Nasolabial Folds – Can You Improve Smile Lines for Years?

improve nasolabial folds, improve smile lines, facelift Before and After
Before & After Facelift, Platysmaplasty, Fat Transfer by Sadi Erfani, MD

Nasolabial folds – everyone over the age of 30 seems to have them.  The older we get, the deeper they get.  They can make people who feel young look older.  Deep smile lines, as they are sometimes called, can lessen the attractiveness of a good-looking face.  People want to know – “Am I stuck with my nasolabial folds for the rest of my life?”  “Is there any way to improve smile lines?”

For over 30 years plastic and facial plastic surgeons along with cosmetic dermatologists have been softening patients’ nasolabial folds using dermal fillers.  If injected properly, these can genuinely improve smile lines – for a time.  Unfortunately, that time is relatively short.  The most common fillers only last from 6-12 months.  Newer fillers can last up to 5 years.

But many people want a longer-lasting solution for their nasolabial folds.  And now there is one.

What causes nasolabial folds?

Smile lines are part of human anatomy.  They’re made up of thick bundles of muscles and connective tissue.  These bundles anchor your skin to the underlying tissue.  You hardly notice nasolabial folds in children and young adults.  This is often because young skin is healthy, thick, and elastic.  Facial muscles, like those in your cheeks, are firm.  But as you spend time in the sun and naturally age, your skin ages as well.  Production of key skin proteins like collagen and elastin decline each year.  Your thinning skin no longer hides your nasolabial folds.

nasolabial folds, facelift Inland Empire

As you get into your 40s, another factor comes into play – gravity.  It pulls on your facial muscles and they begin to sag.  Sagging cheek muscles deepen nasolabial folds.  Years of smiling, which brightens the day for you and everyone around you, can make your smile lines increasingly visible.

Fillers improve smile lines for a short time

Dermal fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane can soften your nasolabial folds and really improve your smile lines.  But your good results will only last for 6-12 months.   As we discussed in “Best Filler for Nasolabial Folds?” Radiesse can provide good results for about 18 months.  Bellafill is FDA-approved for treating nasolabial folds up to 5 years.  With any filler you’ll need another round of shots to keep smile lines from returning.

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Before and After Bellafill for deep nasolabial folds

That can get expensive.  Vials of less-expensive hyaluronic acid fillers still add up, year after year.   More costly but longer-lasting Bellafill is a better deal in the long run.  But not everyone wants to include filler shots in their yearly budget.  People wonder if there’s a longer-lasting way to improve nasolabial folds.  Now there is.

Improve your nasolabial folds for years    CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA 

If you want to improve facial aging for years, you’ll need a facelift.  But most facelifts don’t substantially soften smile lines.  There is only one facelift that really improves nasolabial folds – the Deep Plane facelift.

The vast majority of facelifts performed in this country use the SMAS facelift technique.  Surgeons using this method cut a quarter-inch diagonal strip out of the SMAS and suture the top and bottom sections together.  Or surgeons make a similar sized diagonal fold and suture it tight.  This lifts sagging muscles and skin together.  The result is a natural-looking facelift.  However, the SMAS lift provides limited results.  The surgeon can lift no more than one-third of an inch to avoid injuring the facial nerve.  With a SMAS facelift, you’ll look years younger – but not as many years as you might like.

Facelift Inland Empire Before and After by Dr. Brian Machida
The SMAS facelift rejuvenates the face, but doesn’t produce the dramatic improvements seen with the Deep Plane facelift.

The SMAS facelift has another limitation.  This procedure primarily lifts the neck, jawline and tissues near the lips.  It cannot alleviate deep nasolabial folds.  Many plastic surgeons who offer SMAS facelifts may also recommend fat transfer or filler injections to improve smile lines.

The Deep Plane facelift, if done correctly, can significantly soften nasolabial folds.  It can also provide more dramatic results, making you look significantly younger than the SMAS lift.  One major reason for this is that while the SMAS facelift separates the skin from the SMAS layer and pulls it tighter, the Deep Plane facelift leaves the skin and SMAS layers connected.  The lift is achieved by releasing key facial ligaments and reattaching them higher on the facial muscles.  This allows for a greater degree of facial rejuvenation.

Experience is a key to substantially improve nasolabial folds for years 

Not every plastic or facial plastic surgeon has the experience needed to significantly soften smile lines with a Deep Plane facelift.  There’s a relatively small group of surgeons who have performed thousands of facelifts.  We are not afraid to do the work that must be done carefully to get outstanding results.

For instance, some surgeons don’t want to work slowly enough to adjust to the unique features of each patient’s facial anatomy.  They don’t perform enough of the Deep Plane procedure to achieve all the outstanding results it offers.  For instance, to effectively lift the cheeks and really improve nasolabial folds, the surgeon must release two ligaments in the mid-face.  This can be a bit tricky since that specialist must stay between the muscle and the lower layer of skin to avoid injury.

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Before and one week After Deep Plane Facelift by Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS. Dramatic improvement is seen even while patient is still healing.

After performing 6,000 facelifts, though, I can testify that this kind of careful work can be done if the surgeon is knowledgeable, confident, and patient.  The result is a good midface lift, a firmer tear trough where undereye bags start, and much softer nasolabial folds.

The great thing about a Deep Plane facelift is that the results can last for 10 years or more.  That’s twice as long as the best filler for nasolabial folds.  Imagine being able to dramatically improve smile lines for a decade or longer.

Find the best Deep Plane facelift and improve smile lines for years

How can you find the best Deep Plane facelift?  Since the surgeon’s experience is a key, you’ll want to start by looking for a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or a plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck.  Next, find out how many facelifts they’ve performed.  Finally, check their facelift Before and After photos for Deep Plane facelifts.  What kind of results do they get?  Does the surgeon substantially improve nasolabial folds with his or her procedure?

You can get a great Deep Plane facelift by paying a famous surgeon a lot of money.  Or you can find outstanding surgeons who practice in less expensive areas and are much more affordable.  Please check out “How to Make a $24,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less.”

If you’re looking for a way to improve nasolabial folds in Inland Empire, California, feel free to visit me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.  I’ll be happy to show you how a Deep Plane facelift can improve smile lines for years.

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About Dr. Brian Machida, MD, FACS

Dr. Brian K. Machida, MD, FACS is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. He has an exceptional level of experience, having performed ( read more )

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