Facial Rejuvenation


My signature facelift is the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite facelift. In my opinion and experience, this lift is the most powerful, natural, and longest lasting of all facelift techniques.

The Procedure in


No two faces are alike. Consequently, the treatment is highly customized for every patient. Non-surgical and surgical procedures should work in concert to reverse the effects of aging and deliver a natural aesthetic result. Sometimes a combination of procedures is necessary to achieve the desired appearance. An optimal aesthetic plan is one that fits the patient’s lifestyle, age, medical conditions, and tolerance for downtime. What can and cannot be accomplished given a patient’s expectations and circumstances is the purpose of a comprehensive consultation. Dr. Lee believes educating the patient is paramount in having them understand the effects of one plan over another so they can choose the course most comfortable for them.

Patients considering a facelift often voice their hesitancy about looking “pulled” or “tight” “overdone” or “expressionless.” These are reasonable concerns born out of first-generation facelift techniques that simply tightened the skin. The evolution of facelifts has transitioned to addressing deeper structures of the face, repositioning the tissues to their original location.

When performing facial rejuvenation, Dr. Lee makes it a priority to treat the signs of aging without changing the essence of a person’s natural beauty focusing on techniques that make a patient look better and age appropriate. Dr. Lee’s signature facelift is the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite facelift. This lift is the most powerful, natural, and longest lasting of all facelift techniques. It tightens and elevates the underlying facial structures to their former, youthful position with inconspicuous scars. The High SMAS uses a patient’s own fat, so fat grafting is simply finessed to avoid an overfilled look. A refreshed, natural appearance devoid of any pulling or obvious intervention is the result. His goal is having each patient hear how “great” they look, not asked, “What work have you had done?”

Surgical Notes



Length of Surgery

2-3 hours

Outpatient / Inpatient


Adjunct Procedures

Fat grafting, Necklift, Lower Eyelid Lift


2-3 weeks

Dr. Lee's Priorities &


Dr. Lee’s exceptional level of knowledge and expertise in all aspects of facial rejuvenation place him among the elite in the specialty. His approach is a blend of time-tested traditional techniques and the latest advances in non-surgical and surgical treatments. According to Dr. Lee, the key is to reposition and restore, envisioning the face and neck as one unit.

When a facelift is the recommended treatment, the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite facelift is the technique Dr. Lee prefers. His experience demonstrates this technique to deliver the longest lasting results in repositioning areas where gravity has taken its toll.

Dr. Lee elevates just enough skin to access the deeper tissues of the face responsible for sagging cheeks and jowls. This allows him to treat the face and neck as a single unit suspending the deep tissues into a more youthful position. The excess skin is removed but the tension is placed deeper to avoid looking “done.”

Performing these procedures requires the highest level of expertise in facial anatomy. Dr. Lee’s double board certifications in both Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, uniquely qualify him as a specialist. Dr. Lee was trained in the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite facelift procedure from the surgeon who created the approach, and today, pays that forward by teaching residents at UT Southwestern Medical Center. This knowledge and training give him a superior level of comfort in performing a procedure not all surgeons offer.

A conversation withDr. Michael Lee

Explain facial aging and what we can do to fight it.

There has been a paradigm shift in the mainstream acceptance of methods and products promising to help us stay ahead of the clock. Younger people even in their teens and 20’s are countering the aging process beginning with sunscreen and smart skincare. As men and women get into their 30’s they see the signs of aging take place. Botox has become a preventative medicine against wrinkles, offering a cumulative effect in minimizing lines of expression. Early intervention is key since it is more difficult to treat if we wait until we are 50 trying to temper lines created over five decades. Small doses of fillers can make a difference in 30-somethings, but despite even best efforts, by 40’s and 50’s obvious changes are happening. Volume loss and volume descent can be camouflaged non-surgically but cannot be reversed. Rebuilding and restoring collagen in the face is important, so chemical peels and laser treatments are popular at this stage. Once skin begins to noticeably sag, it is time to consider a facelift and possible fat grafting for the most natural outcome.

At what age should I consider a facelift?

Since we all age at different rates and in different ways, there is no universal age for a facelift. Timing is important particularly as it relates to skin elasticity for the most benefit possible. During consultation, Dr. Lee will help you devise an individualized plan based on your needs and desires.

Describe a “mini” facelift.

A big misconception is that there is much less recovery and smaller scars with a mini facelift. In fact, any facelift that is going to provide substantial results requires similar incisions and downtime. Lifts that only tighten the skin or only use small incisions often lead to short term results with inadequate skin removal. In these cases, “mini” facelifts often lead to “mini” results. Likewise, the “lunchtime” procedures that are advertised as delivering astonishing results are poor simulations of a facelift. There are no short cuts.

The truth about “noninvasive, no scarring, no downtime, no discomfort” procedures is that often you are not getting value for your money. It’s important to recognize that there are no miracles and magic wands. No one should expect dramatic results without respecting the process it takes to make a real, long lasting change in appearance.

Why are there so many obvious, overdone results on display even among celebrities?

The rich and famous are just as capable of making bad decisions as the rest of us. In Hollywood particularly there are lots of non-certified surgeons doing cosmetic surgery. It’s a hotbed for unsubstantiated marketing hype. Celebrities are constantly in the public eye, so it is easy to identify when a dramatic change happens–for better or worse. But remember– bad results are ubiquitous–and unfortunate outcomes don’t discriminate. For every Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith and Priscilla Presley, there are lots of average people that keep programs like “Botched” alive. The point is, do your homework. Another way to look at this is, how many patients are among us who have had brilliant “work done”? They look great for their age, but you can’t quite figure out what they did. That is the signature of a great surgeon—invisible ink.

Quite frequently the cause of some looking distorted is non-surgical. Abuse of fillers and neurotoxins has become commonplace. Often this happens in cases where the patient is not consulting with a plastic surgeon. The popularity of injectables has given many questionable practitioners a seat at the aesthetic table. Uninformed patients who view injectables as commodities can suffer the consequences of looking odd and different instead of better. One of the biggest benefits to seeing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon–whether you need surgery or not, is to get the proper diagnoses from someone who has all the tools at his/her disposal and understands the nuances of each.

How can I be sure I will look better—not different?

There are plenty of examples of bad surgical and non-surgical results in the media. When even the rich and famous cannot seem to get great outcomes, it is no surprise that average people wonder what chance they might have for a natural result. The first thing to do is to be sure you are consulting with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who is a true specialist in facial rejuvenation. I spend a lot of time with my patients in consultation because communication is so important. We’ll discuss specific concerns and options and review some before and after pictures that demonstrate my aesthetic. My approach with the Deep Plane High SMAS Composite Facelift delivers excellent results for men without changing their identity. Male facial rejuvenation should translate into a fresher, more youthful appearance while maintaining a man’s natural features and expression. In fact, I am very conscious about intentionally leaving a bit of laxity in the skin, so the overall impression is age appropriate, not “tight.”

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