A lip lift is a procedure that permanently increases the upper lip. It is a great alternative to lip injections because the procedure is permanent. It is also the best way to alter the vertical show of the upper lip without increasing the projection. A lip lift gives the upper lip and more full appearance, but does not need to be maintained every few months. It’s also a great option for patients who would like more vertical show of the upper lip, and also would like to increases dental show. It is a procedure that can be done by itself in the office with local anesthesia or as part of other surgeries, such as facial feminization.
In this procedure, Dr. Rodman removes an ellipse of skin beneath the nose. This reduces the length of the philtrum. The philtrum is the skin between the upper lip and the nose. As we age, the distance between the nose and the upper lip lengthens and the upper lip becomes thinner. A lip lift shortens this distance by removing a wedge of skin right under the nose. The upper lip is then pulled up, which helps to show more pink lip as well as more teeth. A fuller upper lip appears more youthful and more feminine.
There are three categories of patients who are good candidates for lip lifts. The first is patients who desire facial feminization. Men often have a thin upper lip with a long philtrum. A lip lift will permanently feminize the lips during facial feminization surgery. The second group is women and men whose upper lip has lost volume with age. As we age, the distance between the nose and the top lip (called the philtrum) lengthens. Shortening this distance and restoring the pink lip gives a rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Young men and women may also be candidates for this procedure, and make up the third category. Often patients who opt for a lip lift had had many cycles of injections and are looking for a more permanent solution.
The procedure takes about an hour in entirety, and it can be performed in the office. Most patients chose to take some medicine to help them relax during the procedure. They are still awake, but drowsy and calm. The area is numbed with local anesthesia before the procedure so the patients don’t feel pain.
Recovery from a lip lift is brief. If done in the office, patients go home the same day and can take Tylenol and Ibuprofen only for pain. Sutures stay in for one week. The scar hides very well under the nose and is barely visible when it is healed. Scar care continues for one year. Best results are achieved with patients who avoid sun exposure and use scar gel diligently. After two weeks, the scar can be covered with make up.
To find out if a lip lift is right for you, schedule a consult to discuss your options with Dr. Rodman.