Classic Facelift vs. Short Scar Facelift

Each face is unique and everyone ages differently. A facelift technique that is right for one person may not be appropriate for another. Facelift techniques have evolved over the years to address the differing signs of aging from individual to individual.

Patients with more advanced laxity of the face and neck will benefit from a full facelift.  Patients who are looking to address mild or moderate skin laxity in the mid and lower face may want to consider a short scar facelift.

In the past a classic full facelift pulled the skin tightly in a backward direction, resulting in a windswept look that was unacceptable to many patients

To improve the aesthetic outcome the classic facelift was modified so that the skin is tightened in a more upward and oblique fashion.  This new approach led to the concept of a shorter scar procedure, which eliminates scarring behind the ear.  This is referred to as the short scar facelift and is an appropriate choice for individuals who have less advanced signs of aging.

It is important to understand the importance of the incisions.  These allow the plastic surgeon to gain access to the surgical field in order to reposition the facial tissues and remove excess skin.  The incision must be long enough for the plastic surgeon to accomplish these objectives.

In a classic facelift, the incision starts above the ear, continues in front of the ear, then around the earlobe, and behind the ear before continuing into the hair behind the ear.  In a short scar procedure, the incision is similar to that of the full facelift, except that it ends at the earlobe – there are no scars behind the ear. Sutures are used to tighten the ‘muscle’ layer under the skin. These provide deep support to the facelift and lift the jowl and other tissues to more youthful positions.

A facelift is a delicate operation involving the redraping of the skin, realigning facial tissue and muscle, and working around the nerves of the face.  Choose your plastic surgeon with care.  For the best results always look for a surgeon with a certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  Dr. Pugash is a member of the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.