When it comes to facial aesthetics, our lips are one of our most important facial features. Aside from their shape and fullness, one of the key attributes of beautiful lips is the amount of “tooth show” that is present. Many patients are bothered by an upper lip that extends down too far, blocks their upper teeth, and affects the attractiveness of their smile.
In patients with a long upper lip, lip lift surgery can help. Here at W Cosmetic Surgery, we pleased to offer lip lifts to patients in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas who want to feel more confident and youthful when they smile.
Table of Contents
- What is a Lip Lift?
- What to Expect
- Lip Lift vs. Fillers
- Why Choose?
- Schedule a Consultation
What is a Lip Lift?
The purpose of a lip lift is to raise the top lip and create a more attractive smile. It can resolve issues such as thin or flat lips, a long upper lip, turned-down corners of the mouth, and/or teeth that do not show when the mouth is a bit open or a person is smiling. Aging, genetics, and lifestyle all play a role in the length of the upper lip, so a lift lip may be an anti-aging procedure in older patients or a contouring procedure in younger patients. Each lip enhancement plastic surgery at our office is customized to meet the patient’s unique needs.
Lip Lift Surgery Results
A lip lift and enhancement procedures differ based on the issue and the unique treatment option selected. Some typical results of a lip lift procedure are featured in our gallery.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Benefits of Lip Lifts
Lip lift surgery offers a variety of benefits to patients, both cosmetic and psychological. Perhaps, the most obvious benefit is fuller, more youthful-looking lips. Lip lifts may also help to lift the corner of the mouth on both sides, improve the length and shape of the lips, create a more prominent lip line, and reduce fine lines on the upper lip. The procedure can also do wonders for a patient’s smile by showing off their teeth. After undergoing a lip lift, many patients report feeling younger and more confident. While lip lifts are simple procedures, they can be just what some patients need to go from looking fine to looking and feeling great.
Good Candidates for Lip Lifts
At W Cosmetic we recommend lip lifts for patients who have lost volume in their lips as a result of the aging process or for those who were born with thin lips that bother them. This procedure may also be beneficial for patients with a very long upper lip, minimal to no “red” portion of the lip tissue, and/or lips that conceal the teeth when they smile.
Patients should be non-smokers, in good health overall, and have realistic expectations. During a consultation at W Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia, we can determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for a lip lift.
What to Expect During a Lip Lift Consultation
A lip lift consultation begins with Dr. Wulc reviewing the patient’s medical history, evaluating their existing lip tissue, and learning about their aesthetic goals. If he believes a lip lift is a good option, he will thoroughly explain the procedure and answer any questions the patient may have. He may also share before and after pictures so that the patient knows what to expect. Dr. Wulc may also suggest complementary cosmetic surgery procedures to help patients meet their goals.
The Lip Lift Procedure vs. Fillers
We have discovered that many patients who are displeased with the shape and volume of their lips assume that lip augmentation with fillers can help them. The truth is that lip fillers are not always the ideal solution to cosmetic issues of the lips. To determine what procedure may be right for an individual patient, we encourage them to perform a simple test by relaxing their bottom jaw so that their mouth opens slightly. Here’s what they may see:
Long Upper Lip with No Teeth Showing
If a patient’s upper teeth do not appear when their jaw is relaxed, a lip lift may be the best solution. This is because their top lip is likely hanging over the front teeth. A filler could cause the top lip to push outward and lead to unattractive duck lips. It can also make the teeth less visible, and make your smile look different, and not as youthful.
Thin Lips with a Long Upper Lip and No Teeth Showing
A lip lift paired with a lip filler like Juvederm or Restylane may be a patient’s best bet if they have thin lips and a long upper lip. The lip lift may shorten the distance between the base of their nose and the fleshy, red portion of their top lip. A filler can add some more volume and contour the cupid’s bow.
Thin to Average Lip Volume and Teeth Showing
A lip filler is an appropriate procedure for patients with upper teeth showing. This is because shortening the upper lip with facial plastic surgery may lead to a gummy smile, whereas a lip filler will simply boost volume.
It is important to note that while patients are welcome to perform this exercise at home, it is not a substitute for a consultation with W Cosmetic. It is only designed to demonstrate the different possibilities available. At W Cosmetic we can thoroughly evaluate a patient’s lips and recommend a customized treatment plan based on their unique aesthetic goals.
The Lip Lift Procedure
Lip lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. After local anesthesia is administered, a bullhorn-shaped incision is created under the base of the nose. This is used to remove a thin sliver of the skin. The amount of lift that is necessary to create an attractive contour and to reveal more of the teeth when the patient is smiling will determine the amount of skin that is removed. Once the skin is removed, the incision will be closed with a combination of dissolving and non-dissolving sutures, which are usually removed after about a week.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
As soon as the incision is closed, a thin and virtually unnoticeable scar will start to form at the base of the nose. Patients with a longer upper lip and a short red lip may benefit from a subnasal lip lift alone, while those who hope to add volume to their lips may choose to pair their lip lift with lip augmentation options such as dermal fillers, lip implants, or fat grafting.
Recovering from Lip Lift Surgery
An upper lip lift is a fairly simple cosmetic surgery that involves minimal to no pain and slight bruising. In most cases, pain medication is not necessary. However, patients are required to use an antibiotic cream in the lip area to allow their sutures to heal. If they experience temporary tooth show, it will disappear on its own in several days.
Patients will be able to go home right after their lip lift and return to work and their other responsibilities about three to four days after the surgery. We will encourage them to stick to soft foods such as mashed potatoes and pudding for the initial three to five days after their lip lift as chewing may be uncomfortable initially.
