Still Sore 6 Months After a Mini Face Lift

Cosmetic  Question:  I had a MACS (mini) lift six months ago. I still have hard, painful areas where the deep stitches were placed. Why?


Cosmetic  Answer:

Your pain and the hardness is probably from the thick sutures used in the MACS face lift.


The MACS face lift is called a mini-face lift because there are no incisions behind the ears.  It is a suspension lift – sutures are placed in the tissues, pulled very tight and sutured down to bone. The suture material must be thick and is usually made from a polyester called PDS (p-polydioxanone.)


PDS sutures are absorbable – but it can take 6 – 12 months. Inflammation – hardening and tenderness – occurs while the body dissolves PDS into a creamy gel. This gel may be absorbed or rejected through a small skin opening – it looks like pus but is a sterile polyester byproduct.


The traditional face lift requires more surgical expertise but uses delicate sutures and results are usually better.  Doing a MACS lift is easier for your surgeon but harder for you – partly because of the PDS suture absorption problems and partly because it is not a delicate technique and is more likely to cause distortion.


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Copyright June 2013 Elizabeth Morgan MD