Facelift Surgery for Men

Can men have successful facelifts? Are they different from the standard facelift that women get? And how do they hide scars since men usually have less (and sometimes no!) hair?

Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers 32

Facelifts for men - Look closely at the hairline and the ears

Facelifts for men require expertise on the part of the surgeon.  Scars can be a concern. If performed improperly, a facelift for a man can feminize the face. Look at many photos before selecting a surgeon.

Many men undergo facial rejuvenation and look great. The reason they look great is because they don't look like they have had surgery. Let's face it, some male celebrities look like they have had surgery. That's not the goal. Many others just look great and never seem to age. Look closely at some of your favorite actors and athletes. These guys are often having small "tweaks" along the way. 

Most men want to look more like they feel. If sagging skin, or hollowed areas are a problem, a plastic surgeon with experience treating men.

There are many big differences in facial plastic surgery for men and women. One of those differences is that men tend to be more private about their surgery, not even sharing with people in their "inner circle"   Look for a plastic surgeon with a sungle story office and OR. Be sure you have a private entrance and will never be stuck in a public elevator during a post-operative visit. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Facelifts in Men

Very simply put, Facelift surgery in men requires a number of considerations that differ from a female Facelift.

A) Psychologic considerations: Dr. Ross Clevens (Melbourne, FL) and I reviewed this topic in the latest edition of Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. Women are conditioned and have a natural affinity to alterations in their appearance, most men do not. Special care must be taken in evaluating motivations and life changes that might prompt a man to have a Facelift.

B) The Procedure: Male Facelifts are much more challenging than Female Facelifts. This week, I performed a Facelift on a man on Wednesday and a woman on Friday; Friday was a breeze and Wednesday was real work. Generally, men have stronger ligamental supports, bigger faces, heavier necks, and more vascular skin. The analogy I use is that a Male Facelift is like drilling through rock, while a Female Facelift is like drilling though sand.

C) Incisional Technique: There are a variety of alterations that must be considered and discussed with men about the location of incisions and presence of hair bearing tissue. First, a discussion is had regarding the thickness of facial hair growth and the true color of the facial hair follicles. Darker hair is much more amenable to hair removal techniques after the procedure. A small area of non hair-bearing skin is preserved at the base of the earlobe to prevent the need for shaving to close to the earlobe itself. Special care must be taken to avoid over-pulling the skin, which would lead to a southward migration of the earlobe. The need to potentially shave further posterior or even behind the ear is also discussed. I agree with Dr. Moelleken regarding the use of the retrotragal incision and removal of hair follicles in the region of the tragus (shield of the ear canal); this is usually a better aesthetic choice in my experience.

D) Perioperative Concerns: Since men have more vascular skin, blood pressure (and anxiety) control are critical to avoiding complications such as postoperative hematoma. Drains are usually utilized and compression dressings are left in place for longer to avoid these problems

E) Result: Men generally do want to look more youthful vis a vis contouring of the jawline and neck; avoiding a feminized appearance with hairline alteration is critical.

F) The Good News: Prolonged bruising is less of a factor for men due to skin thickness and other factors.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Male facelift - special considerations

We prefer even in men to put the incision inside the ear rather than in front of it. We then reduce hair in front of the ear fro below, to prevent hair from growing on the tragus (bump in front of the ear) or behind the ear when the skin is pulled back.

Male facelifts involve "heavy lifting" of heavier tissues than with women. The anchoring techniques are very important to hide incisions inside the ear, around the earlobe, and inside the hairline. No hairline stepoff is permitted, or men's hair patterns will show the incisions. Great skill level and experience are necessary.

Unlike in the past, hairlines are spared and the midface is usually corrected through cheeklifts. This prevents sagging of the skin below the eye while the side of the face is picked up.

Postoperatively, males require closer monitoring for high blood pressure, even if they do not have hypertension. High blood pressure causes bleeding and hematomas. Medicines and aftercare can prevent these to a large extent.

Experience and skill can prevent the "Jack Lemmon or Burt Reynolds" look of the male facelift of the past.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Male Facelifts are on the rise

Male face lifts are different than those performed on women. Due top the bearded skin the incisions must be modified the make sure the side burns do not change position, and so that the bearded skin is not placed into the ear canal causing some difficulty in grooming daily. This is procedure that should be performed by plastic surgeons specializing in face lifting surgery and understand the nuances of the procedure and can make thing look natural. Nothing is more feminizing than a bad face lift on a man. Also, some men undergo direct surgical procedures to simply excise excess skin from the neck, what i like to call a reverse face loift or neck lift. it will not lift the jowls bu gets ride of a "turkey neck" in a more isolated and quick healing procedure.

