Facelift Incisions: How to Minimize Scarring and Look Better than Ever

At Burt and Will Plastic Surgery we just say “no” to visible scarring.  If you are thinking about having a facelift but are concerned about obvious scarring, let us help.  You will find yourself in good hands when you select an experienced plastic surgeon to perform your facelifting.  As board certified plastic surgeons, we are highly trained and knowledgeable about the anatomy of the face and neck. We understand the harmonious interaction between skin, nerve and muscle and how it can be re-draped to restore a refreshed, renewed appearance.

Demystifying facelift scarring

What is a facelift scars?  Why does it form? Simply put, a scar is a mark left on the skin after it has been injured or wounded in some way. A scar forms when the deeper layers of skin have been damaged.  Scars occur as the skin begins to repair itself. While there are many types of scars, the fundamentals are the same.  Fibrous tissue binds on an open wound. The skin that forms on that wound will be of a different quality and texture than the surrounding skin.

Any cosmetic procedure requires the discrete placement of incisions. Healthy healing of these incisions involves a partnership between the surgeon and the patient.  By following the recommendations of your surgeon, most patients can maximize the aesthetic outcome of their scars.

Where are incisions placed during a facelift?

Overt, visible scarring is related to the incisions your plastic surgeon will make to tighten your skin.Your surgeon will choose to place the incision in areas that will be hidden within natural creases and folds to minimize visibility.

During a face lift, the surgeon will incise above the ear to reposition loose cheek skin. To avoid chances of repositioning the hairline, your surgeon will often modify  the incision in the sideburn in a J shape which will preserve the sideburn and obscure the incision. For men, the incisions are modified even further to avoid displacement of their bearded areas.

Plastic surgeons have many tricks up their sleeve when it comes to discreetly making incisions. Another technique they may opt for is opening the skin in the preauricular area. The incision is placed at the junction of the ear and cheek skin to hide the scar.  In most patients, the incision will pass behind the tragus (the projection of skin in front of the ear canal). Placing the incision here means there is no telltale scar.  The incision will then wrap around the ear lobe.

This incision will extend behind the ear in an upside down “u” shape to where the hair meets the neck.  The incisions will be beveled parallel to the hair shafts so that new hair will grow through the scar hiding it. Several modifications can be made depending on the amount of loose skin and needs of the patient. Your surgeon may recommend only incisions behind the year if loose neck skin is the main issue. Discussing with your surgeon your goals will help determine which approach is best for you.

Do Your Part

There are things you can do to help post-surgical healing and to contain scarring.

  • If you smoke, stop. Quit smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking interferes with the healing process by weakening the immune system.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes can impede healing. Keep in mind that just because you have a particular medical condition, it does not mean that you are not a candidate for cosmetic surgery.
  • Always wear sunscreen following your surgery.
  • You may experience some itching as your incisions begin to heal. Resist the urge to scratch or  pick at your scars. With clean hands you can gently massage the itching site.
  • Keep the incision site clean.

Deciding to lift your face and polish your looks will improve your spirits and your outlook. For detailed information and optimal results always consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Burt and Will plastic surgery takes great pride in offering, expertise, experience and artistry to their patients. Contact us now to book your appointment for a fabulous new look for spring.

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