My Smile Looks Like the "JOKER SMILE" After a Face Lift?

It's been 2 years since my facelift. I get compliments but when I see photos taken of me, my smile has changed (not so attractive) - not smiling, though my face looks fine. Is this the result of a poor facelift? I notice celebrities whose smiles remain the same?

Doctor Answers 5

Changes to smile after facelift

A "Joker" smile can occur when the muscles of the face are tightened or when the skin is lifted close to the corners of the mouth.  These are very different techniques, but your surgeon should be able to tell you what he did that caused the change. For example, in a deep plane facelift, the muscle that supports the corner of the mouth (called the Zygomaticus major) is tightened.  This can pull the corner of the mouth. If you are getting compliments about your improved looks, the change in your smile is probably something that you notice more than others do. Discuss with your surgeon, but don't let this interfere with you enjoying your result!

Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

He properly executed facelift should not affect the appearance of your smile.

I'm not sure what you mean by the description but if the smile after healing from the operation is in somewhat different there is a problem. You should take up your observations with your surgeon.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Joker smile after face lift

Thank you for asking about your smile after your face lift 2 years ago.

  1. It sounds as though over-all you have a good face lift result,
  2. The smile distortion is from the face lift technique used - mini-lifts and sub-periosteal face lifts are more likely to cause it,
  3. For that reason, I prefer other techniques. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

My Smile Looks Like the "JOKER SMILE" After a Face Lift?

 The Joker look to the smile and/or the over elevated eyebrows are seen with subperiosteal type facelifts.  The vector of tissue elevation is along those lines and for that reason I do not use or recommend that specific type of facelift technique.  

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


I would want to see pictures but midface lines or joker lines are common after facelifts. It has to do with the way the tissue under the skin has been removed, they do tend to settle. Speak to your PS their are things to do at this point if you are unhappy

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.