Scars from a lower facelift can be in various places since there are a lot of different ways to perform a facelift with different locations for incisions. It’s important to have a consultation with your surgeon, where you discuss how the doctor performs the procedure and where they place their incisions. Here’s a quick guide.
In general, the incision is in front of the ear. If you’re a guy, the incision can go straight up from the front of the ear to the temple region because it will just move the beard up and into the hairline which works great. However, if you’re a woman and the incision goes straight right up from in front of the ear to the temple region, we would be moving the little hair tuft in front of the ear, which can look weird. We want to avoid that and instead place the incision below the hair tuft which hides the scar in the hair.
From there, go along the little cartilage that protrudes into the ear, but on the inside edge facing the ear canal. We then continue down, hiding the incision in the crease between the earlobe and the cheek, then around the back of the ear and up into the bottom of the hairline at the back of the head.
Some surgeons will place that incision at the hairline. Depending on how this is closed, you may or may not be able to see that incision. I choose to go into the hairline, that way you can wear your hair up in a ponytail without seeing the scar.
For this reason, ask to see pictures of incisions from your surgeon’s prior facelift surgeries because they can heal differently depending on how the incision is closed. The surgeon’s technique, the sutures used, and each individual patient’s healing, all contribute to the invisibility of the scars.
Can you see facelifts scars?
Ideally, you do not see facelift scars. They are hidden in the ear, in the hair, around the ear, even under the chin. The idea is to allow patients to be able to wear their hair any way they want without thinking about scars.
We have all seen the bad facelift scars that come down below the ear and you know something has happened there. That is not the way that it should look. It should heal to where no one can tell you’ve had surgery.
How do you hide a facelift scar?
To hide a facelift sar, the placement of the incision is number one followed by the method of closing it. I choose to place my incision in the hair tuft in front of the ear, so it’s hidden by the hair. By creating the incision there the hair will grow back through the incision which hides the scar. I also hide the incision around the ear, in the ear canal, up onto the back of the ear and in the hair. Basically, t’s all hidden in the hair and ear in some way.
I also place a small incision under the chin. Since no one really sees you from this angle, and since there are many people who may have a little scar there from bumping their chin as a child, even if someone does happen to look under your chin, it looks like a childhood scar.
I also use very tiny sutures and align the skin perfectly so it will fade over time and you won’t see that fine line.
How long does it take to recover from a lower facelift?
In general, recovery from a lower facelift takes about two weeks. We have you wear a dressing for that first night, then a different dressing for the second night. For the following two weeks, we have you wearing a little headband. If you need to take this off for an hour for a meeting here or there, it’s not a big deal, but you want to keep it on as much as possible to keep that skin up and tight the way we want it to be.
There’s always a little bit of bruising and swelling which is typically resolved, or almost resolved, by that two week mark. After two weeks you can go back to work and social functions. Other people won’t be able to tell that you’ve had anything done, but you will notice changes in your face for about a month.
If you have something big like a wedding or you’re going to see some family members that are very nosy and look at you closely, you might want to give it four weeks, just to be safe.
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About Dr. Angela Sturm
Dr. Angela Sturm is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon with certifications with the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Sturm’s meticulous nature makes for exceptional results and satisfied patients. Dr. Sturm was named Texas Monthly’s Super Doctors Rising Star in 2016-2017, Texas Monthly’s Super Doctor in 2018-2019, H Texas Magazine’s Top Doc in 2013-2018, Top Doc by Houstonia magazine in 2016-2018, Houston Business Journal’s People on the Move and 40 under 40, Blazing Star Award by Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Top Women in Business, one of the Top 30 Influential Women of Houston, Best Female Cosmetic Surgeon in Out Smart, and given the Patients’ Choice Award, On Time Doctor Award and Compassionate Doctor Award by Vitals.com.