I am a 62 year old male considering a facelift. After two consultations I am concerned about the position of beard post surgery. One surgeon places the scars right in the crease at the ear. When I asked about beard growth post surgery he told me one session of laser hair removal would be sufficient. However, it seems that is not true, particularly as my beard has grey hairs. The second surgeon offered two options: right next to the ear and slightly in front of the ear in natural creases of the skin. What is your opinion?
Dr. A’s Answer: The incision location is done to suit the specifics of the individual. On a man, I take into account the color, thickness, density, and location of side burn hair. It is also necessary to look at the skin color and texture variations. Finally, I will take into account the patient intends to wear a beard or shave clean. Of course you never want to move the patient’s hair all the way into the ear under any circumstance. But specifically how far in front of the ear you put the back edge of the side-burn is a matter to determine in consultation with the patient before surgery. If a patient is going to wear a beard or has very quick growing “5 o’clock shadow”, then placement is usually kept a bit further forward. If the patient has less noticeable side-burn hair and plans to shave clean, then more consideration goes toward optimizing the location based on skin color and texture.