My facelift incisions go 2 inches down my jaw line; is that normal?

The morning of my surgery right before I went into the surgical room my doctor decided he wasn't going to make the incision under my chin for the banding in my neck. I was half out of it and scared to death so I said do what ever you think is right. I woke up with incisions not just going around my ears like I thought but going 2 inches passed my ears down my jaw line. Why did he cut me so far down my face? I have bad scaring from necrosis on one side and stressed circulation on both sides.

Doctor Answers 17

Facelift incision placement

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If your description is indeed accurate and the facelift incisions extend below your ear onto your neck, this is not my typical incision placement. Perhaps if the doctor was trying to relocate an incision from a previous surgery this might be utilized. I would caution you that neither I nor any other doctor in this forum knows your specific set of circumstances or anatomy and therefore no absolute assessment or judgement can possibly be made about the appropriateness of the incision placement you had. I would strongly urge you to discuss this with your surgeon and if you are not satisfied with the answers you are within your rights to seek another opinion. 

Hope that helps and best wishes, 

Dr. Donath 

Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Facelift Incisions

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The incisions you describe are unusual, but have been used in the past to gain more movement of the neck skin. Even if there is a history of others using such an approach, it most likely would not take care of the anterior bands you were concerned with. The submental approach is usually the best way to take care of that problem. Communication with your surgeon is important both before and after an operation. You should explore this with him/her to better understand what was being planned.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Incisions 2 inches down the jawline

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in facelifts are unheard of... but it could simply be your description not being accurate with how surgeon's think and visualize things.  So a photo of your concerns would be needed to truly comment on whether your surgeon went outside the box or not.  I'm sorry to hear of your complications and hope you recovered adequately to where the scarring is not going to be an issue for you.  Ideally, your surgeon should be bending over backwards to help you through this and if you have enough doubt with your relationship, getting a second opinion from another plastic surgeon would be most helpful.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #facelifttypes

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Dear leaangeline

Thank you for your question!  I am sorry that you are concerned with the incision and results.  Your description is unusual and perhaps a review with your surgeon will help clarify the operative plan and results.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 126 reviews


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The incision that you describe is highly unusual and the reason for it is difficult to comprehend.  Of course, a photo would help tremendously, but a visit to an experienced facelift surgeon for a second opinion should definitely be in your plans!

R. Scott Yarish, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Facelift incision

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It is difficult to assess based on your description.  If you could put up a picture, it may be easier to see what you are describing.

Sunny Park, MD, MPH
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Location of Facelift incisions

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Hello.  Thank you for your question.  I'm very sorry to hear that you are having concerns related to your procedure.  It is really impossible to make any assessment of your concerns without pictures.  However, the description that you have provided does not sound typical for facelift incisions.  Typically, facelift incisions are hidden in the natural creases around the ears and in the edge of the hairline, and should be well camouflaged.  They should not be 2 inches away from the ear.  You described some skin necrosis in your postoperative period, which can cause some scarring away from where the incisions were made.  I would strongly encourage you to discuss your concerns with your primary surgeon.  Only he/she knows the thought process that was used in planning the incisions.  Please provide some photos if you want additional opinions from the Realself community of physicians.  I wish you the best in your recovery.

Michael Boggess, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Facelift and the Location of the Incisions

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Thank you for your question about recovery from facelift.

It is not possible to give you meaningful information without pictures.

For specific questions like this and about your recovery in general, it is best to speak with your doctor or doctor’s representative – such as his or her nurse, or the physician on call for the practice.

You will likely get many different opinions from members of the RealSelf Community, but they have not physically seen or examined you, and nobody knows you or the circumstances better than your doctor.

If you feel you are not being listened to or you are doubting your doctor’s recommendations, then it is certainly within your rights to seek a second and get the advice from another board certified physician. This should be done through an in-person consultation.

Obviously, if you think that you are having a medical emergency or other serious problem, you should call 911 and/or go to your nearest emergency room.

Best Wishes.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews


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Thank you for your question. Please provide us with pictures to determine the extent of your scarring. Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Placement of facelift incisions

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Pls post pictures of the incision placement to get a better idea of exactly what was done. This will help us determine how well you can expect to heal and what to do if there is a concern of scarring. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 104 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.