Mini-Lift Incisions Preventing from Pulling Hair Back

My surgeon said I'd be able to wear my hair pulled back after my mini lift, as the sutures would wrap in and around my ears. Post surgery, I've found that the sutures also extend back from behind my ears into the hairline about 2.5 inches. I'm upset. Is this typical, to find that incisions were made beyond what was specifically described pre-surgery?

Doctor Answers 8

Mini lift scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The length of the incisional scar for a mini lift can varry from patient to patient and from dr todr.. I have been doing mini lifts for 30 years and the length of the incision depends on the amount of lift obtained. The better the lift the longer the incision in order to smoth out the final scar. The more extensive lifts do require longer scars but, I find that the end result is quite good.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Mini lift incisions can vary depending on what needs to be done during the procedure.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

During the mini facelift, there are variables that can come up that the doc has to take into account such as if there is too much loose skin or the amt of puckering depending on the angle that the skin needs to be pulled, etc...  Scars fade with time so be patient and enjoy the lift results.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD 

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Mini Lift Incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are many mini lift incisions and the incisions are modified based on the surgeon's preference and the goals expressed by patients prior to surgery. The incisions wrap around the ears and often extend into the scalp or along the hair line either in front of the ear, or behind the ear. Longer incisions are required to allow access for more of a lift. Generally, once healing has occurred the hair can be pulled back. Communication with your surgeon asking specifically about the incision prior to surgery with diagrams or mirrors can help in the future to avoid incision suprises and disappointments.

Temp Patterson, MD
Burley Facial Plastic Surgeon

The better the pull the longer the incision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

With mini lift surgery the incisions are generally smaller than with the classical face lift procedure. If a significant lifting of the face was achieved then often a fair amount of excess skin needs to be removed. In order to remove and re-drape this skin the incision must be lengthened as needed.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Were are the incisions in a typical mini face lift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 Ah, that's the million dollar question.  I have performed face lifts for over 20 years and there are more versions of a mini face lift today than ever before.  All sorts of names, incisions, suspension, plication, no skin's enough to make your head spin.

 I currently use what I call a minimal incision face lift that has incisions around the front, of the ear, around the ear lobes into the crease behind the ear for about 1 inch.  No incisions inside the hair either front or back.  I do however use an incision under the chin frequently to remove excess neck skin as well as shape the cheeks with fillers like perlane/radiesse or cheek implants.

 Every plastic and cosmetic surgeon does things differently, so you'd have to ask your surgeon why he uses the incisions he prefers.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mini lift incision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The incision you are describing sounds like a typical facelift incision and not a short scar incision involved in most mini-lifts. With either procedure you should be able to pull your hair back and the incision should not be conspicuous to the normal eye. However you should be told where the incision is to be placed. In my practice I have my patients look at other patients who have recently undergone the same procedure so that there is a full understanding of the incision placement. I also use a digital Imaging computer and show the proposed results and incisions during the consulting and preoperative appointments. Generally when the incision is lengthened it is due to the face that the patient is not a candidate for a mini lift and needs a traditional facelift in order to properly address problems with sagging skin in the neck area. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Length of Mini-Lift Incisions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The amount of incision performed behind the ears is variable depending on the operating surgeon.  Some incision types such as a “S-lift” there are limited or no incisions beyond the postauricular crease.  However it is more common to have incisions extend beyond the postauricular crease into the hairline or along the hairline.  The distance traveled can be anywhere from a few centimeters to several inches.  Overall there is a tendency for minimal inhibition for putting one’s hair in a ponytail many weeks after the surgery as the wounds tend to blend in and heal nicely.  Essentially understanding exactly what type of procedure and incision to be performed is essential in the preoperative consultation.  But it is common to have incisions going backwards from the postauricular crease.  

David Q. Santos, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This sounds more like a standard facelift incision. It may be more skin required removal to achieve better results. This is something to discuss with your surgeon.

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.