The nasolabial fold has defied satisfactory correction with the face lift operation. This is despite variations of the SMAS technique over the last 20 years. In this study, the nasolabial fold is shown to be part of the overall aging deformity that affects the cheek and perioral region.
The key to surgical correction, not previously appreciated, is the complete release of the anterior SMAS from the zygoma and zygomaticus major muscle. This allows a dramatic mobilization of the nasolabial fold without tension. The advanced SMAS is then reattached to the zygomatic periosteum by a series of permanent sutures. Each suture, by its location and direction of lift, corrects one of the four nasolabial regions including the jowl.
The relevant anatomy is reviewed and the safety of the procedure is assessed in a personal series of 135 patients. It is concluded that the two principles of this technique, i.e., complete SMAS release and reattachment to the zygoma, safely and effectively achieve a natural-appearing rejuvenation of the cheek and nasolabial fold.
©1992American Society of Plastic Surgeons