Face and Neck Lift: Everything You Need to Know About Scars

by Dr. Jason Martin 

April 21, 2020

I know I need a Face and Necklift surgery but I am really concerned about the appearance of the scars.  What should I do?????

  • Discuss where the surgical scars are located and how they differ among the different types of Face and Necklift surgeries
  • Discuss ways that we manage scars after surgery.  

Hands down, a Face and Necklift surgery is one of the most transformative surgeries that we offer in our office.  It takes all the parts that you dislike about the appearance of your face and neck that have changed with age and naturally transforms them in less than 4 hours of surgery.  The list of things it treats is really impressive:

  • Wrinkles, especially along your cheeks and jawline
  • Sagging skin in any location but especially on the lower face and neck 
  • Marionette lines: the vertical lines on your cheek, just to the side of your mouth
  • Deep nasolabial fold: the crease from your the edge of your nose to your mouth
  • Jowling: that hanging fat and skin along your jawline
  • Neck waddle: a pocket of fat/loose skin under your chin
  • Neck banding: vertical bands that run from the base of your neck to under your chin
  • Hallowing of the cheeks 

All this sounds great, right? In less than 4 hours of surgery, you can naturally wipe away decades of changes that occur on your face and neck with aging.  It seems too good to be true and with results like these, why wouldn’t anyone who is concerned about their appearance consider this surgery?  Well, for most of us, the concern is singular: the scar.  It is the one factor that really gives our patient’s pause.  

For most of us, the idea of having scars on your face and neck is a real and understandable concern. But, in the case of a Face and Necklift surgery, is this warranted? Honestly, the answer in almost all cases is: Not Really.  The scars with a Face and Necklift surgery, first and foremost fade very quickly.  In our hands, they are often imperceptible within 4 to 6 months after surgery.  Therefore, to camouflage the scars, you only have to be conscious of your hair or makeup placement for a couple months after surgery.  Second and most importantly, the placement of the scars with a Face and Necklift is very discreet, extremely well hidden and runs along the natural creases of your ear and hairline.  By using your anatomy as a guide, these scars will not be visible long term.  Therefore, you will be able to get back out in the public view quickly, usually less than 10 days after surgery depending on the amount of bruising, without having scars that show.  Of all the surgeries we offer, these are actually some of the easiest scars to hide and in most cases, are the quickest to fade.   

To make you feel more comfortable with your decision,  let’s go through the things you should know about Face and Necklift surgery scars starting first with the location of the scars:

  • Scar placement with these surgeries depends on both the location and type of aging on your face and neck.  It is almost always one of 4 types: mini Facelift, Facelift, mini Necklift and Necklift. It is important to first understand that with any version of a Face and Necklift, the scars are placed in the creases of your ear and in your hairline.  With this placement, these scars are extremely well hidden and are rarely visible after surgery.  For a mini Facelift, the scars are placed in your side burn area and along the front of your ear, in the creases where the ear attaches to your head.  A full Facelift extends the mini Facelift scar to the crease behind your ear.  In other words, it wraps around your ear fully.  A mini Necklift scar places the scar in the crease behind your ear, where it attaches to your head.  This scar is sometimes extended to the hairline behind your ear.  A full Necklift scar includes the lower portion of the min Facelift scar, the full portion of a mini Necklift scar and is extended to the hairline behind your ear. For Facetite and Accutite procedures, the scars are extremely small and barely visible within a few weeks after surgery. 

Many of you are also concerned with the length of the scars.   Here is a description of the scar lengths depending on the type of surgery:

  • The length of your scars will depend on the type of surgery that is needed.  The shortest scars are always found with a mini Face and Necklift.  These are less than 2 inches in most cases.  From there, the scar length will at least double.  The length of these scars with a full Face and Necklift will vary depending on your anatomy and exam.  For those of you with a lot of loose skin, the scar in some cases will be longer than 6 inches.  For Facetite and Accutite procedures, the scars are less than ⅛ of an inch.  

If a Face and Necklift is your only option, what options do you have after surgery to ensure the scar heals the best:

  • When the surgery is successful, you should expect that the scars will slowly fade, especially between 4 to 6 months after surgery.  After one year, the scars will be light, not obvious and difficult to visualize without a bright light.  If scars are slow to fade or are more visible, many treatments and therapies exist to help them along. In our office, we have a comprehensive approach to treating these scars after surgery. This often includes silicone gels and strips, LED light treatment, IPL and laser therapies, deep needling, radio frequency treatments and steroid injections.  By mixing these treatments and therapies, we can ensure that you have the best possible healing of your scars after surgery.  Avoiding things that make scarring worse, like smoking and sun exposure, is also really important to having the best outcome.
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