Why Didn’t A Facelift Fix My Mouth Problems?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a facelift about six weeks ago. This was a very traumatic experience for me. While my jowls and neck got better, my nasal folds and turned down corners of the mouth did not. They initially looked good while I was still swollen but that has now all gone away. This is very disappointing since this was one of the main reasons I had the operation. I feel like a wasted my money as my jowls and neck were not that bad.

A: This is a common misconception and occurs either as a result of inadequate education during the consultation or a failure to understand what a facelift does best on your part. Because the tissue pull of a facelift occurs from around the ears, it has the least effect on anything far away. The mouth area is the furtherest point from the ears on the face, thus deep nasolabial folds or a downturned corner of the mouth will ultimately remain unchanged. It is just biomechanically impossible to substantially change the center of the face from back in the hairline. This is an issue that has frustrated facelift surgeons for years and many techniques have been tried, few with much success. This is why adjunctive techniques are often done with facelift that address the mouth area directly, like fat injections and a corner of the mouth lift. These can be at the time of a facelift or afterwards as may be desired in your case.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana