The Short Scar Facelift

Short Scar FaceliftFor some people, the prospect of the lengthy recovery required with a full surgical facelift doesn’t work with their busy schedule. In these cases, a short scar facelift with Dr. Kirwan may be a better solution.

A short scar facelift rejuvenates the lower face from the temples to the lower neck. But the name implies the true beauty of the procedure — the incision is far shorter, running from the top of the ear in the front to half the vertical length of the skin behind the ear.

How is a short scar facelift different than a full facelift?

The length of the scar is the main thing. In a full facelift the incision needs to run all the way up into the scalp. This creates potential problems with fluid collection and hair loss during recovery. Overall recovery is much more involved with a full facelift.

In a short scar facelift staples are not required, just absorbable stitches. There is less bruising, as well.

Who should have a short scar facelift?

Patients over 30 are appropriate for a short scar facelift. It is generally a better fit for a younger facelift patient, usually in her 40s or 50s.

The technique 

In the procedure, the facial and neck skin is elevated. Fat is suctioned from the jowls and from under the chin, if necessary. If there are muscle bands under the chin, they are brought together through an incision in the crease under the chin. Other muscles are tightened and cheek fat is re-elevated to its more youthful position, recreating cheek highlights. Incisions are placed inside and behind the ear to hide them.


A short scar facelift has dramatically shorter recovery times. Stitches are out in nine days, and patients can return to work in 10-14 days. Traditional facelifts usually demand three to four weeks of recovery, plus abbreviated activities after that.

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