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Concerned About Ear Scars?
I went in for a consult yesterday. I thought I only needed a neck lift, but the doctor
said I need a lower face, and neck lift. He said that he would be cutting through my hair
line in front of my ears and behind. He was unable to show me any good photos of the ear
scars that I would expect to have. I'm really uncomfortable about having scarring all around
my ears. Do you think it's necessary? I'm 38 years old.
Thank you for your question!
Your question certainly raises some more questions for me. You went to a surgeon about having
a neck lift and the surgeon recommended a face and neck lift and that your situation
require that. And you're concerned about your scars in your ears. Now you submitted your
question. You're age 38 years old and in my practice my youngest patient I did a facelift
for was 37. Now then this patient was a physician and happen to be very loose in the skin here
having a thin face and it was clear that elevation would be the only thing that help her with
some of this lines that she had on her face and so she did very well.
But it is unusual for someone too young to have a face and neck lift and so I would be
concerned about a couple of things. One is if the doctor is an experienced or seasoned
facelift surgeon. Usually they show examples of before and after pictures of incision scars.
Now I mean no disrespect to your doctor and I know that it is very challenging and you're
so busy and you're working so much to organize so many before and after photos. It's a challenge
ideal everyday in my 20 years of practice and it is sometimes also an organizational
issue when it comes to putting on those things together. So it's rarely available but nonetheless,
if you have done a descent number of facelifts, you at least have the before and after and
you can show the incision what it looks like.
Typically, I put the incision in the inside at the opening of the ear and along the crease
but again I would say that that's one thing that for me makes me question whether or not
it's truly indicated for you. When someone your age comes to me, first thing I do is
see how elastic or how much flexibility there is to the skin because if the skin is still
very tough, then you have to do a more extensive dissection to get a lift and you wonder when
you're doing a facelift. You're doing it because there is a descent issue how much did the
skin really descent and the soft tissue under the skin referred to as the SMAS (Superficial
muscular aponeurotic system) how much of that truly has descended. So then there is an important
part to understand this if there is reasonable elasticity and movement of the skin, then
you can anticipate probably a reasonable amount of tension that will allow a wealthy of scar.
Now in my practice, I have to be very fortunate to have a lot of experience with a material
called extracellular matrix that I think is a part of a new generation of medical care
that has to do with the activation of your own adult stem cells through regenerative
medicine. And this material has been used in places like the University of Pittsburgh
where people are literally growing a muscle tissue and other things from injuries because
this material, which is derived from pig bladder, is actually stimulating the body's own stem
cells to heal by duplication. So it's fascinating stuff. And in my practice, I have been using
it on a lot of incision to help people feel better but again we have to be clear about
the diagnosis before moving to have that surgery because before you have to make an incision
here, it has to be a trade off. You want to be able to justify going through the surgery
for the benefit on what we will do on your neck and jaw line. Clearly there is also an
issue in the definition and extra fat in the area. So I would suggest in getting more than
one opinion as far as whether or not it's right for you or whether it's right to do
something more conservative to suggest get improvement on the jaw line and wait a few
years until its more justifiable to do the lift. You know the goal of a facelift is to
get a well defined neck and a good jaw line as well as movement of some of the soft tissue
in the cheek area.
So like I said, 37 is the youngest age I've done in my practice for a face lifting but
typically, our patients for face lifting are in their mid 40s and over. Though it is I
think you need to just get a little bit more education and understanding of what's involved.
So I hope that information provided you was helpful and wish the best of luck. Thank you
for your question.