The Surgeon Minute

Plastic Surgery Can Turn that Frown Upside Down

Plastic Surgery Can Turn that Frown Upside Down

Plastic surgery is not just for those who want to stay forever young. New surgical techniques can help patients suffering from frowning mouth deformity, giving them good reason to smile.

New rejuvenation procedures may be effective in correcting frowning mouth deformity, according to a new study.

Currently available techniques only offer partial correction of the frowning mouth, the study authors noted. However, new surgical techniques involving lentiform excisions at the vermilion border (the exposed red portion of the lip) and at the marionette folds are effective at correcting frowning mouth deformities, a condition caused by sagging at the corners of the mouth.

The study followed 27 patients who went under the knife between 2000 and 2009 in an attempt to correct their frowning mouth deformity . The deformities and the methods of correction were divided into two separate types. In type I frowning mouth deformity, correction was performed by lentiform excisions at the vermilion border, and in type II deformity, lentiform excisions also included the marionette folds, which are the lines that radiate down from the corners of the mouth.

In some cases, patients opted to have a face lift in addition to the procedure to correct their frowning. The satisfaction in these patient’s results were the same. Correction of frowning mouth abnormalities, either as an isolated procedure or in addition to a face lift, resulted in satisfactory results for all 27 patients.

After undergoing the surgery, all patients were followed for a minimum of three months, and 88.9 percent were followed for a full year. Of the patients, 18.8 percent showed erythema (or redness of skin) and scar hypertrophy (which is a raised scar) at the sites of marionette fold removal during the early postoperative period. However, all scars improved over time, and doctors reported high patient satisfaction.

Researchers concluded that proper patient selection and counseling to deal with the temporary or possibly permanent noticeable scar formation are of utmost importance. When these measures are taken, the outcome is good and patients are satisfied with the end result.

Study results appear in the February 2010 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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