How Do I Correct My Facial Sagging After Upper Jaw Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I really need an opinion on what I should do to correct facial sagging or ‘bulging’ around my perioral area. I had upper jaw surgery six months ago which was a maxillary impaction. Since then, the left side of my face looks normal but the right side looks ‘pouchy’ and droopy to me. I’m glad I did the jaw surgery for my bite, but the way the right side of my mouth looks makes me feel old and ugly. I had a tiny bit of Juvederm injected in my cheeks and near the corner if my right lip a few weeks ago, but it hasn’t made any difference whatsoever to the problem. What do you recommend?

A: When you think about the mechanics of this type of facial skeletal surgery, it is perhaps no surprise that some facial sagging can occur in a few patients. When the maxilla is vertically shortened and the lower jaw rotates more upward in a new bite relationship, the overlying soft tissues have not changed. Thus there may be a relative ‘excess’ of soft tissue to bone. (bone is removed but the soft tissue is the same amount) While this is theoretically true, it rarely poses an aesthetic problem. But this can be a source of the tissue sagging…a relative soft tissue excess compared to the vertical length of the facial bones.

The options for improvement could be simple perioral mound liposuction on the fuller/sagging side or attempt to lift the sagging tissues by a variety of cheek augmentation methods. Which one may be best for you I can not say based on just this one picture and how you feel about the rest of your midface.


Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana