Does Facelift Surgery Scar?
19 May 2020 onur
Yes, it scars.
Around the time when plastic surgery was born, one of the masters were asked: “What is plastic surgery?” The doyen responded: “It’s an ongoing battle between beauty and scars.”
All plastic surgery procedures require a skin incision.
These incisions always leave a scar.
The trick is to heal scars in the gentlest way possible and hide them most inconspicuously.
Scars from facelift surgery are hidden:
- in the scalp,
- in the natural transition line between the ear and cheek,
- in the inner shadow of the ear cartilage,
- behind the ear,
- in the scalp of your nape,
- just below the lower eyelashes,
- in the mouth.
In facelift surgery, we suture the skin under low tension (see deep plane facelift) using very thin suturing materials and without causing any damage to the tissues. The suturing materials we use may be thinner than your eyelashes.
As a result, there are often subtle scars that do not attract attention at first glance and allow patients to easily tie their hair and socialize.
It takes time for scars to mature after facelift surgery. In the first 3 months, the scars may be rather red and noticeable. It takes about 9 to 12 months for scar quality to reach its maximum. In the meantime, scars may be camouflaged with hairstyle and accessories.
In facelift surgery, the length of the scars varies depending on the size of the facial area that is worked on. We can say that the part in front of the ear is a standard in all facelift surgeries. If the neck is to be surgically addressed, the scar needs to extend from behind the ear to the scalp in the nape area. If the upper cheek and temporal area is to be surgically handled, the scars should extend from inside the sideburn line up along the temporal area. In “limited” surgical approaches that only deal with certain areas of the face, all scars are not needed, and the surgery can be completed with shorter scars. For instance, if the procedure will solely focus on the lower face and neck, there is no need to extend the scars to the temporal area or above the ear. Similarly, if the procedure will solely focus on the cheek and upper face, it may not be necessary to extend the scars behind the ear into the scalp.
In endoscopic facelift surgery, an incision is made only from the bottom of the lower eyelid, the bottom of the eyelashes, the inside of the mouth and in the temporal scalp. That is, no incision is made around the ear. However, endoscopic surgery has no impact on skin laxity and skin sagging. It raises the cheek tissue mass from the inside and does not stretch or replace it.
A vital detail that facelift candidates should know is that a comprehensive and “harmonic” surgical performance is more important than the length of the scar. For instance, lifting the face but leaving the neck aged just because I don’t want a scar behind the ear will lead to a much more obvious aesthetic defect than a scar hidden behind the ear. Similarly, trying to stuff large patches of skin into limited surface areas just to keep the scar short will leave behind skin folds and poor quality scars. If a patient with facial skin laxity and sagging chooses the endoscopic approach to avoid scarring in front of the ear, that will also result in disappointment.
One of the most important factors determining scar quality in facelift surgery is the tension on the suture line. If the facelift sutures are taut, the scars will enlarge. In modern deep plane facelift surgeries, we give tension to the deep tissue layers. That allows us to achieve a tension-free healing of the skin as well as the best possible scars.
Another key point about the scars in facelift surgery is to distinguish between “scars” and “surgical symptoms”. Although the scars from facelift surgery heal very well, the signs of surgery may reveal that you have had surgery. Irregularities in ear shape, earlobe or sideburn line, changes in the direction of skin wrinkles, tension lines coinciding with the direction of facial expressions or facial movements, depressions due to fat gain and folds due to fat loss are just some examples to cite.
As with all other surgical procedures, facelift surgery has some complications. Scars may be worse than expected due to complications such as inflammation at the wound sites, tissue circulation disorders and separating sutures due to subcutaneous bleeding. In that case, you may have to deal with additional surgical procedures to improve scar quality.
Note: Smoking significantly reduces the quality of wound healing***.
Feel free to contact us to get detailed information about facelift surgery scars and to have an idea about how long a scar will be formed in a surgical procedure that can be designed exclusively for you.
Take good care…
… of yourself and your beauty.