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The Methodist Hospital Institute for Reconstructive Surgery
6560 Fannin Street, Suite 800
Houston, TX 77030
The marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles of the lower lip and may be damaged during cosmetic or tumor surgery. It also may fail to develop in utero or become damaged during the birth process.
During a full smile, the muscles of the upper lip retract upward partially exposing the top teeth. At the same time the muscles of the lower lip work in the opposite direction to produce slight depression of the lower lip. It is the loss of lip depression that is frequently responsible for subtle smile imbalances.
Myectomy or removal of functioning muscle can be a relatively simple yet effective method for improving facial symmetry and achieving a refined result. Myectomy is frequently used to help balance an asymmetric lower lip.