S-lift is a type of facelift procedure that corrects the sagging of skin in the lower two-thirds of the face. The procedure removes fat and tightens muscles in the cheeks, jowls and neck to give the face a more defined and youthful look. The surgery is called as S-lift due to the ‘S’ shaped incision made in front of the ear.

Advantages of S-lift over traditional facelift

  • Minimally invasive
  • Faster recovery
  • Does not require general anesthesia
  • Can be performed with other procedures
  • Incision is about half the size of traditional facelift
  • Incision hidden inside ear
  • Better aesthetic value
  • Does not disrupt hairline


S-Lift is indicated for men and women who are healthy, between ages 45 to 55 years, and have firm, elastic skin with mild to moderate laxity in lower facial and/or neck.

Surgical procedure

Under the influence of local anesthesia, your surgeon will operate on one side of your face at a time, making an S-shaped incision running from your temporal hairline to the front of the ear. The skin is separated from the underlying fat and muscle, excess fat around the chin and neck is trimmed, and muscles are tightened. Your surgeon will pull the skin back, remove the extra skin and close the incision.

After the surgery, your surgeon will insert drain tubes under the skin to drain out excess blood and fluid, and wrap your head with bandages to support, and reduce swelling and bruising. The procedure takes about 2 hours to complete.

Post-operative care

You may need to recover in the hospital for one or two hours and will have to rest for 24 hours at home. The day after the surgery, an elastic face garment will replace the bandage. It is important to keep your head in an elevated position as much as possible to lower swelling. You can resume work after 4 to 5 days. You may have minor swelling and bruising for 1 or 2 days, and will be prescribed medication for pain. The site of incision will be covered with a small bandage for 2 to 3 days. Your stiches will be removed after 6 to 7 days. You should avoid exposing your face to the sun for couple of weeks.

Risks and complications

As with any surgery, S-lift involves risks and potential complications. These include:

  • Skin gathering behind the ear
  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Skin loss as seen in smokers, diabetics and those who have undergone facial radiation
  • Collection of blood below the skin
  • Keloid scarring
  • Alteration in hairline especially in men where facial hair is pulled closer to the ear
  • Areas of numbness
  • Facial nerve damage

Scot D Miller DO MBA FACS
Spinal Implants
Dr. Miller has been extensively involved with Orthopaedic Spinal implant design with many companies including Biomet Spine, Stryker Spine, Integra Life Sciences, Depuy Spine and others...Read More
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