Noticeable scar in front of ear after third Facelift. (photo)

I had two previous facelift procedures done (one in1998, incluiding a coronal brow lift, and a second one in 2002) with the same Dr. Excellent results with no scarring. In april 2014 had a third and deeper one (face SMAS, neck and endoscopic browlift) with different Dr. This time results are not so impressive. Endoscopic eyebrow lift dissapointing compared to coronal. Healing process was long with severe bruising (3 nights in hospital). Concerned about front scar on left ear. What can be done?

Doctor Answers 23

Better scars after facelift

When people have more than one facelift there is less and less skin to remove each time. Even though time moves forward and gravity never stops, the amount of skin is reduced with each operation, leaving little for a revision of your current situation. The good news is that time will improve the look of your scars. I'm not a fan of the location your surgeon(s) used for your scar line. It is placed in front of the ear instead of being hidden behind the little notch that covers the hole (called the tragus). I prefer the scar to be hidden behind the tragus. If you wait long enough one of two things should happen. One, the scar will get less noticeable and not bother you. Or, two, you will have enough softness and laxity to move the scar into a more discrete location. Be patient, it can take a good amount of time. Possibly a year or more. 

I hope this helps!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Noticeable scar in front of ear after third Facelift.

Removing skin should NOT be the primary objective of a facelift.  'Tells' of a facelift include:

1  High or no sideburn due to long scar lift with elevation of sideburn (correction with hair transplant)

2  Pulling earlobe from too much skin resection (see above)

3  Pulling skin backward creating a lateral sweep (Nike sign) (long scar facelift)

4  Missing or pulled tragus (that bump facing backward above your lobe) due to excessive skin removal

4  Too much tension on the closure creating visible and wide scars

5  Improper incision decision (not in the natural lines around your ear that your brain expects to see)

An excellent facelift surgeon will not create any of these 'tells' and can often remove some/all of them with revisional surgery.

Good luck.

Time will improve your scars.

Hello hermle,
Thanks for your question.  With this having been your 3rd facelift, there is very little skin removal available as a technique for scar revision.  The closure would have high tension resulting in a worse scar possibly.  That being said, you are a few months from complete healing of this incision that worries you.  I would recommend local scar management protocols involving massage, use of high level sunscreen, use of IPL (intense pulse light) treatments to reduce redness, and possible fractional laser treatment to reduce the scar burden.  Once the scar has lost it's thickness and color, in time the skin might loosen enough to improve the appearance via scar revision surgery.
With your complexion and light hair color, I would imagine that your scar will lose pigment enough to be easily covered with foundation.  I recommend a product called Dermablend for scar cover-up during the healing phase. They make a great green tinted "redness reduction" onlay cream that really masks the redness and makes it easier to cover up the scar with normal makeup.  They are easy to find online (I don't have any commercial interest in the company - my patient's are big fans of their products.)
Good luck,
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Postoperative healing of scar.

 It is early in your postoperative period.   When the scars are healed at three months than revision to be considered. Some doctors will wait up to six to 12 months before considering wound revision.   At this time I would recommend good wound care with sun block, regular scar massage and follow-ups with your surgeon.   Consider a second opinion with another  surgeon in your area who can examine the wound further.

Poor closure

Thanks for the pictures.  At this point all that can be done is to allow healing.  This is not a technically well executed closure.  You may need a revision of this scar a year from now.

Noticeable Facelift Scar

Proper placement of a facelift incision will insure nearly imperceptible final scar. This is true for the primary as well as for revision facelifts. In your particular case the scar is not placed in optimal location. You could very well need a scar revision or some laser treatment to make the scar less noticeable.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Scar positioning is important

I do not care much for the scar positioning of the last surgery.  But possibly that is where they always were before and time will fade them away.  Give it time.  Use sunscreen on the scars when outdoors.  Possibly at night a preparation such as Kelocote will be useful as a scar dressing.   You will improve with time.  My Best,  Dr C

Visible scar

Its a shame that the scar is so visible. Good scar management will help this - massage, silicone and possible laser therapy. The scars will improve and soften and usually the scar fades. This scar pattern is used in men but rarely women. I am not sure why your surgeon chose this scar? For men the scar does heal and fade and there is no reason why your will not fade with time.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Poor face lift scars

I am sorry you are distressed and your scar has pulled forward.
It will take up to a year for the scars to settle down.
If it still doesn't look good, a scar revision can be done. 
Best wishes.

Facelift Scar

Since this area has been operated on several times you may have healing issues.  Every time an operation is done it cuts off some of the blood supply to you skin.  What I would do is to give it more time to heal.  Some if not all of the redness will disappear and you may be happy.  If not you could always have the scar revised if you have enough laxity in you skin.  You should wait about a year before having another operation.  Good luck

Matthew Kaufman, MD
Red Bank Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.