Facelift Scars Revision in Beverly Hills
Facelift scars are the signature of the plastic surgeon who performs the facelift; therefore, it is important that they are as imperceptible as possible. Too often, the scars are apparent and a tell-tale sign of the previous facelift.
It is shocking to see so many celebrities going around with bad scars. Even on-screen, you can see famous actors and actresses with the marks of a poorly concealed facelift. Of course, that has a lot to do with the pulled “wind blown” look of the outdated horizontal vector technique that produces a very unnatural result.
Scarring that is the result of a prior facelift procedure can be corrected by a revision facelift. What is revision facelift? Simply put, I use a series of techniques to reduce the size and prominence of existing scars.
Types of Scarring
Besides bad facelift techniques, too often, we see bad scarring, which is unjustifiable these days unless the patient’s immune system forms a keloid (a type of raised scar tissue, which is rare). Darker-skinned patients have a higher risk of forming keloids, especially if they have a history of it. Similar scars, like hypertrophic scars, can also occur where excess collagen creates a raised scar with nerves and blood vessels inside.
Bad facelift scars are due to multiple errors in planning and executing the facelift closure. Planning the incisions is very important. Some factors that influence the plan include the shape of the hairline, how much excess skin is removed, whether the patient is male or female, etc. An experienced plastic surgeon can predict the role these factors will play and adjust his technique accordingly.
The one factor that has a major impact on scar formation is the tension placed on the incision at the time of closure. Tension is directly proportional to how wide the scar will be. This creates a dilemma: If you place too much tension on the incisions, you create a “wind swept” look that makes it obvious the patient has had a facelift. If you don’t place sufficient tension on the incision at the time of closure, there is a good chance that the patient will have a recurrence of skin laxity within a few months of the facelift.
If you have invested time and money in having a facelift, you’re not going to be very pleased with a result like that. Your scars will look good, but your face won’t!
Tension is also necessary for other procedures, like volume replacement, to ensure a long-lasting result. That is the reason why I pioneered the Tension-Free Closure. Instead of discarding the excess skin at the end of the facelift procedure, I use part of it as anchor points in two critical areas of the closure—the front and back—this allows the tension to be shifted from along the suture line to those two points. This technique ensures that the scar will heal well without compromising the longevity of the facelift results.
Other Signs of a Poorly Healed Facelift
Another tell-tale sign of having a facelift is the poor positioning of the earlobes and the cartilage of the tragus. Often, the tragal cartilage gets blunted during a facelift and leaves an unnatural look. In addition, the earlobe is often left attached to the skin and pulled down (Pixie Ear), which is a dead give away that you have had a facelift. The simple fix of placing the axis of the ear lobe in a 10-degree posterior position will avoid that pitfall.
These errors often occur because the plastic surgeon is tired at the end of a long operation and sometimes leaves important tasks like that to an assistant.
I perform only one facelift a day, and I never leave any part of the surgery to an assistant—I do everything from the first incision to the last stitch and place particular attention to the placement of each stitch.
Bad facelift scars are often avoidable with careful planning and execution. You don’t have to be a walking advertisement that you have had a facelift!
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for a revision facelift?
If you have scars or are otherwise unsatisfied with the results of your first facelift, a revision facelift can help. Candidates should be non-smokers in good health who are dissatisfied with their appearance and want their scars to be less visible.
How is a facelift scar revision performed?
A revision facelift may be performed using a number of techniques depending on the severity of the scars in question. Some patients may only require topical or injectable treatments to reduce the size and prominence of their scars. Others may need full scar revision surgery to remove the scars entirely. Scar revision surgery uses a surgical incision to fully remove existing scar tissue. This way, the new incisions can be properly closed, resulting in less scar tissue formation compared to the prior surgery.