Sutures and scars
This is an area where less is most definitely more! The good news is that any scars associated with an Advanced Mini Facelift resolve well and over time become virtually undetectable, even on close inspection.
Where are the incisions made for a face lift?
The incisions are made in the hairline of the temple and then extend just in front of the ear, then turn to run behind the earlobe to end about 2 cm out of sight behind the ear. Placing the incisions in the hairline means that when the hairs regrow they will tend to hide the scar. It is not necessary to shave any hair from the temple in order to do this.
What sort of stitches will be used?
We use fine synthetic stitches that need to be removed within 10 – 14 days of surgery. They are coloured blue and so will be noticeable – nothing that a cleverly chosen hat or headband can't conceal, though!
How should I care for the wounds?
You will need to keep the wounds scrupulously clean in the early days after your operation and use the antiseptic ointment we will give you before you go home until it is used up. You should always handle the wounds with respect and avoid any vigorous rubbing with a towel etc. It is fine to wash your hair, but do not let the wounds soak in water for any length of time.
Is there anything I can do to help face lift scars resolve?
Once the stitches are removed and the scar tissue is formed, gentle massage may be of value (some people find Bio Oil useful here). Other than that you will simply need to be patient and let nature do its work. There is evidence that repeated use of the Dermaroller over the newly formed scars aids in their resolution.
How will I know if a wound has become infected?
You should let me know immediately if a wound should become hot, tender or start to discharge pus. You may feel unwell in yourself, although this is unusual. Even minor wound infections are uncommon after a face lift, but respond rapidly to a short course of antibiotics.
When will the stitches be removed?
The stitches are removed 10 - 14 days after surgery, although sometimes some are removed 4 - 7 days after surgery.
Do I need to come back to Bristol to have the stitches removed?
No, but we do like to see you in the period following surgery to make sure everything is going well.
How long will the facelift scars take to heal?
Facelift scars are typically virtually unnoticeable about 8 weeks after surgery. Full resolution of scars takes up to one year.
What will the scars look like?
This can be seen in the following set of photographs. Initially the wound will be red, settling over a few weeks to a pink colour and after about a year it will become flat and white and virtually unnoticeable.
Face Lift Scar – 5 Days
Face Lift Scar – 10 days
Face Lift Scar – 6 Weeks
What happens if the scars don't heal properly? Can anything be done?
It is important to understand that when the excess skin is removed after any type of surgical facelift, there is the potential for some 'puckering' of the scar. The incision is designed so that, should this occur, it lies behind the ear, not in front of it. Occasionally, this fails to settle and the scar behind the ear needs to be revised (usually about a year after the original surgery). This is a minor procedure carried out under local anaesthetic – in essence, any puckered scar tissue is excised and the wound resutured. If scar revision is necessary, the cost is included in the original price you pay.
I have a tendency to keloid scar formation? Can I still have a facelift?
Obviously this may potentially present difficulties. It is best discussed on a case by case basis with our surgeon at consultation.
What about neck lift scars?
Some people are surprised at how long neck lift scars need to be in order to allow the surgeon access – perhaps two or three inches. On the whole they settle well and in any case they are placed in a natural skin crease below the chin – not a place that is normally on full display! However, we do occasionally see problematic scars that need revision in the same manner as face lift scars.
What about blepharoplasty scars?
Scars on the eyelids typically heal very well. As they are placed in natural skin creases they tend to be almost completely unnoticeable very soon after surgery.