Is a short scar Facelift long lasting? Does it address the underlying muscles and what areas of the face does it address?

Doctor Answers 18

Short Scar Facelift Long Lasting

Thank you for your question. Short scar facelifts in most situations do address the underlying SMAS or muscle layer.  This results in a long lasting result.  The length of the scar does not impact the longevity of the procedure.  Best wishes.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Short Scar facelift

  • The ‘short scar’ and MACS facelifts eliminate the incisions behind the ears, which – if carried out correctly – should result in invisible scars. Scars behind the ears, when placed where they belong (in the depth of the crease behind the ears and hidden in the occipital hairline) are either invisible or very difficult to detect. So why all the fuss? Because a lot of surgeons are not meticulous about making and closing the incisions behind the ears, which has given these scars a bad name. But there is no reason it has to be that way
  • The MACS facelift moves ALL of the skin excision into the area in front of the ear, which forces the surgeon to create a gathered, pleated and essentially impossible-to-conceal closure around the patient’s sideburns. With a traditional facelift closure the scar in this area may be placed behind the temporal hairline, where it is invisible, or at the hairline, where it can be closed invisibly because much or most of the skin excess has been removed behind the ears.
  • The MACS lift does something that is completely counter-intuitive: moving the surgical scars from areas where they are easily concealed to areas where they are almost impossible to conceal. The term ‘short scar facelift’ is really misleading, as you go from longer scars that can be completely concealed to shorter scars that can’t. So effectively, in terms of visible scars, the ‘short scar’ facelifts are in reality LONGER VISIBLE SCAR facelifts.
  • They are also - as they undermine less skin and undertreat or completely fail to treat neck skin laxity - less of a facelift. And not really a necklift at all, which all facelifts should be.
There’s just no way around it. In patients with neck skin laxity, if you fail to fully mobilize the skin of the neck as well as below and behind the ears, then it is physically impossible to create a smooth, dramatic and truly rejuvenation neck contour. Unless, as a cosmetic plastic surgeon, you are willing to leave a pile of skin folds and pleats in the lateral neck below the ear. I have yet to meet the patient who will be happy with a sort-of youthful anterior neck but an aged and post-surgical looking lateral neck. And I would derive no joy from providing a patient with that kind of surgical result.
Spend some time carefully studying ‘short scar’ facelift (‘MACS lift’ ‘S-lift’, ‘weekend facelift’, ‘Lifestyle Lift’, etc.) before and after photos. You will see, over and over, the following features:
  • a.Easily visible scars in the sideburn area and in front of the ears
  • b.Distortion of normal sideburn anatomy
  • c.Gathering of skin (pleats and wrinkles) below the ears
  • d.Undesirable skin contours below the jawline and in the neck
  • e.Little to no improvement in neck skin laxity
f course you may also see unfavorable scars in traditional facelift ‘before and after’ photos, so you need to carefully research the physician or physicians you decide to consult with for a facelift procedure. If a surgeon has mastered the High-SMAS face and necklift procedure, the scars should be close to invisible and often undetectable. This procedure, combined with structural fat grafting, rejuvenates the face in a very dramatic yet still very natural-appearing way. And with scars that allow a patient to wear their hair any way they please, including pulled back in a ponytail or gathered up above the ears.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Short scar facelifts generally give compromise results.

Scars from a properly executed facelift are almost invisible. Since excess skin is a common component of facial aging they are required to properly execute the operation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Is a short scar Facelift long lasting?


The term short scar facelift like any other "catchy" named for a facelift or minilift are merely marketing terms and mean different things to different surgeons.

The best route is to ask exactly the technique being used and what is being done with the SMAS layer.  The best facelifts, in my opinion, tighten the muscle but tighten them by using a deep plane technique.  Additional questions should also focus on the length of the "scar'".  Although short sounds great and less "major" it can often leave skin puckering, distortions and may not be in your best interest.

The link below offers more information about facelifts.

I hope this helps.

Timothy R. Miller, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Short scar face lift

Thank you for your inquiry about a face lift, specifically the short scar face lift.

