Rhytidectomy (The Facelift Incision)
This incision starts in a crease in front of the ear, or travels just behind the tragus (the cartilage in front of the ear canal). It extends just below the ear lobe, and then travels behind the ear and into the hairline.
Advantages: It provides wide exposure, it can allow performance of a neck dissection in the situation of malignant tumors requiring lymph node removal, and it can be highly cosmetic with the incisional scar being barely visible without very close inspection, which is why the incision is used for facelifts.
Disadvantages: It involves a long incision with more complex closure, wider field of skin elevation resulting in some numbness, potential for some hair loss around incision, and difficult exposure for tumors that are far forward or low down on the face.