It’s an undeniable fact – as people age, the corners of the mouth seem to droop. Is this really true? Do the corners of the mouth actually drop down?
The answer is, “No.” It’s the tissue above the corner that drops down, covering over the actual corner and making it seem as though it’s drooping. What can be done to correct it? There are 3 approaches that we’ll consider, from the simplest to the more complex.
- Injectables – If a filler such as fat or Juvederm is injected into the crease that extends outward from the corner, the crease will be filled and this will tend to push the overhanging tissue upwards. This minimizes the drooping look and is helpful in mild cases. The problem is that fillers of this type are temporary and need to be refreshed, and only relatively mild cases are helped. There may also be some benefit in injecting a small amount of Botox beneath the corner of the mouth into the muscles into that area so as to relax them and allow the muscles above the corner to gently pull the corner upward.
- Excision of Skin – Before Botox and fillers were around, a drooping corner was corrected by removing a small ellipse of skin from just above the actual corner of the mouth. This leaves a relatively inconspicuous scar in patients who are a bit older, and gives a relatively permanent correction. Of course further drooping can be addressed by removing an additional amount of skin. This procedure is done under local anesthesia with what is usually rapid healing.
- Cheek Lift – If a major component of the problem is tissue droop from the upper cheek region, a lifting of these tissues by means of a cheek lift is of help. The #3 suture of an Extended MACS-Lift accomplishes this. You can see if this would be beneficial in your case by placing your index finger on the cheekbone and pulling it upwards and backwards. If the corner of your mouth magically resorts to the look it had 10 years ago, consider this “Cheek Lift” procedure. It can be done under local anesthesia with an approximate 1 week recovery. The results are relatively longstanding and the scar is hidden back by your temple hairline and within the edge of the front of the ear.
Should you have further questions, please contact my office.
George Sanders, M.D.