Facelift side effects

facelift patient 4 front view

Facelift side effects are most often observed following skin only facelifts yet avoided following SMAS facelift. These deformities include:

  1. The windblown effect
  2. The Joker face
  3. Prominent facial scars
  4. Scar migration onto the neck
  5. Pixie ear deformity
  6. Lumpy facial contour
  7. Skin recoil and sagging recurrence

Windblown Effect

The windblown effect relates to the excessive pull that is placed on the lateral eyes resulting in the shape of the eyes becoming narrowed and pulled. Some characterize the appearance of the eyelids as “Mongolian” in appearance. This facelift side effect is caused by excessive pull of the upper face skin during insetting. Using the dual plane SMAS facelift will help avoid this facelift complication by virtue of avoiding undue tension on the upper face skin.

The Joker Face

The joker face is created by excessive pull on the sides of the mouth resulting in the infamous Joker face that was famously portrayed by Jack Nicholson. This facelift side effect is once again is caused by excessive pull of the skin on the lateral lip that is observed with skin only facelift technique. In contrast, the SMAS dual plane will place most of the tension on the SMAS layer thus sparing undue tension on the skin.

Prominent facial scars

Prominent facial scars are created by excessive tension placed on the facial skin flaps during re-draping and in-setting. The skin only facelift is notorious for having too much tension on the facial skin; in contrast the dual plane SMAS facelift placed all of the tension on the SMAS layer thereby keeping the tension on the skin to a minimum. Since the skin has minimal tension following the SMAS facelift, the tension on the incision line is reduced and is able to heal optimally.

Scar migration onto the neck

One of the tall tail signs of the facelift is when the incision line around the bottom of the facelift migrates onto the neck. For optimal results, the scar should fall into the groove located at the earlobe and neck junction. When unnecessary tension is placed on the neck skin, then this facelift side effect is observed as the neck pulls the incision out of the natural earlobe groove and onto the neck skin.

Pixie ear deformity

Three is a natural and appealing appearance of the earlobe as it hangs down below the lowest attachment point of the ear. Prior study by Dr. Mowlavi has identified that a hang of 5mm to 10mm is considered an ideal hang of earlobe for both males and females. This is in contrast to an earlobe that gets compromised if the natural hand is eliminated to a hang of 0 mm. When there is no hang of the earlobe at all, this has been characterized as a Pixie ear deformity and is undesirable. This facelift side effect occurs following a skin only facelift due to excessive tension of the neck placed on the earlobe attachment point. In contrast, during a SMAS facelift, the tension on the neck skin is avoided by placing most of the tension on the neck extension of the SMAS, the lateral platysma.

Lumpy facial contour

Lumpy facial contour is a facelift side effect that occurs when the deeper tissues are not separately undermined and lifted prior to the skin lift. This facelift deformity is observed following a skin only facelift. Instead, the dual plane SMAS facelift allows for optimal re-draping of the underlying deeper tissues prior to pulling up the skin layer. When the skin layer is re-draped following draping of the deeper tissues this facelift side effect is avoided.

If you are interested in an optimal facelift with avoidance of facelift side effects, we encourage you to make a consultation with Dr. Mowlavi.

Please appreciate this 59-year-old male who has avoided all of the above facelift side effects demonstrating no distortion of his sideburn and hairline and correction of his earlobes which are more natural in appearance.

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