The short scar face lift uses a shorter scar - so surgery is less extensive. 
This approach is good for patients with early facial loosening.
It is not so good for patients with major neck problems.

What is done under the skin determines the result - it may be a SMAS flap, a platysma flap 
or a purse-string suture. Or in some cases, just skin tightening.

So discuss with your plastic surgeon what the exact plan will be - not just where you will have your incision.
Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Short scar facelift

The short scar facelift is generally appropriate in the late 40s to early 50 year age group.
The reason is that as we age the laxity in the neck increases in many patients.
Although the Short scar addresses the midface and jowl it is limited in its ability to address loose platysma muscles and excess skin in the neck.

Darryl J. Hodgkinson, MD
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Short scar lift. How long does it last?

A short scar lift can be as effective as a standard face lift depending on what is done under the skin layer. The short scar is the result of the skin incision which is from the temple area to or slightly behind the earlobes. This operation which is also called an S lift is only possible if the skin excess is mostly under the chin and a vertical lift is necessary to address that skin excess. I would not confuse this with a mini lift because a short scar lift can be as big a surgery as the standard lift with the only difference being the length of the scar. I do this operation in about 20 to 30 percent of my face lifts depending on what the patient needs. Don't go to the surgeon who says he only does a short scar lift because this means he is not individualizing the procedure to the need of the patient.

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Facelift results depend on treatment of underlying muscle and fat, not necessarily the length of the scar

All facelifts are permanent, but one keeps getting older. Many facelift patients wait years before considering another facelift or neck lift. A short-scar facelift , MACS lifts, s lift, or mini lift can be appropriate for many individuals with mild skin sagging. All these facelift terms are essentially very similar. A facelift should address the underlying muscle and fat, including a short-scar facelift. However, a mini lift or short-scar facelift may not be appropriate for all patients. The best facelift plastic surgeons tailor the cosmetic surgery to the anatomy and personal goals of each person. Speak with a facelift plastic surgeon to help determine appropriate options for you.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Is a short scar Facelift long lasting? Does it address the underlying muscles and what areas of the face does it address?

A short scar facelift ( minilift) means different things to different surgeons, has many variations and is called by a multitude of names including: Mini-Lift, MACS lift, Limited Scar Lift, Short Scar Lift as well as a multitude of marketed branded names and trade name lifts. What the variations have in common is a shorter length incision than in a standard or full facelift, which usually avoids a scar behind the ear. The position and length of the incision depends on the extent of the procedure, the patient’s individual anatomy and the surgeon’s preference. Beside the length and placement of the incision, what may vary significantly from surgeon to surgeon is the extent of the lifting of the skin from the underlying tissue and the amount and method of correction of the underlying tissue (the SMAS), which may or may not be sutured.

It is a good technique that I and many plastic surgeons will utilize in the appropriately selected patient with early aging without extensive skin laxity of the jowls or neck or for patients who have had a prior facelift and would benefit from a little freshening. It is not
an option for all or even most patients with greater tissue sagging who would get a better correction with a full facelift. How long it lasts depends on many factors including the extent of the procedure, individual characteristics of aging, and whether there was tightening of the deeper tissue.

What is more important than opting for a particular technique, is choosing an experienced artistic plastic surgeon. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Is a short scar Facelift long lasting? #short Scar facelift #long-lasting

Thank you for your question!! The short scar facelift can be a very confusing term.  It only describes the length of the facelift scar and really does not have anything to do with what's performed under the skin.  It depends on each surgeon's technique with regard to deep tissue manipulation aside from the scar.  Some surgeons perform a skin only facelift technique, others focus on the manipulation of the underlying SMAS tissue.  A short scar facelift can be very effective in the right patient and the deep tissue can be manipulated very extensively.  It too can be quite long lasting.  It primarily affects the jowl region, the cheek region, with some improvement in the neck as well.  This technique can also incorporate an incision under the chin to focus further on the neck bands possibly. 

Joel B. Beck, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 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.