Andrew Jacono, MD
Great Neck Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 193 reviews

Facelift surgery for men - special considerations

There are several special considerations for a male facelift. One is the potential for repositioning the patient's beard. As deep tissues are lifted and suspended, and excess skin is removed, it is important to be mindful that the beard is also repositioned.

In the neck area, this movement can be behind the ear closer to the postauricular hairline. In the face, it can move the sideburn closer to the ear.
The objective is to minimize this movement. For the sideburn area, I like to place the incision in front of the ear splitting the difference between the back border of the sideburn and the tragal cartilage of the ear.

At the end of the facelift surgery, this incision becomes the new back border of the sideburn, and once healed is typically inconspicuous. If I'm concerned that there is a lot of skin excess and the sideburn will be thinned too much, I may move this incision further towards the ear. In some situations, it is appropriate to shift the skin in a vertical manner, in which case the beard will not move closer to the ear but instead will move up. For incisions behind the ear, I like to keep a small distance from the postauricular fold to minimize beard hair growth directly in the fold which could make shaving more difficult.

Another consideration with male facelifts is that men’s skin is much thicker and robust than women's skin. On one hand this helps men heal faster than women, but on the other hand, male facelift results may not be as dramatic as a female's. Instead male facelifts show as a noticeable "freshening up" in the overall appearance and a more youthful looking face.

Because men heal faster, they tend to become active earlier in the recovery phase. That sometimes is a problem if the patient is too physically active during the first week after surgery. To reduce swelling and speed the return to a normal postoperative appearance, it's important to avoid excess activities for 1 to 2 weeks.

Andrew Coundouriotis, MD
Saint Petersburg Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Successful facelifts in men

YES! Men can have a facelift done successfully. This means reversing aging changes in a natural, inconspicuous way. This is a common part of my practice. The keys to performing this are:

1. Do not feminize the male features

2. Hide incisions as best possible. 

The heavier features of males make facelifting in men somewhat more difficult than in women.  It also means that mini-lifts/MACS lifts (I won't go into the many other names here) are less likely to succeed long-term (in my opinion).  

Good luck to you.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Facelifts for Men

Yes, men can have standard facelifts just like women do but there are several differences. The bearded skin will be pulled and end up in the back of the ear and closer to the front of the ear. Women tend to have longer hair so there's some camouflaging of the incisions. Men tend to bleed more but this will not impact the overall result.
In short, there are some differences between man and women when it comes to facelifting but the overall results will be the same.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Facelifts for men

As the other doctors have said, there are anatomical considerations that differ between men and women and the blood supply to the bearded skin is more robust making the surgery bloodier and bruising more common.  

Primarily, though, it is critical that a man not be feminized by the procedure and have an operated on pulled tight face. Unacceptable! 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Facel lifts for men

Men do get succesful face lifts. Occasionally, they prefer treatment of the neck as an isolated procedure more commonly than women. The incisions are typically placed in front of the ear cartilage rather than behind the ear cartilage. Men tend to have a higher rate of bleeding due to the hair follicles of the facial skin.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

A Skilled Surgeon Can Provide Discrete Yet Effective Facelift Results for Men

A face lift can certainly be performed successfully on male patients, and in my 20 years as a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in facial rejuvenation, I have seen this first-hand with my own patients. However, you are right to think that certain considerations may need to be taken. While nearly all of my patients are focused on their results looking natural, this can be a higher priority for men, because they are often less comfortable than women are with others knowing they have had plastic surgery.

As you mentioned, men also have less hair to cover scars, so it is important that you look for a surgeon who is skilled at minimizing scars in the first place. For instance, in addition to being very cautious about how I make and close incisions, I also place scarring within the natural creases of the face as much as possible, and I provide my patients with detailed instructions about how to care for their healing incisions, as this is also a crucial part of keeping scars to a minimum.

The best way to find out whether a particular surgeon can produce the results you want is to look through their before and after photos. Specifically, try to find male patients who began with a similar degree of aging to your own. Keep in mind that particularly with facial procedures, most surgeons will have far more before and after pictures available in their office during your consultation than they do online due to patients’ privacy concerns, so be sure to schedule a consultation in order to see all the photos they have to offer.

John L. LeRoy, MD, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.