Mouth Widening Surgery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a lateral commissuroplasty (mouth widening surgery) as I have a small mouth. How risky is this procedure in terms of end results? Does it always leave visible scars? And how visible are these scars? Will the scars heal evenly on both corners of the mouth? I’m curious to see some before and after photos of this procedure as I could not find any online.

I am also wondering about functionality after the procedure. How will smiling, eating, talking potentially be affected? Will there be a problem with drooling?

Thank you for your time!

A: Thank you for your inquiry. An opening lateral commissuroplasty or mouth widening procedure works because it removes a triangular segment of skin at the sides of the mouth and moves the vermilion of the mouth corner outward. By definition this leaves a v-shaped incision line at the mouth corner and a resultant fine line scar at the vermilion-cutaneous border. How discrete that mouth corner scar looks can vary but does well most of the time. Regardless of how they heal they cause no functional issues and do not interfere with eating, talking or smiling.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana