Q: Dr. Eppley, I have very small mouth and I hate it! Iwas looking up online about widing my mouth and your name comes up the most! I saw this type of surgery (lateral commissuroplasty) and I am curious as to how it is done and the results. Thank you!
A: While a lateral commssiuroplasty will widen the location of the corners of the mouth, there will be some fine line scars at the junction of the vermilion-cutaneous junction. The procedure is, in essence, a Y-V vermilion advancement. The horizontal limb of the Y is how far the new corner will be located to the side. The line is then cut (opened) and the vermilion of the corner of the mouth is then advanced outward to the end of the line that was opened and then sutured there. This is how the mouth gets wider. Is it a good cosmetic procedure? I think it depends on how small a mouth one has. I would have to see pictures of your mouth to see if it would be beneficial for your aesthetic goals. Scars are always a trade-off for any lip vermilion procedure so you have to have a significant enough aesthetic problem to make that exchange.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I had Gortex implants removed from my upper lip in hopes to be able to smile fully again. It did not relieve the tension on my upper lip so no success. The only thing I can think of that may work is the mouth widening procedure. If we could widen my mouth just a little I think it would release some of the tension from my upper lip. The area above my lip has spread out and widened from the gortex and now scar tissue . It has caused some damage so i’m hoping this procedure will help so there’s no further damage to the area. I have small features so we don’t have to take off too much from the corners. How much does this cost and do you think it will work? I have realistic expectations so if we can only relieve the tension a little it’s ok, anything is better than nothing. Thanks!
A: The mouth widening or lateral commissuroplasty procedure may be effective for your problem IF you feel that the tightness is at the corners of your mouth. This would be most evident when you open your mouth and you feel tension or band where the upper and lower lips meet. This procedure is done in the office under local anesthesia.
Dr. Barry Eppley