Lip Lift or Fillers?
Many individuals who are unsatisfied with the shape and volume of their lips may immediately assume that lip fillers are the best solution. This is not always the case. So how do you know which procedure will provide a good result?
Try this simple exercise at home to see what procedure you may want to discuss with our lip lift surgeon, Dr. Ende:
Look in the mirror and let your bottom jaw relax, so that your mouth is slightly open. What do you see?
Long Upper Lip, No Upper Teeth Showing
If you do not see the row of upper teeth showing, you may be a better candidate for a lip lift, instead of lip filler. Why? A long upper lip indicates that the top lip is hanging below your front teeth. When adding filler to the top lip, the lips can only go in one direction: outward. This protruding of the lip results in the infamous and unattractive “duck lip.”
Thin Lip + Long Upper Lip, No Upper Teeth Showing
If you have thin lips and a long upper lip, we may recommend performing an upper lip lift as well as adding a filler such as Juvéderm®
. Why? While a lip lift will shorten the distance between the base of the nose and the pink, fleshy part of the top lip, you may still want more volume. If fuller lips are desired, we can enhance them by adding a filler or fat grafting. Facial fillers like Restylane®
can be used to contour the cupid’s bow, fill in wrinkles around the lips or turn up the lip corners for an enhanced smile.
Thin to Average Lip Volume, Teeth Showing
If you see upper teeth showing when the mouth is relaxed, you may be a better candidate for lip filler, instead of a lip lift. Why? If you can already see teeth when your mouth is at an open rest, then shortening the upper lip any further may produce a “gummy smile.” For these patients, we may recommend lip fillers or other options based on your goals.
This exercise does not replace an in-office consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is only meant to help educate you on the possible options. We will evaluate your unique case and provide the best solutions with you at our office.
Lip Lift Procedure Overview
The lip lift procedure is performed in our surgical suite and the patient is comfortably sedated. We create a bullhorn-shaped incision under the base of the nose and remove a thin sliver of skin. The amount of skin that is removed is dependent on how much lift is recommended to create an attractive lip. Dissolvable and non-dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision and are typically removed within 5–7 days. When the incision is closed, a very thin, but barely visible scar will be hidden just below the base of the nose.
Older patients with a long upper lip and short vermilion ("red lip") are good candidates for a subnasal lip lift. For adding temporary volume to lips, we may recommend fat grafting, Juvéderm®
, or Restylane®
Recovering from a Lip Lift
Recovery has the following components:
- Little to no pain. Most patients take no pain medication.
- Antibiotic cream
- Temporary tooth show which resolves in less than a week
- Sutures for 5-7 days
- Minimal bruising