Short-Scar Facelift

A short-scar facelift is a SMAS facelift performed through a minimal incision. The technique is used to elevate and reposition the deeper facial soft-tissue layers. It is indicated for individuals with less skin redundancy or age-related changes in the neck.


The term 'short-scar' facelift doesn't describe a specific procedure, but simply indicates that a limited skin access is utilised to modify the deeper soft-tissues. The actual lift (elevation and repositioning of the SMAS layer) is performed in a similar manner as with a classic facelift incision.

Short vs. classic incision

The placement of facelift incisions are identical in the preauricular area (in front of the ear) and differ only in the retroauricular area (behind the ear). The short-scar facelift incision ends in the crease behind the earlobe (retroauricular sulcus), whilst the longer classic facelift incision curves upwards behind the ear and into (or along) the posterior hairline.


In both types of surgery, the preauricular incision is used for SMAS modification and restoration of facial contours. The retroauricular incision (classic technique) is used to perform adjustments to the neck, as skin redundancy in the central neck area is re-distributed and removed along the posterior hairline.


For this reason a classic facelift approach is always preferable for treating skin laxity in the neck. However, for the suitable patient with good neck contours, the short-scar facelift offers the benefit of full facial rejuvenation without any scarring along the retroauricular hairline.

Inconspicuous scarring

Regardless of the facelift technique used, incisions are discreet and close to the lines of the ear. They are placed either inside the ear (tragal incision) or in front of the ear (pre-tragal incision), following a gentle curve within the crease whilst preserving the shape of the earlobe.

SMAS modification techniques include


●  High SMAS

Short-scar technique, indicated for individuals with uniform ptosis and mid-facial ageing, but with good neck contours and little skin laxity.


●  Lateral SMASectomy

Short-scar technique, indicated for individuals with lower facial heaviness and jowls, but with little skin laxity on the neck.


●  SMAS plication

Short-scar technique, indicated for individuals with thin faces or when the shortest possible recovery is a priority.

Depending on individual requirements, a short-scar facelift may be combined with fat grafting, endoscopic brow lift, upper/lower eyelid surgery, buccal fat reduction, perioral rejuvenation and therapeutic skin treatments.