An Overview of Facelift Incision Lines and Scars

Facelift surgery can produce dramatic results, helping patients to look as young as they feel. However, as with any form of invasive surgery, there are incisions involved. At our practice, we believe education is key, so we have created an overview on facelift incisions and scarring so you know what to expect with your procedure.

Incision Placement

“A properly placed Facelift incision follows the same general pattern in front of and behind the ear, but there are different modifications to the locations of the incisions that influence individualized placement of incisions for each patient” explains Dr. Cooper. In women, incisions for a facelift are typically placed behind the ears, along the tragus in front of the ear, in or along the side burn, and in or along the hairline behind the ear. In men, incisions are typically placed behind the ear, in front of the ear at the beard line, around the sideburn and along the hairline behind the ear. In men it is very important to place the incisions such that skin with hair growth (beard) is not distorted or pulled onto the ear. In both men and women it is important not to put any tension on the ear lobe to avoid creating a pulled or distorted ear lobe, and not to distort the size and location of the sideburn, which can be giveaways that a patient has had a facelift.

“I modify and individualize the incision patterns for each patient, tailoring the exact incision placement based on several factors including the specific areas of desired facial improvement, hair style, hair density, any prior facelift incisions, skin quality, and if a patient scars prominently or not”

Dr. Cooper believes that patients should educate themselves before jumping into any type of surgery. “But that’s part of the discussion with patients early on when they’re considering a facelift,” Dr. Cooper said. “Again, the trade-off for scar or an incision always is facial improvement and tightening. If you could do all of this without a scar every patient would probably do it. But the reality is, at least to date, there’s nothing that really is better than doing a facelift on individuals who desire it. “

Patients should also be aware that it will take some time for facelift incisions to fade. The idea of incisions may seem daunting at first, but they will fade and improve with time, and my goal is that they will result in an inconspicuous line.

Does an Incision Have to be Placed in Front of the Ear?

In most cases, facelift incisions must be placed in front of the ear. “Sometimes you can get away with making a very short incision in front of the ear, but often times the way that a facelift is done naturally, is that a certain amount of skin is brought both in front which is anterior as well as behind the ear,” Said Dr. Cooper. “The length of incision in front of the really depends on how much skin you want to tighten on the face.”

Overall, facelift incisions are a small trade off for a new, rejuvenated facial appearance. Dr. Cooper is a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing facelift procedures, producing natural and beautiful looking results. If you are interested in learning more about facelift surgery, contact our office today!