How Visible Are the Scars in an Eyelid-access Midface Lift?

my docs wants to perform a midface lift by going in through my eye. I guess that means an incision and a visible scar. so how noticable is the eyelid scar for a midface lift where the eye is the access point? Will my boyfriend be able to notice it when we a close? I never wear makeup. Also how long is it before one can look presentable? Is two weeks off from work enough time to recover? thanks.

Doctor Answers 8

I would be very careful about this.

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There are several ways to gain assess through the lower eyelid to perform a midface lift.  However the majority of these surgeries are what is called infracillary meaning they are performed through a skin incision just below the lower eyelid lashes.  To lift the midface through this type of incision, the surgeon cuts through the muscle just under the skin and dissects under the lower eyelid muscle the orbicularis oculi.  Unfortunately, the motor nerves that move the lower eyelid muscle travel in this plane and are routinely damaged by this type of procedure.  This means that the lower eyelid will not move properly after surgery and also the loss of motor tone also causes muscle atrophy.  These nerves do no regrow.  In addition, the infracillary incision will leave a visible red scar and might even damage how the lower eyelid margin rests against the eye.  Other midface surgeries only involve a small cut at the outer corner of the eyelids.  The remainder of the incision is performed behind the eyelid.  The surgical plane is behind these muscles and is not associated with damage to the lower eyelid muscles.

What should you do?  Well you should be aware that in most cases these types of surgeries are not needed.  Instead, much of your correction for which you need a midface lift can be done without surgery using lower eyelid fillers.  Stay away from this type of surgery unless you have been previously damaged surgical and this is being performed to repair prior damage. 

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lower eyelid incisions

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The lower eyelid heals very well after surgery and should really not be a problem in the vast majority of patients.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Eyelid Skin Incision for Midface Liftt

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The lower eyelid incision will be barely visible. Even when I show patients the scar left after my own lower lid surgery, they have difficulty finding it  (I never wear make-up either). Two weeks is long enough before returning to work.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Midface Lift via Eyelid Incision

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The midface and cheek can be lifted and improved via a lower eyelid approach for access. The eyelid incision may be either on the outside (subciliary), just beneath the eyelashes, or on the inside (transconjunctival), pink of the lid. The exact approach to the cheek area is specific to each patient's unique anatomy, personal goals, and other combined procedures. For lower eyelid approach, most eyelid plastic surgeons will use the external or subciliary approach. This incision heals well and normally imperceptible. Most healing occurs within a couple weeks, but continues to improve over time. Speak to your plastic surgeon regarding cosmetic eyelid surgery procedures and recovery.


Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Scar from Mid-face Lift

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The scar for a mid-face lift is the same as that used for an external incision lower blepharoplasty. This scar stays slightly red for a month or two and then disappears. The central part is just under the lash line where it is inconspicuous. The extension is in a normal laugh line and also difficult to find. Make sure, however, that the surgeon doing this has significant experience in this type of procedure. Those who do rarely have any problems.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Scars under the eyelid after a cheeklift.

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These should be not noticeable at all. A fine line below the lashes. In 35 years of making this incision I have never had to revise a scar in this location. Choose an experienced surgeon and you should have no problem.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Midface lift through the eye?

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Certainly, your surgeon does not want to cut through your eye.  you misunderstand him (her).  He either wants to make an incision beneath the lower eyelashes to access the midface, OR he will make an incision INSIDE the lower eyelid and access the midface this way with no external incision.  With either approach, I think the incision will heal beautifully and no one will be able to see it once you are healed.  Good luck! 

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Eyelid scar

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It depends on if the scar is on the outside skin or on the inside of the lid. The scar in the conjunctiva or inside of the lid is invisible while the scar beneath the eyelashes onthe outside is usually imperceptible but present. Other things such as step-off, ectropion, or contracture cn occur that with make the eyelid surgery approach noticable. They are rare but discuss them with your surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic 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.