Facelift Incisions

Facelift Incisions: What You Need to Know

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the visible signs of aging in the face and neck. One of the critical aspects of this procedure is the placement of incisions, which significantly impacts the final outcome and recovery process. Understanding the various types of facelift incisions can help patients make informed decisions and set realistic expectations for their surgery.



Types of Facelift Incisions

Traditional Facelift Incision
The traditional facelift incision begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear, and ends in the lower scalp. This incision allows the surgeon to access deeper facial tissues and muscles, enabling more significant lifting and repositioning. It’s ideal for patients with moderate to severe aging signs, such as deep wrinkles and significant skin laxity. The resulting scars are typically well-concealed within the hairline and natural creases of the skin.


Limited Incision Facelift
Also known as a mini-facelift, this procedure involves shorter incisions made at the temples, around the ears, and sometimes within the lower eyelids or under the upper lip. This approach is suitable for patients with less extensive aging signs, focusing on improving the appearance of the mid-face, jowls, and neck. The limited incision facelift offers a shorter recovery time and less noticeable scarring.


Neck Lift Incision
For patients primarily concerned with aging signs in the neck, a neck lift can be performed independently or in conjunction with a facelift. The incisions for a neck lift often start in front of the ear lobe and wrap around behind the ear, ending in the posterior hairline. An additional small incision may be made under the chin to address muscle banding and excess fat. This technique effectively targets sagging skin, fat accumulation, and muscle laxity in the neck area.



Factors Influencing Incision Placement

The choice of incision placement during a facelift depends on several factors, including:

  • Degree of Aging: Patients with more pronounced aging signs typically require longer incisions to achieve optimal results.
  • Skin Type and Elasticity: The quality of a patient’s skin influences how well it will heal and the extent of scarring.
  • Anatomy: Each patient’s unique facial structure and anatomy will dictate the most appropriate incision sites.
  • Desired Outcomes: The patient’s aesthetic goals and expectations play a crucial role in determining the incision approach.

Recovery and Scar Management

Post-operative care is essential for optimal healing and minimizing scarring. Here are some tips for recovery and scar management:

  • Follow Post-Operative Instructions: Adhering to your surgeon’s guidelines on wound care, activity restrictions, and medication use is vital for a smooth recovery.
  • Protect Your Incisions: Keeping incisions clean and protected from the sun can prevent infection and reduce the risk of noticeable scarring.
  • Use Scar Treatments: Topical treatments, such as silicone sheets or gels, can help improve the appearance of scars over time.
  • Be Patient: Healing is a gradual process, and scars will continue to fade and improve for up to a year post-surgery.


Facelift incisions are a critical component of the surgical process, directly impacting the procedure’s results and the patient’s recovery experience. By understanding the different types of incisions and the factors influencing their placement, patients can engage in informed discussions with their surgeons and achieve the best possible outcomes. As with any surgical procedure, choosing an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon is essential for a safe and successful facelift.

Facelift Incisions Videos

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