Are you considering having a Facelift but worried about Facelift Scars? You are not alone. Almost every patient I have seen in the last 30 years who is interested in this surgery is worried about the possibility of visible scars.
The good news is that there are many steps that you and your Plastic Surgeon can take to hide your Facelift Scars so that others cannot see them.
Where are Facelift Incisions Placed?
Regardless of the type of Facelift-SMAS, Mini, Lifestyle, Weekend, you name it, there will be incisions and they will involve the skin around your ear to a greater or lesser extent. Below are the incisions used for a classic standard Facelift:
• In the Hairline above and in front of the top of the ear
• The front of the ear
• Behind the ear
• In the Hairline behind the ear
• Under the chin if a Neck Lift is being done
What is the Most Visible Facelift Incision/Scar?
• In front of the ear
How can The Facelift Incision in Front of The Ear be Hidden?
The incision and thus the scar in front of the ear can be easily hidden by placing the visible portion of the incision inside the ear canal or opening behind the little lump in front of you rear called the Tragus.
Why you may ask is this technique not used more often? My answer is:
• It takes more time-adds maybe 20 minutes to the procedure
• It is a little more difficult for your surgeon
• If not done correctly the size of the Tragus can be reduced
• Some surgeons may not know how to do it
• Patients are unaware of how important this technique is and do not demand it
What Else Can Your Surgeon Do to Hide Facelift Scars?
• Careful beveled incisions in hairline to avoid hair loss
• Avoid extreme tension on sutures when closing incisions
• SMAS or Deep Muscle Tightening before skin closure allows less tension to be placed on skin closure
• Avoid Staple Closure
• Use very fine sutures to close visible, non-hair bearing skin
• Early suture removal-5-7 days for skin, 10-14 days in hair bearing area
• Meticulous surgical technique
• Experienced surgeon
• Avoid infection
• Proper wound care
What Can You Do To Improve Your Facelift Scars?
• Read about Facelift Surgery
• Choose an experienced surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
• Follow instructions
• Keep your incisions clean and dry
• Begin gentle massage of the incisions after two weeks
• Use topical Scar Guard on incisions that are not in the hair
• Avoid strenuous exercise and stress during your recovery
• Eat healthy-protein and high anti-oxidant containing foods
• Supplemental Vitamin C
What to Do If Your Facelift Scars Get Red
Understand that ALL surgical scars are red to pink for 7 months after any surgery. Most scars are white after two years. However if your scars are red, angry looking, itchy and lumpy or raised starting between 3weeks to 8 weeks after your Facelift you may be developing a Hypertrophic Scar.
If this occurs see your surgeon soon. There are many new therapies that can be done to reduce redness and lumpiness of scars, including:
• IPL or Intermittent Pulsed Light Treatments
• 1540 Non ablative Fractional Erbium Laser Treatments
• Topical Steroid Tape
• Steroid Injection-this should be done conservatively , 6 weeks apart no more than 3 treatments or Steroid related problems can occur
Find a good Plastic Surgeon
The skill of your surgeon is the most important factor in achieving well hidden Facelift Scars. Ask your friends who have had a Facelift about their experience. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a good Plastic Surgeon.
Visit the website of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons for a listing of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who have experience and interest in Cosmetic Surgery.
Call 978-369-4499 for more information.