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.
Where are facelift incisions?
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. You can learn more about the procedure from The Aesthetic Society.
These incisions help ensure that the resulting scar is nearly imperceptible. You can see how well a facelift can transform a person’s appearance by looking at my facelift patients’ before-and-after photos.
Is this different from the vertical facelift incisions I’ve heard about?
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.
Are there other, different types of facelifts?
There are a variety of facelift techniques, including a mini facelift for men and women who are just beginning to see jowling and loss of definition of the jawline. A mini facelift isn’t suitable for many of my facelift patients who have considerable skin laxity, sagging, and wrinkling throughout the lower face. A mini facelift is an excellent option, though, for men and women in their 30s and 40s who still have good skin elasticity. You can learn my response to the question, “Is a mini facelift worth it?” in a related blog post.