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Facelift Myth #1- Facelifts are only for Women

Even though both men and women experience aging signs, with similar causes found in men and women, we still tend to assume that only women are having facelifts. This is not true. Men in San Antonio are also looking into getting facelifts; although fewer men get surgery when compared to women. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), about 12,000 facelift procedures in 2010 were done on males. This came out to be about 10% of all facelifts done in the USA.  Demand for male facelift surgery has increased 20% since 2000; demand for female facelifts has stayed about the same during this period. I suspect these trends are also evident here in San Antonio.

The reasons men want facelifts are different than for women.  Though women want facelifts to regain their youthful look and remain attractive, and feel good about themselves, men usually are driven by desire to remain competitive in the work force.  We are living and working longer.  Regardless of one’s experience, skill set, etc, the reality is many companies still favor younger staff.  Well qualified and experienced men may worry about being passed over or replaced by younger men. Botox and fillers are effective treatments, but at some point, a facelift is the best option to rejuvenate your face.  

The technical details of performing a facelift in men are the same as for women.  The basic incisions, flap elevation, and manipulation of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) are similar. But there are some different factors to consider when doing a facelift on a gentleman vs woman. For example, the design of the pretragal incision is usually in front of your tragus. The reason is we don’t want to pull hair bearing skin (ie your beard) into your ear.  However, you should know that some surgeons will still design an incision to go behind the tragus in men. But in these cases, one needs to damage the hair follicles of the skin flap prior to suturing. Another difference is the skin flap in men tend to be a little thicker and slightly more difficult to elevate. Finally, one also has to be careful in designing the posterior incision so that a natural hairline remains after surgery. Men who get facelifts generally have a shorter hair style, or even very tightly cropped. This hair style is less tolerant of minor irregularities of the hairline.  It’s very hard to hide these in men since they generally don’t have long hair. 

The postoperative recovery for men is the same as for women. Many surgeons will place drains and use a snug dressing after surgery. Like women, there is minimal pain in men after a successful facelift surgery. Swelling and bruising progressively resolves and many can return to the public in 10 to 14 days. One unexpected consequence of the pandemic is option to work from home. I have many patients who have returned to work much sooner because they are at home. If Zoom meetings are scheduled, they can still hop on but just turn their camera off.  

A successful facelift will rejuvenate your face with a natural appearance. Typical compliments usually address how “good” and relaxed you look. The results should last 8 to 10 years. You can enhance your facelift results dramatically if you also undergo facial resurfacing. The best treatment, in my opinion, is the fractionated CO2 laser. Some surgeons will perform at the same time as your facelift. For me, this is a bit aggressive since the facial flaps have been traumatized by the surgery and there may be a slightly higher risk of scarring after laser But many experts have reported great results doing laser at same time as the facelift. Another reason I don’t recommend doing CO2 laser at the same time as surgery is cost prohibitive additional fee imposed by the surgery center or hospital. For our practice, it’s less expensive to do the CO2 laser in our clinic after you have healed from the surgery. `

For more information about San Antonio facelift surgery, please visit our interactive website at Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 or