All efforts are made to hide the facelift scars and so the incision is always placed at the face-ear junction. Meanwhile, it is important to preserve the tragus or small knob in front of the ear to achieve natural-looking results.
Some doctors prefer placing the incision in front of the tragus, while others favor positioning it behind this small bump; hence some part of the scar lies inside the ear. Others do both depending on the patient’s request and/or anatomy.
Inland Empire plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a video showing a post tragus facelift incision, which hid a portion of the scar inside the ear. Nonetheless, the technique is plagued with “potential traps” if used without extra caution.
Because the incision is behind the tragus, the bump made up of cartilage may become distorted or even disappear lest proper wound closure is employed. Dr. Smiley says all efforts are made to eliminate tension on the skin, which is also known to promote favorable scar.
The newly redraped skin may also need to be thinned so the tragus contour will show through.
Small Bump, Big Deal
Dr. Smiley says that one of the keys to achieve natural-looking results from facelift is to preserve the tragus in front of the ear, making it distinct from the face. The absence of this small bump can make the ear look like an extension of the face.
Simply put, the surgery should preserve the natural border that “signals” the separation of the ear and face.
Both the pre- and post-tragus facelift techniques can provide good results, although the latter is believed to entail a steeper learning curve in order to ensure natural-looking results.
Some doctors, meanwhile, only reserve the post tragus facelift incision in patients with these anatomical characteristics: The thickness of their cheek skin is quite similar to the skin on the ear cartilage; their ear cartilage is markedly flat; and they have wrinkles or skin webbing right next to the earlobe.