You may have seen images or videos of hemostatic netting online: these images or videos are often extreme and unusual examples of patients who have just undergone a facelift and neck lift who have loops of dark suture quilted across their face and neck. Though they capture people’s attention, they are not necessarily good representations of the hemostatic netting technique. The images and videos distract from the reason(s) why surgeons consider using the technique. This blog post seeks to clarify what hemostatic netting is, why it is sometimes used, and where it is typically placed. While evidence of its effectiveness is more limited in the medical literature, the articles that have been published and anecdotal evidence both suggest that hemostatic netting can be effective in reducing the risk of bleeding post-operatively in certain clinical situations. Seek a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon if you have concerns about your face or neck. A consultation with a well-qualified surgeon will allow you to determine if the following approach is appropriate for you, because this technique may not be appropriate for every patient.
What is Hemostatic Netting and Why Would It Be Used During Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery?
Dr. Jeffrey Harmon
Hemostatic (Auersvald) Netting is a Technique Used in Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery
A hemostatic net is a technique used in facelift and neck lift surgery. The technique was first described approximately 10 years ago by Brazilian plastic surgeons with the last name Auersvald, hence the nickname for the technique (1). A hemostatic net involves the placement of temporary stitches through the skin and deeper tissue in the face and/or neck after facelift and/or neck lift surgery.
A Hemostatic Net is Intended to Reduce the Risk Associated with Bleeding After Surgery
The purpose of a hemostatic net is to further reduce the low risk associated with bleeding after facelift and neck lift surgery. This is in addition to the placement of temporary drains. Hemostatic netting reduces the amount of space in which blood could hypothetically accumulate. There is some evidence in the literature demonstrating its effectiveness (1,2). However, there are no official guidelines discussing the appropriate clinical situations in which to use this technique; rather, it is the surgeon’s clinical judgement weighing the potential risks and benefits of the technique that determines to which individuals it is recommended. For example, a patient with high blood pressure may benefit more from the placement of hemostatic netting than others though the final decision to place a hemostatic net depends on multiple factors unique to each individual patient.
A Hemostatic Net is Loose and Not Permanent
It is important to note that these stitches do not remain permanently or even for an extended period. They are removed completely in 48 to 72 hours after surgery along with the drains.
It is also important to note that these stitches are not tight. This minimizes discomfort and allows good blood flow to the surrounding skin.
A Hemostatic Net is Less Important in the Face After Deep Plane Facelift Surgery
One of the benefits of deep plane facelift surgery is that much less skin is lifted off the deeper tissue of the face during surgery. As a result, the connection between the skin and the deeper tissue and, therefore, the blood supply to the skin, remains intact over a larger surface of the face when compared with other, older facelift techniques. As a result, the potential benefit of hemostatic netting in the face with deep plane facelift surgery is less. Instead, hemostatic netting is typically placed only in the area under the chin and in the neck, usually around drains. The dressings placed around the head and neck usually cover them well. This makes the technique much less visible and dramatic appearing than internet images and videos would otherwise suggest.
Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon
It is important to seek a fellowship-trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about your face or neck.
Request a Consultation
Request a consultation with Dr. Harmon at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery in Cincinnati. Visit our clinic. You will learn more about Dr. Harmon’s credentials, style, and approach. Build a relationship with our dedicated team. Do not stop searching “plastic surgery near me.” Get in touch with us to learn more.
- Auersvald A, Auersvald LA. Hemostatic net in rhytidoplasty: an efficient and safe method for preventing hematoma in 405 consecutive patients. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2014 Feb;38(1):1-9.
- Janssen TJ, Maheshwari K, Sivadasan A, Waterhouse N. Hemostatic Net in Facelift Surgery: A 5-Year Single-Surgeon Experience. Aesthet Surg J. 2023 Apr 11:sjad097.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.