Will Facelift Surgery Result in Scars?

Facelifts are one of the most effective anti-aging procedures we have available to us today. It is also one of the most misunderstood. That might be because facelifts have grown more advanced over the years, but society hasn’t caught up just yet. Cosmetic surgery is still a controversial topic in the public eye, and a lot of common assumptions regarding facelifts just aren’t true anymore.

One outdated assumption regarding facelifts is that they can result in noticeable scarring. The truth is that scars are likely to occur after any surgery, whether it’s conducted on the face or anywhere else on the body. Fortunately, advancements in the medical field allow them to be less noticeable than the facelift scars of decades past. Because of this, modern facelifts can produce very natural results, and the surgery is now more popular and safer than ever.

What to Expect from a Facelift

Facelifts are one of the only ways to permanently correct loose, sagging skin and reverse the aging process. Because it’s major surgery, patients will be placed under anesthesia and instructed to follow special pre-operative procedures, such as fasting the day before surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon will place incisions around the face, remove excess skin, sculpt or remove fat, lift sagging muscles, and more, depending on the individual patient. After surgery, the patient will be sent home to recover and instructed to follow an individualized aftercare plan.

Facelifts and Scarring

Facelifts are conducted using a series of incisions. After the surgery has concluded, the incisions will be closed with sutures or adhesives. Eventually, a scar will form as the incisions heal. Fortunately, modern surgeons are well educated on techniques that minimize a scar’s visibility, the most important of which is the location of the incision.

Proper Incision Placement

Today, plastic surgeons will make their incisions in places that will camouflage or hide the resulting scar.

A facelift in NYC might include incisions in one or more of the following areas:

● Hairline
● In front of the ear
● Behind the ear
● Under the chin
● Behind the tragus ear cartilage

Incisions placed in these areas keep the scars “hidden” and away from the main focal points of a person’s face. The end goal is to have no visible scars when the patient is viewed head-on from the front.

Proper Aftercare

Another way to minimize scar visibility is to follow proper aftercare practices. This ensures that the incisions can heal under the right conditions. Every facelift procedure will be different depending on the patient’s needs, so not all patients will have the same aftercare instructions.

Generally, facelift patients will be advised to do some or all of the following during their recovery:

● Quit or refrain from smoking until the recovery process is complete
● Sleep with head elevated
● Take medications as instructed
● Follow incision-care directions (applying ointment, cleaning, etc.)
● Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting
● Make and keep follow-up appointments

Will the Scar be Noticeable?

Most facelift scars aren’t noticeable once the healing process is complete. It can take a few months for someone to fully recover from a facelift. Once they’ve reached that point, their scars should be much thinner and closer to their natural skin color. This can make the scar almost invisible, especially if the incisions are placed in the right areas.

Results can vary depending on the person receiving the facelift. Generally, darker skin tones produce darker scars, and older patients might not heal as quickly as younger patients. Everybody recovers differently, which is why it’s important to have the procedure performed by a skilled surgeon with experience working on all types of patients.

How Scars Change

Once fully healed, a scar can continue to change over time. Early on in the healing process, scars may appear dark, angry, or raised, which should fade over time. Near the end of the healing process, scars will be thinner, flatter, and fainter.

Certain variables can either speed up or interfere with the healing process, which directly affects a scar’s appearance. Sun exposure can darken a scar that’s still healing, so it’s best to avoid direct sunlight and use sun protection during this process. Some topical creams can also soften the appearance of scars. Finally, massaging the area around the scar can help stimulate collagen production to help the skin heal itself. Facelift patients should consult their doctors before embarking on any at-home scar care.

Consult an Expert

There are a lot of tips you can employ in your battle against post-surgery scarring, but proper scar management begins before surgery. Finding the right doctor is paramount to having a successful facelift experience. Dr. Andrew Jacono is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and an award-winning authority on facial surgery scars. If you’re interested in starting your facelift journey, please contact Dr. Jacono to book your consultation.

Thanks to Lee Lija

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