Can A Facelift Be Done Without Visible Scars?

Q: Dr. Eppley, can one have a facelift without any visible scars in front of the ear? I have darker skin and like to wear my hair back. I am worried that someone may be able to see the scars running down in front of my ears. I need a mini-facelift but many results I have seen show the scar in front of the ear. I like to pull my hair back & up!

A: It depends on how you define a scar in front of the ear. All effective facelifts require some type of incision in front of the ear. Most plastic surgeons place this incision behind the tragus of the front part of the ear so that final healed scar is virtually undetectable. A few others, particularly those trained only a mini-facelift technique, still place the incision in front of the tragus so the scar can be potentially detected no matter how well healed it becomes. Why they do this is unclear to me other than it is simpler and makes the operation faster. It clearly does not lend itself to a better scar result. So all facelifts create incisions on the front part of the ear but where they are placed determines whether it is ‘scarless’ or not.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana