing signs of aging along the cheeks, smile lines, jowls, jawline and neck, the deep-plane facelift achieves significant and enduring rejuvenation that appears naturally beautiful.

What to expect

During your consultation, Dr. Donald Yoo will evaluate your skin and soft tissue qualities, and your underlying facial anatomy and bone structure to determine the best and most cohesive approach for achieving your aesthetic goals. Part of this comprehensive evaluation and consultation process is using photo-imaging to accurately and objectively discuss areas of concern, while simulating through computer-morphing the expected surgical results. This also allows for enhanced communication with Dr. Yoo as it will allow you to have the opportunity to ensure your expectations are in line with what is surgically possible, and to specify and modify any nuances to the aesthetic ideal you seek.

After your consultation, you will have the opportunity to schedule your surgery date and all pre and post-operative appointments with Dr. Yoo’s patient care coordinator. Prior to surgery, routine medical clearance including labwork and ecg will be required to ensure your health is optimized for surgery.

All surgery is performed under general anesthesia at the premier ambulatory surgery center in the heart of Beverly Hills, with a superlative, board-certified anesthesiologist ensuring you are comfortable and safe throughout your entire procedure.

Facelift Incision - Before and After

The facelift incisions are designed to hide around the hair of the temple, on top of the tragus of the ear in front of the ear and along the crease behind the ear, and ending in the hairline behind the ear. Dr. Donald Yoo is renowned for his precise design and meticulous surgical technique in creating flawless, nearly scarless incisions. After the skin is incised, the skin is elevated into the cheek where the SMAS is incised and the deep-plane immediately entered and elevated. The deep-plane and skin are then elevated and mobilized as a single unit, to the smile lines in the cheeks, across the jawline, and into the midline of the neck. Dr. Yoo will then lift and secure the deep-plane in a vertical direction, which provides long-lasting, durable lifting for the mid-face and cheeks, jawline and neck. The skin is then re-draped along the incision around the ear, excess skin excised, and the skin closed with fine sutures. An elastic wrap will be worn to provide gentle compression for the first 1-2 weeks, and sutures removed in 1 week.

Most patients will feel comfortable returning to the public eye in 2 weeks with hair down as most bruising will have resolved and swelling will typically be mild at this point. By 4 weeks, the incisions around the ear will be difficult to see even with hair worn up, bruising will have completely resolved and most swelling will also have subsided.

What will recovery be like?

Facelift Before and After

Following surgery, you will need to avoid exercise and strenuous activity, sleep with your head slightly elevated, and maintain a healthy diet. Incision care is important to ensure the best wound healing and involves cleaning the suture lines gently with a mixture of distilled water and peroxide (1:1) and covering the incisions with antibiotic ointment.

Small drains may be placed to prevent excess swelling and fluid accumulation. An elastic wrap will be worn around the face and neck for the first 1-2 weeks to provide gentle compression and to minimize swelling. Drains, if placed, will be removed in 2-5 days depending on their output. The fine sutures are removed in approximately one week. Even though most patients experience very little pain after surgery, pain medication is prescribed for the patient’s comfort. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and you may be instructed to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum. A short course of post-operative antibiotics and steroids are given to help prevent infection and excess swelling.

Is a deep-plane facelift right for me?

Patients looking to address facial sagging in the midface and neck, deep nasolabial folds, jowling, marionette lines, and a more defined neck and jawline are great candidates for a deep-plane facelift. Patients expecting >10 lb changes in weight in the near future, poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and smokers should address those factors prior to pursuing facelift surgery.

Is deep-plane face lift different from SMAS face lift?

In a SMAS facelift (Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System) the skin is separated from the SMAS and pulls only the skin over the deeper facial muscles and structures. A small amount of SMAS may be cut, or sutures used to tighten the SMAS layer a small amount. In contrast, during a deep-plane facelift an incision is made through the SMAS to reach a deeper layer (deep-plane) so that the skin may remain attached to the SMAS to allow for the SMAS and skin to be lifted as one unit.

During your consultation, Dr. Yoo will evaluate your facial shape and anatomy, age-related concerns, and your desired facelift outcomes through a thorough evaluation and consultation to collaboratively establish the optimal treatment plan to achieve your aesthetic goals.

Call now for your consultation: 310‑772‑0766


At what age should I get a facelift?

