Are The Lines Around Your Mouth Reminding You Of A Puppet? What Are Your Anti-Aging Options?

If you've recently become dissatisfied with deepening "marionette lines," or the vertical lines extending downward from each corner of your mouth, you may be wondering about your options. While these lines can be jarring when you first begin to notice them in the mirror, there are a number of advances in medical technology that can roll back the clock without ever outing you as having received cosmetic surgery. Read on to learn more about some minor cosmetic and surgical procedures that can help correct your marionette lines for good.

Dermal fat grafting

While a facelift can essentially eliminate shallow to moderate marionette lines, deeper lines may still persist after this surgery. To solve this problem, surgeons will often engage in fat grafting prior to a facelift -- and in some cases, this process is so successful that a later facelift isn't needed. During a dermal fat graft, fat cells are taken from another part of your body (often your stomach or buttocks) and carefully injected into the crevice created by your marionette lines. This process may be performed under local or general anesthesia and results in minimal swelling and bruising. Within a few days, you should have visible results. 

Because fat cells remain in place for life (simply expanding and shrinking with weight gain), fat grafting can be a great option to help prevent marionette lines from recurring. If you're relatively young and recently lost a great deal of weight or have had skin damage from UV rays that has resulted in premature aging, having fat grafts early in the aging process can often help stave off other deep wrinkles.

Lower facelift 

If your marionette lines are paired with sagging jowls or a weak chin, a lower facelift may provide you the best all-around improvement in your appearance. During a lower facelift, a surgeon will place you under general anesthesia and make several tiny incisions just below your ear and sometimes along the angle of your jaw, using these incisions to remove excess skin and pull the remaining skin taut. After this skin has healed, your stitches should be removed without leaving any lasting or visible scars.

While a facelift was once a fairly serious procedure -- even as recently as a decade or two ago -- it can now be performed on essentially an outpatient basis, allowing you to recuperate at home over the course of a long weekend. Contact a surgeon, like my Plastic Surgery Group, for more help.