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MACS Facelift Scar Healing Time?

I had a MACS Facelift done exactly a month ago. One side of my face seems to be healing well and the other seems like it may have not been stitched up properly. There are raised bumps and 2 tiny holes in my skin. Should I give it more time to heal or is this something I should worry about? How long does it usually take the scar to heal?

Doctor Answers 37

Healing after Facelift

Proper healing takes time and is rarely symmetrical: one side almost always heals differently than the other.

What you describe is not unusual, and may be a result of some ingrown hair or extruding sutures.

Your patience will be rewarded.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Early scar from facelift

Scars look the worst one month after surgery, which is where you are now.  Two weeks ago, it wasn't even a scar, just a "wound." This is an early scar--inflamed, red and lumpy.  This is perfectly normal. 

Stiches inside have yet to dissolve completely and may cause lumps as the body is dissolving them. Irregularities and "pleating" are not unusual because there is a difference in actual length on each side of the scar.  All this usually settles down nicely and the redness fades over several weeks or months. 

The tiny openings may be cysts from early hair growth or from pleating and these should resolve, too. It is also quite common for one side to look a little different from the other side. Ask your doctor, but I am sure he or she will let you use make-up. Please be reassured and best of luck to you.

Joseph Rabson, MD (retired)
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sideburn scar

Nothing to worry about.  Scar looks hypertrophic but not infected.  What your are seeing are small areas of scabby healing that will resolve.  Now it is important to treat the scars with silicone gel cream, gentle massage.  The scar will definitely improve.  I would not consider a revision this early in the process.

Healing after MACS Lift

This is a great question. First, the body is asymmetric -- so healing may be asymmetric. One side of your face may heal a little faster, have a little less swelling, etc. in the first few months. Generally speaking, these things even out over time. Second, with a hairline incision, as is used in the MACS lift and some other techniques, the hairs have to grow back through the scar. This can result in small cysts or ingrown hairs. Lastly, in any facelift, there is a step where a thin skin flap has to be elevated. Sometimes a very small hole will be created incidentally during this process. These generally heal over time, but may cause some delays in the overall result. Best of luck going forward!

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Uneven wound after a facelift.

First, you should discuss this with your surgeon.  It probably has nothing to do with the actual MACS sutures. You may have some deep sutures used to close the wound that are about to "spit" out.  This can happen.  Talk to your surgeon.

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

This is not exceptional

Dear lady, I am one of the original authors of the MACS-lift technique. The problem you have experienced is not exceptional neither truly worrysome. The smal holes are either caused by hairs attempting to growh through the scar, which is actually the purpose in the MACS-lift sideburn incision, or they are due to a reaction to resorbable stitches which you have reacted to. In the latter case your surgeon will have to pick the small remnants of this stitch out, after which the wounds will close within a week.I

In either case the wound in this location should heal without problem, and end with a very unconspicuous scar. I am curious to know how it healed finally.

Alexis Verpaele, MD
Belgium Plastic Surgeon

Healing after a MACS lift

The problem may either be hairs growing back through the incision (which will help conceal the scar in the long run) or a reaction to dissoluble sutures.  It will get better with time.

Michael Philbin, MD
Edina Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Facelift and scars

The scars from a facelift take time to heal.  Both sides often heal differently and this is normal. Give it time for the scars and the hair to thicken up. Your PS will guide you.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Scarring Following Facelift Surgery

Scarring following facelift surgery varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon a multitude of variables.  These include the type of facelift performed, the wound healing characteristics of the patient and the technical skill of the surgeon.  The surgeon can influence several of these variables, but unfortunately has no control over the patients wound healing biology.  For these reasons plastic surgeons make every effort to place scars where they are well hidden when performing facelifts.

In the vast majority of patients these wounds heal nicely and the scars are difficult to see.  When wound healing is complicated the scars are often well hidden by incision placement.

After surgery scars are often extremely red, bumpy, irregular and raised.  With the passage of time these scars usually flatten and lose their redness.  This improvement becomes noticeable in about six to eight week, but takes 12 to 18 months to reach completion.

Massage and topical agents can sometimes facilitate wound healing and are often recommended in the post-operative period.  With these maneuvers most patients are happy with their results, but occasionally a rare patient will require a scar revision.

MACS Facelift Scar Healing

There are a few possible explanations that are most common and should self correct over time. The smal holes are either caused by buried sutures about to extrude or if self absorbing then close to the skin or  hairs attempting to grow through the scar, which is a good thing. Although it may be a sub-clinical infection or the beginning of a hypertrophic scar it is less likely.
Regular  followup with your Plastic Surgeon is suggested until this concern resolves.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 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.