How to Spot a Bad Face Lift


Advancements in aesthetic treatments have allowed many patients to ward off the signs of aging with non-surgical treatments including laser skin rejuvenation, injectable wrinkle correction, and collagen-building volumizers. The time comes, however, when a facelift becomes the logical next step. Unlike non-surgical treatments which either wear off or can be reversed with counter injections, a facelift is forever. If you are considering a facelift, it is paramount that you research a variety of plastic surgeons and scrutinize their work through before and after photos. If you spot bad facelift results, move on… and fast. Here are four signs of a bad facelift.

Visible Scars

Incisions used in a facelift should be barely detectable, if not completely hidden. If you see a scar such as this or one that runs the entire length of the front of the ear, this is a sign of a bad facelift outcome. Notice the extent of the incisions.

The facelift on the right is the work of Dr. Gilbert Lee. The scar is virtually imperceptible.


Pixie Ears

When the ears look pulled, deformed or appear to be stretched toward the angle of the jaw, it’s usually because too much skin was removed or unnecessary tension was placed on the incisions near the ear.

Often the ear lobe appears fused to the jawline. Revisionary surgery can be performed to restore the natural shape and position of the ear.



Sideburns that have moved or are gone

A facelift shouldn’t change the hairline or eliminate the sideburns. This is especially important in male facelift surgery. A good plastic surgeon will incise in front and behind the sideburn.

Extra precaution is taken with male facial plastic surgery. Bad incision placement and loss of sideburns is a dead give-away of surgery and can have a feminizing effect as well.



Skin that looks stretched out

Nothing is worse than skin that is pulled so tight it looks uncomfortable. This is usually the result of an upward re-draping of the skin. Notice that even the mouth appears pulled back to the ears.

Facelifts continue to rank in the top 5 most popular plastic surgery procedures as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. No single procedure matches the results obtained by a facelift for sagging, excess skin. As you research and consult with plastic surgeons to perform your facelift, keep these 4 signs of a bad result on your radar. Visible scars, pixie ears, alteration of the natural hairline and an obvious pulled skin appearance are easy to spot. Once you find the surgeon whose facelifts are so natural you wonder if surgery was even performed, you’ve found your doctor.

Dr. Gilbert Lee is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego. Since 2007, he has been named the Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery by the members of the San Diego County Medical Society. His facelift results can be seen here.