Upper lip lift is a surgical procedure designed to shorten the area between the upper lip and lower nose. The skin in this area slackens with age, and the upper lip can start to look excessively long in relation to the rest of the facial features. The upper lip lift gives the mouth a more pleasant expression and plumps the lips so they look more youthful. Dr. Guyuron is pleased to offer upper lip lift at his facial plastic surgery practice.
CANDIDATES FOR UPPER LIP LIFT
Upper lip lift candidates have an unusually long upper lip — so much so that it draws the attention of others. Candidates may also complain that their upper lip looks thin, or that it covers a significant portion of the upper teeth, so that the teeth aren’t adequately visible while smiling.
Some candidates are born with naturally long upper lips, and many others experience lengthening in this area as a result of aging. Over time, the facial bones deteriorate and the flesh of the face becomes saggy. Facial fat and soft tissue also atrophy, so the skin droops.
Candidates for upper lip lift may be curious whether fillers can provide the desired results. Unfortunately, fillers cannot lift the lips; they will fill the lips out (they will project from the face) instead of up. This will not have an effect on the space between the upper lip and nose.
Upper lip lift is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
Dr. Guyuron will begin by making an incision at the base of the nose where it meets the upper lip. The shape of the incision slightly resembles a bull’s horn, which is why some refer to the procedure as a bull horn upper lip lift. The upper limb of the incision closely follows the natural contours of the upper lip where it meets the nose; the lower limb of the incision mirrors the upper limb. The distance between the upper and lower limb will determine the amount of skin that will be removed.
Dr. Guyuron will remove a segment of skin in between the upper and lower incision limbs. This will “pull” the upper lip upward and shorten it. Then, he will suture the remaining skin together using a layered pattern of sutures to support the lip’s new shape.
RECOVERING FROM UPPER LIP LIFT
The treated area may look swollen for up to three days after the procedure; cold compresses are helpful to minimize swelling. Any pain can be controlled by medication as prescribed by Dr. Guyuron. Patients should consume a soft foods only diet for the first few days.
Dr. Guyuron will schedule a follow up appointment to check the healing progress and remove the sutures approximately five days after the procedure. Residual swelling may take several weeks to completely subside.
After the lip has healed from surgery, it will look fuller and the cupid’s bow will have more definition. The lips will look more balanced with the rest of the facial features, and will reveal the teeth while smiling.
Scarring is typically minimal.