Will A Cheek Lift Improve My Deep Nasolabial Folds?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 33 years old and  my cheeks are coming forward creating deep folds around mouth. I hate fillers as they don’t help, they make the cheeks look worse. I like the look of the cheeks slightly pulled back giving me a more youthful look. Is this something you could do on someone my age and how much would you charge to do this procedure. Thanks!

A: With aging, the soft tissues of the cheek do slide off of the bone and fall downward towards the mouth area. This is the source of the deepening nasolabial fold (lip-cheek groove), the cheeks tissues from above falling downward into the fixed tissues of the upper lip. The amount of falling tissue can be appreciated at the corners of the mouth where a roll of skin ends up hanging over the corner driving it downward creating a frowning effect. Some younger people have full cheek tissue that naturally sits lower but do not have a downturned corner of the mouth because the tissues are not really falling…yet. At the age of 33, I doubt if you have significant tissue falling or sagging and I will assume that this is really part of your natural facial anatomy.

A cheek or midface lift can lift these tissues and there are different versions of it. These include a traditional transcutaneous lower eyelid approach, a temporal endoscopic approach and a purely intraoral approach pinning the tissues up on the bone with a resorbable device. (endotine) The real question is how mobile your cheek tissues are and how much they can be lifted. At your young age, those cheek tissues may not be very mobile. That would be the determining factor in whether any form of a cheek lift would be aesthetically beneficial for you.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana