I'm a 54-year-old male who could use a facelift. However, I am afraid that the scars in front of the ears will become too obvious. I'm not a smoker and fair skinned. What is a realistic outcome for the scar in front of the ears?
Realistic Result of Scar from Facelift?
Doctor Answers 45
Following surgery, many surgeons, myself included will offer complimentary V-Beam laser treatments to help speed healing and minimize scarring. Most plastic surgeons also make topical silicone gel treatments available to help minimize scarring. Close monitoring following surgery is imperative. If scars start start to thicken, they can be treated with steroid injection. But early treatment is key. You don't want to wait until a scar is a problem before you begin receiving treatment.
Facelift scar can be hidden in the ear canal and almost invisible with good healing
Careful surgical technique by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon should create very well healed scars that are not conspicuos.
There is a specific technique for hiding the visible portion of the facelift scar inside the ear canal which can make the visible portion of the facelift scar almost invisible.
Excellent facelift scar in the hands of a good surgeon
The incision should be placed in little wrinkles in front of the ear for a male. The secret to having minimal to no scarring in the long run is in the technique of the surgery. When a good lift is done the deeper tissues are pulled tightly and skin just comes along with it. This way only the excess skin is excised and the incisions are closed with no tension at all, resulting in very thin lines. When the skin itself is pulled tight and sewn together, the risk of thicker, wider scars is much higher. The placement of the incision is also important so be sure to find someone that does a lot of facelifts and shows you pictures where you can see minimal to no scarring.
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One of the biggest concerns for patients, in particular short haired patients or men, is the appearance of the facial scar. In men, I still perform a retrotragal incision (which is an incision behind the ear), as I find that the scar is much more difficult to see than a straight lined pretragal incision (incision in front of the ear). The keys in a male facelift are concealing the scar, avoiding hair loss, and achieving a robust change to the face and neck.
Seek consultation from a surgeon who has experience with male facelifts.
In the attached video, a male patient with short hair received a full facelift.
Both men and women are concerned about the facelift scar in front of the ear. That is why we place the incision within the ear. This is especially important in men, who rarely style their hair so it covers the ear.
For a male, it is critical to have inconspicuous scars especially in front of the ears. This requires excellent artistry on the part of the surgeon, a proper choice of placing the scar entirely in front o the ear or behind the tragus (the middle portion), absolutely no tension on the skin and with all tension placed on the deper layers of the tissue. Generally the "mini" procedures place more tension on the skin and are not as good for scars as are the proper full facelifts where the tissus are undermined wider and the tension is placed deeper.
Realistic Result of Scar from Male Facelift?
A major factor for men to consider is that the beard line will be raised both in front of and behind the ear changing your shaving pattern. There is also a likelihood of some hair growth on the tragus in front of the ear leading some patients to have electrolysis or laser hair removal (I don't know many though who found it bothersome at all).
Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, Am. Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, CA
Realistic Result of Scar from Facelift
A good facelift should have very hard to see incisions
Facelift scarring in men
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