Facelifts are one of the most popular surgical techniques used to address the signs of aging on the face and neck. At The Piazza Center in Austin, Dr. Marcelo Antunes performs facelift procedures to restore lost volume to the cheeks, improve the appearance of jowls, improve the contour of the neck and to reduce the depth of facial folds.
Bear in mind, facelift surgery is a surgical procedure. Incisions are made; therefore, some scarring may be present. In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Will a facelift will leave a scar?” The answer is yes, but in the right hands, the scars will be minimized and hidden as much as possible.
During facelift surgery, the incisions are camouflaged in front and behind the ear, and, once healed, generally are not noticeable. The skin typically heals exceptionally well due to the robust blood supply to the facial tissues. In addition, if the surgeon is experienced in facelift surgery, the potential for visible scars is greatly reduced.
Facelift scars are designed to be undetectable once fully healed. However, it requires years of experience, a trained eye and the skill to be able to place them in the proper location along creases and other natural hiding spots around the ears to help them be less visible. Making facelift scars as invisible as possible is truly an art.
Facelift incisions are often placed:
- In the hairline above and in front of the top of the ear
- Directly in front of the ear
- Behind the tragus
- Around the earlobe and behind the ear
- In the hairline behind the ear
- If a neck lift is being performed as well, an incision under the chin will be made
Facelift incisions are made along the hairline and ear:
Below is an example of Dr. Antunes’ facelift patients’ scars:
The areas most susceptible to result in visible scars are the incisions made in front of the ear and around the ear lobe. By hiding a portion of the scar behind the tragus (cartilage in front of the ear), this significantly decreases the visibility of any scarring.
Other things that are important factors in reducing scarring during facelift surgery:
- Avoid tension (pulling tight) when closing skin incisions – by performing the facelift in the muscle layer rather than in the skin, tension is reduced.
- Use very fine sutures to close the skin.
- Apply proper wound care after surgery.
- Having a surgeon with the utmost attention to detail that truly cares about the outcome of the patient and is not in a hurry to finish the procedure.
The Length of the Scar
Many patients are concerned with the length of the incision and scar after a facelift procedure. Dr. Antunes typically advises patients that the length of an incision or a scar is not as important as how well it is concealed and how well it heals. On many occasions, a longer incision will heal better and be less noticeable than a shorter one. Some surgeons do shorter incisions with the thought that this will lead to a better result, but sometimes shorter incisions can also lead to distortions.
The incision is key to minimizing scarring. Your plastic surgeon will use the shortest possible incision to achieve a great contour and avoid any distortion on surrounding tissues. This enables the scarring to be minimized.