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Facelift Surgery for Men

Can men have successful facelifts? Are they different from the standard facelift that women get? And how do they hide scars since men usually have less (and sometimes no!) hair?

Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers (22)

Facelifts in Men

+3

Very simply put, Facelift surgery in men requires a number of considerations that differ from a female Facelift.

A) Psychologic considerations: Dr. Ross Clevens (Melbourne, FL) and I reviewed this topic in the latest edition of Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. Women are conditioned and have a natural affinity to alterations in their appearance, most men do not. Special care must be taken in evaluating motivations and life changes that might prompt a man to have a Facelift.

B) The Procedure: Male Facelifts are much more challenging than Female Facelifts. This week, I performed a Facelift on a man on Wednesday and a woman on Friday; Friday was a breeze and Wednesday was real work. Generally, men have stronger ligamental supports, bigger faces, heavier necks, and more vascular skin. The analogy I use is that a Male Facelift is like drilling through rock, while a Female Facelift is like drilling though sand.

C) Incisional Technique: There are a variety of alterations that must be considered and discussed with men about the location of incisions and presence of hair bearing tissue. First, a discussion is had regarding the thickness of facial hair growth and the true color of the facial hair follicles. Darker hair is much more amenable to hair removal techniques after the procedure. A small area of non hair-bearing skin is preserved at the base of the earlobe to prevent the need for shaving to close to the earlobe itself. Special care must be taken to avoid over-pulling the skin, which would lead to a southward migration of the earlobe. The need to potentially shave further posterior or even behind the ear is also discussed. I agree with Dr. Moelleken regarding the use of the retrotragal incision and removal of hair follicles in the region of the tragus (shield of the ear canal); this is usually a better aesthetic choice in my experience.

D) Perioperative Concerns: Since men have more vascular skin, blood pressure (and anxiety) control are critical to avoiding complications such as postoperative hematoma. Drains are usually utilized and compression dressings are left in place for longer to avoid these problems

E) Result: Men generally do want to look more youthful vis a vis contouring of the jawline and neck; avoiding a feminized appearance with hairline alteration is critical.

F) The Good News: Prolonged bruising is less of a factor for men due to skin thickness and other factors.


Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Male facelift - special considerations

+3

We prefer even in men to put the incision inside the ear rather than in front of it. We then reduce hair in front of the ear fro below, to prevent hair from growing on the tragus (bump in front of the ear) or behind the ear when the skin is pulled back.

Male facelifts involve "heavy lifting" of heavier tissues than with women. The anchoring techniques are very important to hide incisions inside the ear, around the earlobe, and inside the hairline. No hairline stepoff is permitted, or men's hair patterns will show the incisions. Great skill level and experience are necessary.

Unlike in the past, hairlines are spared and the midface is usually corrected through cheeklifts. This prevents sagging of the skin below the eye while the side of the face is picked up.

Postoperatively, males require closer monitoring for high blood pressure, even if they do not have hypertension. High blood pressure causes bleeding and hematomas. Medicines and aftercare can prevent these to a large extent.

Experience and skill can prevent the "Jack Lemmon or Burt Reynolds" look of the male facelift of the past.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Male Facelifts are on the rise

+3

Male face lifts are different than those performed on women. Due top the bearded skin the incisions must be modified the make sure the side burns do not change position, and so that the bearded skin is not placed into the ear canal causing some difficulty in grooming daily. This is procedure that should be performed by plastic surgeons specializing in face lifting surgery and understand the nuances of the procedure and can make thing look natural. Nothing is more feminizing than a bad face lift on a man. Also, some men undergo direct surgical procedures to simply excise excess skin from the neck, what i like to call a reverse face loift or neck lift. it will not lift the jowls bu gets ride of a "turkey neck" in a more isolated and quick healing procedure.

Andrew Jacono, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facelifts for men

+2
Facelifts for men require expertise on the part of the surgeon.  Scars can be a concern. If performed improperly, a facelift for a man can feminize the face. Look at many photos before selecting a surgeon

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Facelift surgery for men - special considerations

+2

There are several special considerations for a male facelift. One is the potential for repositioning the patient's beard. As deep tissues are lifted and suspended, and excess skin is removed, it is important to be mindful that the beard is also repositioned.

In the neck area, this movement can be behind the ear closer to the postauricular hairline. In the face, it can move the sideburn closer to the ear.
The objective is to minimize this movement. For the sideburn area, I like to place the incision in front of the ear splitting the difference between the back border of the sideburn and the tragal cartilage of the ear.

At the end of the facelift surgery, this incision becomes the new back border of the sideburn, and once healed is typically inconspicuous. If I'm concerned that there is a lot of skin excess and the sideburn will be thinned too much, I may move this incision further towards the ear. In some situations, it is appropriate to shift the skin in a vertical manner, in which case the beard will not move closer to the ear but instead will move up. For incisions behind the ear, I like to keep a small distance from the postauricular fold to minimize beard hair growth directly in the fold which could make shaving more difficult.

Another consideration with male facelifts is that men’s skin is much thicker and robust than women's skin. On one hand this helps men heal faster than women, but on the other hand, male facelift results may not be as dramatic as a female's. Instead male facelifts show as a noticeable "freshening up" in the overall appearance and a more youthful looking face.

Because men heal faster, they tend to become active earlier in the recovery phase. That sometimes is a problem if the patient is too physically active during the first week after surgery. To reduce swelling and speed the return to a normal postoperative appearance, it's important to avoid excess activities for 1 to 2 weeks.

Andrew Coundouriotis, MD
Saint Petersburg Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Successful facelifts in men

+2

YES! Men can have a facelift done successfully. This means reversing aging changes in a natural, inconspicuous way. This is a common part of my practice. The keys to performing this are:

1. Do not feminize the male features

2. Hide incisions as best possible. 

The heavier features of males make facelifting in men somewhat more difficult than in women.  It also means that mini-lifts/MACS lifts (I won't go into the many other names here) are less likely to succeed long-term (in my opinion).  

Good luck to you.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facelifts for men

+2

As the other doctors have said, there are anatomical considerations that differ between men and women and the blood supply to the bearded skin is more robust making the surgery bloodier and bruising more common.  

Primarily, though, it is critical that a man not be feminized by the procedure and have an operated on pulled tight face. Unacceptable! 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Facel lifts for men

+2

Men do get succesful face lifts. Occasionally, they prefer treatment of the neck as an isolated procedure more commonly than women. The incisions are typically placed in front of the ear cartilage rather than behind the ear cartilage. Men tend to have a higher rate of bleeding due to the hair follicles of the facial skin.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Male Facelifts

+1

The basic incision for a male facelift is the same as that for females. The incisions around the ear are made on the ear and within the ear canal so they are not seen after surgery. We do not want patients of either sex to rely on hair styling to hide an incision. The vector of skin elevation is different in men to maintain normal facial hair distribution.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Face lift surgery for men

+1

Approximately 20% of facelift patients are men. Incisions are slightly modified to follow the natural hairline on a man. Other slight modifications include the direction of pull, which is more vertical in a man than a woman. The incisions must be very meticulously sewn together so that there is minimal scarring. We have performed facelifts on completely bald men without any problems. The scars are virtually imperceptible.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.