We have been discussing how
of the mouth region can make a person look
old. In this part we will discuss plastic surgery
procedures that can correct some of these signs of
aging. Special cosmetic procedures have been developed specifically for the aging mouth. The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery has developed many new techniques to address this issue and they teach these special techniques to other surgeons from around the world. The following procedures are used routinely at Austin-Weston and are among those that have offered the best results to their patients:
- Lip Lift: As the mouth ages, the upper lip sags, the corners droop and the vermilion (red part of the lips) thins. With parted lips, the young mouth shows the upper teeth; the old mouth shows the lower teeth. The lip lift shortens the long upper lip, everting (the act of turning inside out) it slightly and exposing the upper teeth.
- Corner Lift: The down turned mouth is a symbol of both aging and unhappiness and can be a matter of only a few millimeters of droop at the corner of the mouth. “To the best of our knowledge we were the first to perform, present and describe the corner lift,” says Dr. George Weston, another
surgeon at the clinic. “The corner lift has been our most valuable procedure. Patients indicate that this simple technique has altered their lives. They no longer look angry and they feel happier because they look happier.
- Resurfacing: Nothing symbolizes an old face more than wrinkles. For wrinkling around the mouth, Austin-Weston uses
dermabrasion, lasers, or
chemical peels in combination with
fat grafting to achieve a natural result.
Augmentation: The goal is to restore the lost volume of the lips and to recreate the youthful pout. This is achieved through either surgical rearrangement of tissue in the lips or with fat injections.
- Direct Incisions: Extra tissue often forms with age and sags at the corner of the mouth. Sometimes the best option is to cut it off directly and with precision, close the incision.
says, “In almost all cases, we perform several
mouth procedures in combinations at the same time
as the facial rejuvenation...It is common for patients to look 10 to 15 years younger, in contrast to the usual 7 to 10 years younger from facelift and eyelid surgery alone.”
Because the scars from around the mouth surgery are more difficult to hide, meticulous surgical technique is critical. Plastic surgeons should have considerable experience with facial rejuvenation before attempting these procedures. Although simple and successful, they require an experienced artistic eye and a commitment to subtle aesthetic corrections.
Find out which surgeons have the best
reputations. Talk to several people who have had cosmetic surgery and ask what their experience was. Ask to see their before and after photos … and their
scars. Visit the two surgeons whose name comes up the most. Visiting more than two gets confusing – cosmetic surgeons are artists and their styles vary. How do you choose between them? Two ways. Does what they say sound right to you? And which do you like the best? Trust your intuition. If you don't like them, or if what they tell you seems "off", or if you just don't "click", then leave and restart the process. Doing your homework gives you a greater chance of getting the result you want.
Cosmetic surgery may be for anyone who wants to look as good as they can. An Austin-Weston patient explains, "I don't feel older, just more grounded and wiser. But these droops and wrinkles tell me … and the world … that I'm over the hill. I don't mind getting older. I just don't want to look it."
Cosmetic surgery can get rid of the mask of age and create a harmony between our inner and outer selves. Then we can say, "I look like me again." And stride newly out into the world. Younger!