Why Is My Upper Lip Persistently Stiff After A Midface Lift?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had an endoscopic mid face lift two months ago. Actually I had minimal problem but I decided to go through this surgery. Actually it did not help me that much. I did not have any complication but it just was not very helpful for me. As my swelling went down I do not see any noticeable changes at all. Now the problem is that my upper lip is very stiff and it is hard for me to move it. I am at 2 months post surgery and it has only improved by about 30%. The approach was through my mouth. Is this caused by the Endotine device or because the dissection was through my mouth and temple. Is it normal to have a stiff upper lip after midface lift? Your answer will be very highly appreciated.

A: Most effective midface (cheek) lifts do involve a combined temple/scalp and mouth approach. While this does create some temporary mouth soreness and upper lip stiffness, it has not been my experience that the upper lip stiffness is prolonged out to months after surgery. The Endotine device is positioned up on the zygomatic bone so that device is not the source of prolonged upper lip stiffness…or should not be. It is the path of dissection and how much tissue was released in doing so that is the cause. This is an issue for which only time and further healing can provide a resolution.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana