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Are Facelift Scars Visible After The Incisions Have Healed?

By: Austin-Weston


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With the ever-present and growing pressure in society to maintain a youthful look, more and more men and women are turning to cosmetic surgery. Without a doubt, the facelift is one of the most sought-after procedures in Northern Virginia year after year – and with good reason! When performed properly by a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, a facelift can help patients appear up to ten years younger and achieve a striking, though natural, new look. The exceptional team of plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, VA are nationally recognized for their innovative facelift techniques and consistently gorgeous results.

As with any surgery, and particularly cosmetic procedures, patients are often curious about what kind of scarring they will end up with. This can be especially concerning when it comes to having a procedure on your face. The talented surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery fully understand these fears and take extreme care to ensure that facelift patients achieve the best results with the least amount of visible scarring possible in each and every case. Read on to learn more about what you can expect during your facelift surgery and recovery, including how your scars may, ultimately, look.

How can a facelift help me?

A facelift, formally known as a rhytidectomy, is a complex surgical procedure that is designed to rejuvenate a patient’s face and give them a youthful, firm, and natural appearance. Unlike nonsurgical treatments, topical agents, and injectables, a surgical facelift can effectively address and correct even the most advanced signs of aging with longer-lasting results. Some of the most common complaints that lead men and women to pursue a facelift in Northern Virginia include:

  • Deep lines and wrinkles
  • Deep facial folds
  • Drooping brow
  • Puffiness or excess fat around the eyes and eyelids
  • Sagging jowls
  • Excess skin on the neck
  • Double chin
  • Loss of volume in cheeks

During your initial consultation, one of our experienced surgeons will thoroughly examine your face, discuss your concerns at length, explain all of your options in detail, and recommend a customized treatment plan tailored specifically to help you meet your goals. Austin-Weston, the Center for Cosmetic Surgery is also proud to offer complimentary online consultations as a convenience to our patients.

How does a facelift work?

Once you and your surgeon have made a plan for your facelift surgery, you will be scheduled for your procedure. Your facelift will be performed at our state-of-the-art accredited surgical facility while you are under general anesthesia and it will likely take about four hours.

The surgeon will begin by meticulously making a series of incisions along the hairline and around the ear, allowing him to access the underlying muscle and tissue layers. These structures will be manipulated and recontoured to produce a more appealing look, and, in some cases, the surgeon may also use liposuction to remove pockets of fat and further enhance the resulting contour. Finally, the skin is re-draped over the face, and any excess skin is excised before the incisions are closed.

How long is the recovery after a facelift?

Immediately following facelift surgery, patients can expect to have some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Your doctor will prescribe your medications and recommend certain behavioral modifications to help with your symptoms. Most patients elect to take about 10 – 14 days off of work to recover after their facelift. The majority of the swelling and bruising should have resolved by this time, and patients are usually able to return to light physical activities, though exercise and more strenuous activities may be off limits for about 3 – 4 weeks. While patients will be able to see a dramatic improvement in their appearance after the first month, their final results may not be visible for about 2 – 3 months as the remainder of the swelling subsides.

What kind of scars will I have from a facelift?

In the majority of cases, facelift incisions are placed in the natural creases of the face, along the hairline, and in other areas where the resulting scar is able to effectively blend in or be concealed. Furthermore, the sutures are made of an extremely fine, dissolvable material, which allows the incisions to heal well. Most facelift scars are relatively inconspicuous, and, in some cases, are barely visible to the patients themselves! The caring team at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery is committed to patient satisfaction and will provide you with detailed postoperative guidelines, including recommendations for topical agents to help your incisions heal properly and minimize the visibility of your scars.

How long does a facelift last?

It is important to remember that while a facelift can help you look up to ten years younger, it does not stop the aging process, gravity, or other forces. Many patients can enjoy their stunning new look for years to come, but there are some things you can do to prolong your results even further, including:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Maintain a routine of noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments, including laser skin resurfacing, injectable fillers, and BOTOX®

The most effective way to stay looking your best for the longest amount of time possible – and to minimize your chances of visible facelift scarring – is to choose a highly qualified, experienced, plastic surgeon to perform your surgery. Call Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your one-on-one consultation, or request a convenient virtual consultation. We look forward to helping you turn back the clock and feel more confident and beautiful than ever!


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