Because the face is the first area of the body most people tend to notice, my prospective facelift patients in NYC often want to know where their incisions will be placed and how any scars will appear once they’re fully healed. I believe this question can be best answered with a visual aid. In this video, a member of my staff and I work together to illustrate where I typically make incisions during most facelift procedures.
Today’s modern facelift begins with an incision around the sideburn, or hair patch, at the temple. I make this incision as close to the hairline as possible to ensure a discreet look once the incision has healed. From there I follow the hairline to the front of the ear, continuing the incision in the natural skin creases on the edge of the ear. I then transition the incision to the back of the cartilage, again to minimize visibility. I proceed around the bottom and back of the ear and into the rear hairline. This incision may be longer if more skin needs to be excised, or shorter in the case of a mini facelift.
Previously, facelift incisions were made vertically and completely behind the hairline. While many patients were drawn to this option because it nearly eliminated visible scarring, it pulled the skin significantly upward, creating a drastic, and at times unnatural, appearance. It could also result in a bald patch at the incision site, an outcome we’d certainly like to avoid. Today’s approach works with, rather than against, the natural contours of the face.