How Can Surgeons Hide the Stitches from a Facelift?

Is there any way that the surgeon can put the stitches from a Facelift inside the ear? You can always tell someone has had a lift from those tell-tale incision scars in front of the ear.

Doctor Answers 21

Stitches in facelifts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Most surgeons place the incisions in front if the ear in away that will leave the most inconspicuous scars.  I think what is equally important is to place the incisions in a way that the ears do not look distorted, which is a common problem.

Hiding stitches in a facelift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Only a potion of the incision can be placed inside the ear but there is a potion that will have to run around the ear lobe and behind the ear. Meticulous detail to closure is the key.

Facelift Incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The key to facelift incisions is to have equivalent shaping to the incisions so there are no straight lines and it matches one of the natural skin creases around, inside the ear, and behind the ear. The goal is to blend the incision with the natural creases so they become almost inconspicuous over time.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

Facelift Incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The planning for a facelift incision is a critical step in scar concealment.  Some steps for scar concealment:

  • location and placement of the incision
  • keeping the hairline intact and avoiding hair loss
  • keeping ear position and alignment
  • avoiding excessively wide scars by avoiding tension on skin (lift should be on deeper tissues)

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Hiding Facelift Incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Indeed face lift incisions can be placed inside the ear. The post tragal incision is commonly used. With this approach the Facelift incision begins in the temporal hairline and continues along the edge of the upper ear and behind the small cartilage projection, (tragus), which is in front of the ear canal. This incision then continues around the ear lobe and up behind the ear. This type of incision is used by many plastic surgeons and helps prevent the straight vertical scar in front of the ear. The post tragal incision can provide fine, inconspicuous scars if closed carefully.

This incision presents very few problems in women, however in men it can advance the hair follicles of the beard onto the tragus. Men need to understand this can occur. A man may then need a hair removal procedure to eliminate this undesirable side effect.

Discuss the pros and cons of each type of incision with your doctor before your procedure.

James H. Schmidt, MD (retired)
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon

Facelift Scars - Concealing the incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. In most healthy people without a history of healing irregularities, the surgical scars resulting from a well-performed facelift are rarely an issue. Incisions are designed to result in scars that are concealed within natural curvatures around the ear and hairline. When you state 'inside the ear', you may be referring to the 'retro-tragal' approach, which avoids the 'tell-tale' incisional scar in front of the ear (pre-auricular incision) for one that follows the inside curvature of the 'tragal' cartilage just in front of the ear canal. Many surgeons prefer this incision for the very reason of its resulting in a less conspicuous scar.

Full scar maturation takes many months. However, most patients consider those scars to be acceptable with makeup within 1-2 weeks, and acceptable without makeup in 1-2 months. Once mature, most scars are imperceptible in normal social interactions, although not entirely invisible upon closer scrutiny. The design and performance of the facelift incision are some of the factors that influences a natural result and the desirability of a facelift surgeon.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

The Preferred Incision Site for Facelifts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
#Incisions for a #facelift vary depending upon whether the patient is male or female, the hairstyles, hairline, age, previous surgery, and other factors. Generally, the incision starts in the temple, in front or within the hairline. It continues in front of the ear, sometimes partially hidden within the #ear. It then goes under the earlobe, behind the ear fold, and ends within the hairline or at the hairline behind the ear. The newer, shorter #scar techniques, which do not include scars in or by the hairline, can be used for most patients. Frequently another small and hidden incision is made under the chin in a natural skin fold. This allows fat removal and tightening of the platysma muscle in the neck if required.

Minimizing Face Lift Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The key to minimizing the appearance of the scar is to put it in the temple hairline, then curve around the top of the ear to just behind the tragus (the cartilage that sticks out in front) then in the crease around the earlobe to the crease just behind it. I have moved to a short scar technique called the Lite Lift in which the scar ends behind the earlobe and does not extend along the hairline in the back so you can wear your hair back

Making facelift scars inconspicuous

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The incision for a facelift is placed along the tragal edge of the ear, as it is very well camouflaged in this area. Other techniques performed during a facelift to minimize scaring, are to not place any tension along the incision lines so that the incisions do not fall apart and leave wide hypertrophic scars. Another technique is to remove the sutures quite early, day 4 or 5 after the surgery, to prevent railroad tracking along the incision lines.

Facelift Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

With very rare exceptions, the scars are placed within the ear. I feel the only reason for placing the incision in front of the ear is that it is easier for the surgeon. In men , where the sideburn hair could be pulled into the ear, the underlying follicles can be destroyed at the time of surgery or later with the use of electrolysis or laser hair removal.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.