I can still see my laugh lines after mini facelift. Is this normal? (Photo)

I got a mini facelift treatment to remove my laugh line, but I am still able to see my laugh line on pictures, on selfie. I payed around 1600 dollar. I would expect somewhat more than this. I almost can see the same thick of laugh line on picture as before. Do you think it is normal?

Doctor Answers 9

The nasolabial folds are not generally addressed with a mini facelift.

The nasolabial folds are not generally addressed with a mini facelift. Each surgeon is different, but at my practice a mini lift is used to correct early signs of skin laxity and jowling. The nasolabial folds are a result of volume loss in the face, which is normally corrected with fillers rather than surgery. Even with fillers, the nasolabial folds will not disappear completely, because they occur when we smile and are a natural part of the face. I hope this helps.

A mini lift does not improve nasolabial folds


A minilift is a great option for patients who are starting to see early signs of jowl formation. It is primarily intended to improve the lower third of the face with improvement of the jawline. It generally does not improve the appearance of the nasolabial folds or the smile lines. Those are areas that are better served with volume augmentation, such as with filler or fat grafting.

Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Smile Lines

Thank you for your question and photos. Smile lines are generally refereed to the lines that extend around the sides of the eyes also known as crows feet. The line from the corner of your nose down to the mouth is known as the nasolabial fold and is a very fixed anatomic landmark on the faces which deepens with the aging process and tissues become lax and sag. A mini facelift will often soften these but will not eradicate them. Procedures that involve more SMAS work can have a larger effect but even these will not blunt the fold entirely. The really good news is that this lines separates the lip from the cheek and helps to keep us looking natural. If you feel the correction is less than what you had hoped for fillers are a great and easy option to further soften the depth. Overall it  look like you have  nice result with a softening of you fold
Best of Luck
DrG

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Laugh Lines

Hi Janos983

Thanks for posting your very interesting question and photo's. Laugh lines are usually the lines around your eyes and are not usually addressed with a mini facelift. If you are talking about the lines next to your nose, that go down to your chin, these are quite different. 

Your PS should usually discuss the options and outcomes you want to achieve and that might have meant doing a cheek lift, as well as a mini face lift. This can only be said though once a thorough consultation has taken place.

If you are unhappy with your results, perhaps it would be best to seek our your PS and talk this over with him. Good Luck.

Careful What You Wish For

There are several issues with the question you pose. The first is that you refer to your "laugh line", but the photographs you include seem to focus on your nasolabial folds. The term "laugh line" usually refers to the wrinkles that form in the skin at the lateral aspect of the eyes when a person smiles.  Another problem is that you do not share with us how far out from surgery you are, which would be helpful to know in answering your question.

However, assuming that you actually are asking about your nasolabial fold, the most basic premise of your question is fundamentally flawed.  There is no plastic surgical procedure designed to "remove" the nasolabial fold.  Nor should it be the goal of any plastic surgeon to do so.  The nasolabial fold is a fundamental feature of the human face, just as a nose or a chin is.  Even newborn babies have nasolabial folds, and it is difficult to argue that they look old and aged.  If, in fact, you were able to achieve your goal of completely extirpating your nasolabial fold, I believe your face would look very strange and unnatural, and you would quickly wish to return to your preoperative condition.  

The goal of all of these surgical procedures, whether it be a facelift, or mid facelift, mini lift, etc., is merely to soften this fold, not to "remove" it.  I believe that a simple approach to further softening your nasolabial fold would be to inject some filler. Luckily, you will have a variety from which to choose.  The point, again, would be to soften, not "remove" your nasolabial folds.

Peter Lee, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini face lift expectations

Thank you for your post, and I'm sorry to hear you are disappointed in your results. That area, the nasolabial fold, is one of the hardest areas to "lift" with facelifting procedures. Those lines are probably better addressed by adding a filler product, or by transferring fat back to the groove there to make it less apparent. Best wishes.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laugh Line improvement and Mini-Facelift

Hi there. Most lower mini-facelifts tighten the jawline, upper portion of the neck, and should "soften" the marionette (puppet) lines that run from the corners of the mouth downward towards the chin. The Nasolabial folds (which run from the base of the nose on each side to the corners of the mouth) typically are unfortunatley not significantly improved in a most lower facelifts (including "traditional/full" lower facelifts). The best, and easiest, treatment for your concern with your folds would be to have some filler (ie Radiesse or Juvederm) placed in the folds by your Plastic Surgeon. This will give immediate results and should last around a year depending on the product used.

Paul Lanfranchi, DO, FAOCO
Las Vegas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Laugh lines after Facelift

Thanks for the question.  It's difficult to tell from the photographs but I think you are referring to the nasolabial fold (deep groove from nose to corner of mouth).  Facelift surgery can improve this but a loss of skin elasticity is not the only cause of deep nasolabial folds.  Volume loss in the midface, having smaller cheekbones, and volume loss in the fold can also contribute to this.  If you had the folds since childhood, these are even more difficult to remove.  Generally, a minifacelift doesn't tighten the nasolabial fold very well and a form of cheeklift, midfacelift, or modified facelift would be needed to achieve that, usually with some form of volume. 

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Laugh lines

From your photos it is difficult to compare since they are not the same pose. Laugh lines usually refer to lines formed at the lateral edge of eye which is normal when smiling. If you are concerned about the lines extending from your nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial lines) then in my opinion you need a mid-face lift. Consult a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Leon Goldstein, MD
Madison Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.