African American facelift involves a unique set of challenges due to the patient’s susceptibility to keloids or aggressive scarring. For this reason, a more proactive scar treatment approach in the first few weeks becomes particularly important to prevent any reminder of plastic surgery.
Scar placement is the first step to hide any surgical stigmata. Fortunately, this is possible for the vast majority of patients who can choose from different incision techniques to produce their aesthetic results.
While shorter incisions might be perceived as better than longer incision techniques, patients who need extensive corrections—i.e., their mid and lower face has a significant skin and tissue laxity—may have to accept the standard facelift method in which the scar typically starts from the temple (in front or behind the hairline) that goes around the inside edge of the ears and then reaches the earlobe.
Sometimes, the scar is even extended into the nape still concealed by the patient’s natural hairline for optimal concealment.
Regardless of one’s race or gender, the vast majority of facelift patients will require some type of internal reinforcement in which the soft tissue and muscle are reshaped as well, as opposed to relying solely on skin, which over times settles and droops due to the effects of gravity.
Simply put, most facelifts today are not a skin-only operation. To achieve stable results that can last for many years, experts at the California Surgical Institute suggest that all soft tissue must be taken into account during surgery.
In the past, facelifts relied on excising and tightening the loose skin, without giving much thought about the facial volume loss. This approach resulted in gaunt cheeks, upper cheek crescent, and/or hollowed lower eyelids, which could present themselves immediately or years after the surgery.
To avoid these aforementioned reminders of plastic surgery, surgeons at the California Surgical Institute address facial volume loss at the same time; this is either performed through fat transfer or dermal fillers.
Fat transfer uses the patients’ own fat cells, usually collected from their tummy, to smooth out their laugh lines, correct the deep tear troughs, and plump up their hollowed cheeks. Typically, this is performed simultaneously with facelift.
Dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, meanwhile, also work like fat transfer, although their results can only last between four and six months.
Whether fat transfer or dermal filler is used at the time of surgery, addressing soft tissue shrinkage during African American facelift means the surgeon relies less on skin pulling, thereby possibly obviating the need for longer scars.