Mid-40s is young, but not too young to be considering a facelift to improve facial skin and tissue sagging depending on your specific anatomy and skin/soft tissue condition. Based on the amount of jowling and skin/tissue sagging that is present, some patients will have a facelift in their 40s and some will be able to wait until their 50s. With carefully designed and meticulously executed incisions, the scars can be hidden for the most part and become nearly imperceptible.

How Long Does Swelling Last After a Deep Plane Lift?

Swelling and contour irregularities may be present for weeks after a facelift, depending on the technique. As the swelling resolves you will feel less tightness and, if your facelift was done well, will begin to look more natural. Most patients feels comfortably returning to public with their hair worn down in 2 weeks. Incisions become difficult to see typically around 4 weeks after surgery.

Nerve Damage after Facelift?

A risk for a facelift procedure is affecting the facial nerves. The nerves that control the facial muscles may become irritated or temporarily stunned from the manipulation during surgery or swelling after surgery.Especially with deep-plane facelift techniques, choosing an advanced facial plastic surgeon with expertise and experience with deep-plane facelifting is paramount to a successful and safe outcome.

What Are the Facial Muscles, Ligaments, SMAS Attached to During a Facelift? Bone, Other Muscles. I Can’t Quite Picture It.

The SMAS encompasses all the facial muscles, and these muscles are connected to the underlying facial skeleton. The ideal plane for a facelift, whether it’s the SMAS or deep-plane technique, is right above the facial muscles. In the case of a deep-plane facelift, dissection goes deeper, encountering the surfaces of the masseter and zygomaticus muscles, yet their attachments to the facial skeleton are preserved and undisturbed.

Beyond this, the reasons are multifactorial. After seeing top surgeons, the issue of patients still requiring revisions may be due to the following.

Can a facelift change a square shaped face?

There are certainly ways to change the shape and contours of your face, and for you one of the likely factors contributing to the squared appearance of your jawline is the descent of your jowls and midface structures. Lifting and redraping the skin and soft tissue of the face can give the appearance of a more defined and v-line jawline.

Facelift Before & After Gallery


Dr. Yoo is an excellent Plastic Surgeon and a wonderful human being. From the very beginning of my journey, (consult) through my entire transformation Dr Yoo has been fantastic! I'm at 8 weeks now and all of my incisions are healing well. No surgical complications and no post-op complications. My follow-up visits have also been very good and very thorough. Dr. Yoo takes his time with me and answers all of my questions. I have had a crooked nose my entire life, (since the age of 2 y/o). Not anymore. My nose is straight and my profile looks beautiful, and the cherry on top is I can finally breathe. My nose was fully collapsed, not anymore. Dr. Yoo was the only Dr. that could fix this complicated problem. Other Dr's tried but were all unsuccessful. I couldn't be happier with the work Dr. Yoo did to completely fix both the inside and the outside of my nose. Dr. Yoo also did a Face and Neck lift, both equally as beautiful. My skin was sagging and my cheeks were hollowed. I am 62 y/o, and I had lost weight and you can never regain weight in your face, especially at my age. He did fat transfers to fix the hollowed cheek area. Dr. Yoo is an artist and a genius. I am 100% satisfied with every detail of my journey with Dr. Yoo, its perfection at it's best!! Being in the medical field myself, (Critical Care/Trauma Nurse) I have worked with a lot of Plastic Surgeons doing bedside procedures, etc. and I can honestly say Dr Yoo's quality of care and Professionalism is worthy of praise. His clinical skills, bedside manner, and interpersonal skills go above and beyond anything I have ever witnessed in my personal life, and my nursing career. In my opinion he is the best Plastic Surgeon in all of Southern California. I would give him 10 stars if I could, 5 doesn't seem like enough. You will not be disappointed if you choose Dr. Yoo. I can't say enough about the positive experience I had with Dr. Yoo. He is superb, outstanding and also very honest, patient and understanding. His kind warm spirit is palpable. The Staff are also very wonderful and professional. They are all really good and super helpful. I worked mostly with Ana, Cynthia and Tammy. They are awesome human beings. They all have a great positive energy and disposition, and are all very sweet. My entire experience has been great and first-class. If I ever want or need any further procedures I will definitely be calling Dr. Yoo. I have found the BEST PLASTIC SURGEON, and I have no need to seek out anybody else, ever! I am grateful to have met him. Thank you Dr. Yoo for everything you have done for me. With Gratitude, Anne

Dr. Yoo looks forward to taking you from pretty to prettier®.

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