Question of the week: facelift scars

Where are facelift scars located, and can they be positioned so that they are invisible to the eye? - patient Dr Sharp: I customise each facelift procedure to the individual patient’s anatomy and their age, degree of skin laxity and hair line. Most standard facelifts usually involve an incision inside the hairline adjacent to the temple, down the earlobe and around the back of the ear, tracking along the hairline down to the nape of the neck (as shown below by the dotted line). Sometimes the incision is shorter, especially in my shorter-scar Sharp Lift procedure, more common among people in their late 30’s and 40’s who want to redefine their jawline and remove early jowls. Wherever possible, incisions are placed within the hair or along the hairline, although this can be dependent upon the thickness of the hair, the position of the hairline (some people have receding hairlines, while others sit forward on the face) and how much skin is removed. How you scar is largely dependent upon your body’s natural predispositions; your ethnicity and genetics play a role in scar colour and texture. Due to neck movement and the pressure on incisions when lying down or turning your head, sometimes the scars behind the ears and along the hairline of the neck can be thicker and wider for the first 24 months, but once you reach the 2 year mark post operatively, most patients find their scars no longer look or feel prominent. We understand that scars are one of the most common aspects of facelift surgery that deter people from undergoing the procedure. It’s one of the first...

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge 2017 Highlights

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge Aesthetic Surgery Symposium has been running for 37 years and brings together some of the world’s leading aesthetic plastic surgeons. This year, Dr Sharp and practice director Liz Washington joined hundreds of plastic surgeons and their clinic teams to learn more about the innovative techniques for facial and body rejuvenation. The program featured 94 instructive surgical videos, 26 presentations, 13 expert panels and 8 debates. Dr Sharp loves being abreast of the latest advancements in plastic and cosmetic surgery, and these forums provide a valuable opportunity to hear about the techniques, trials, anecdotal experiences and standards from across the world. The overall message from the symposium was: aesthetic surgery has changed, and the over-stretched, over-enhanced, over-done look is a thing of the past. Progressive surgeons are working together to develop new techniques to approach cosmetic surgery to achieve a more balanced, proportionate and natural look than ever before. We thought some of our patients may be curious to hear more about the ideas discussed, so in these videos, Liz briefly covers some of the symposium topics that often arise in our discussions with patients. Fat grafting Fat grafting has been used for reconstructive purposes for many decades, but its use for rejuvenation and enhancement is still a relatively new concept, and something that surgeons are still experimenting with to perfect and hone the right technique for different areas of the body. We saw some exciting results from the panel, and of particular interest was ‘micro’ and ‘nano’ fat grafting for facial rejuvenation, which is providing not just volume replacement, but also dermal rejuvenation. The faculty also addressed the...

What’s the difference between a neck lift and lower facelift?

One of the most common facial surgery questions we receive is “how do I know whether I need a neck lift - or a lower facelift?” Online forums and surgery websites provide conflicting information and terminology for these procedures; what they entail, and what they address for the ageing face - causing greater confusion. What is colloquially known as a ‘neck lift’ may not technically refer to the surgical procedure that this title traditionally entailed. The face and neck age together and for the most part a neck lift should include elevation of the lower face. Conversely a lower facelift should includes tightening of the neck. In modern times where facelift and neck lift surgery aims to be less invasive, the operation has been discussed as one of the same. The one exception is an isolated platysmaplasty which can tighten the mid line neck without having any effect on the face. When performed on its own it is used to improve a sagging neck in a young patient who has no other signs of facial ageing. What does a neck lift address? A neck lift - or lower rhytidectomy - aims to improve the signs of ageing in the neck and lower jawline area, including: Loose neck skin or ‘turkey wattle’ Excess skin in the lower face and jowls Excess fatty deposits under the chin Visible muscle bands running down the neck, which created abnormal contours Horizontal lines running across the neck Depending on your desired result, your neck lift surgery can be performed through a traditional complete neck lift incision, or a limited-incision neck lift. A limited-incision neck lift may involve...