I have seen Dr. Wulc over the years for different things (eyelids, facial peel, Botox, Restoline, Juviderm, my lips, etc.) and I have to tell you that I think he is fabulous. I wish I could afford to see him more often, but it is hard for me financially. I am currently saving for a facelift. Dr. Wulc will be the doctor that I see to have this procedure done. I trust him. I respect him. And, I know he cares. Dr. Wulc rocks! He has also treated my mother, my sister, and many of my friends. He does beautiful work and is very particular and cautious. He explains everything in detail and he is very reassuring. I would recommend Dr. Wulc to anyone. I hope I can see him in January for a facelift consult!
Frequently Asked Questions About Lip Enhancement and Lip Augmentation
When do the results of a lip lift become visible?
The results of a lip lift begin to emerge once the healing process has come to an end. This takes about two weeks on average.
What are the side effects of a lip lift?
Just like any other surgical procedure, lip lift surgery does involve some side effects, including swelling, bruising, and minor pain. Fortunately, the side effects will improve within a few days and medication can be taken to relieve any discomfort.
Is a lip lift painful?
Since a lip lift is performed under local anesthesia, it does not cause any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
When can I return to work after a lip lift?
In most cases, patients feel comfortable returning to work within a week after their procedure.
A lip lift can lift a downturned corner of the mouth, which causes many patients to worry about how their lips will move or how they will speak after they recover from the procedure. Good news: since a lip lift does not impact the nerves or muscles of the mouth, the procedure won’t change the way a patient’s mouth moves or their speech. While they may have a bit of a challenge enunciating certain words at first, this usually resolves within a few days. Lips usually move naturally as the healing process progresses.
Since a lip lift will increase the amount of tooth show, it may not be a good option for patients that already have a sufficient amount of tooth show. A cosmetic dentist may be able to help patients prepare for a lip lift, or a procedure like lip augmentation may be a better option. Patients who have enough tooth show may only need fillers to add volume or to contour the cupid’s bow.
Patients who have an infection, cold sores, keloid scars, or an active skin disorder are usually not good candidates for a lip lift surgery or lip augmentation.
How much skin will need to be removed?
The amount of skin in the lip area that will need to be removed during a lip lift procedure depends on a patient’s specific needs. In most cases, however, between 5mm and 7 mm of skin is removed through a bullhorn-shaped incision. Since removing too much skin can lead to longer healing periods, at W Cosmetic we stay within the safest range for every patient.
What is a gull wing lip lift?
This type of lip lift simply refers to the incision pattern used. During a gull wing lip lift, skin is removed from just above the upper lip, rather than at the base of the nose. As an experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Ende typically uses a bullhorn-shaped incision placed at the base of the nose to minimize scarring. The gull wing lip lift tends to carry increased risks and is not favored by most board-certified plastic surgeons.
What happens to a lip lift when I smile?
With smiling, the lip thins—inevitably and in everyone. The reason it thins is that the muscles that create the smile all attach at the outer corner of the mouth, at an area called the modiolus. The lip is an elastic structure. It can form a pout, it can be used to speak, and smile and, thus, thins much like a rubber band thins when stretched. A lip lift is an old procedure that is enjoying new use primarily because of the new trend in creating a beautiful mouth—a relatively large upper lip in ratio to a balanced lower lip. Big lips are in. In order to make big balanced lips, that are pouty and everted, and create a beautiful mouth, a lip lift can be helpful in selected patients.
What is a lip lift?
A beautiful, youthful mouth is formed by the lips surrounding the teeth– and ultimately the smile. A balance must be struck between the teeth, their location and their appearance, and the lip, and a lip lift can help restore that balance and showcase a stellar smile.
The lip lift is a useful procedure that corrects a long upper lip. The white part of the upper lip (over the red lip) lengthens with age. A long white lip is a lip that looks aged. In the aging face the upper teeth either don’t show– or show less. So the smile becomes less beautiful as it becomes less youthful. Many times the use of filler, when injected in the lip to plump the lips, actually causes the upper lip to become heavy– and long. Additionally, it is often a mistake to try to create a beautiful lip by plumping it alone because the balance between the teeth and the lip is altered. To plump the lip makes it fat, flat, and longer and makes the teeth invisible. Thus, too much fullness, without proper balance, only plumps the lip and makes the entire mouth look older and out of proportion.
It is important to note that many surgical lip lifts leave a very visible scar, and you should ask your surgeon to consider concealing the incision partially in the nostrils as has recently been described. And that’s how we do it.
What is the recovery like from a lip lift?
The lip lift recovery is simple. Sutures are used that are visible for one week after the surgery. In our practice, we use a skin glue to assure smooth and relatively scarless healing. For about a week, the lip lift is obvious because of the glue and the color of the sutures.
What is the cost of a lip lift?
Cost of a lip lift varies based on whether the surgery is done in the office or in the operating room, or is done in conjunction with other aesthetic or anti aging procedures.
Why Choose W Cosmetic Surgery for Lip Enhancement?
Dr. Ende is uniquely experienced in performing lip lifts, having co-authored a medical textbook on lip enhancement and having served as a clinical trial investigator for Juvéderm® in 2007. He works alongside Dr. Wulc, a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been in practice for over 30 years. Dr. Ende ensures that each lip lift he performs leads to attractive, natural-looking results rather than the infamous “duck lips” most patients want to avoid.
At W Cosmetic Surgery, patients can look forward to a customized treatment plan that leaves them looking and feeling youthful and beautiful.
Schedule a Lip Lift Consultation
If you’re interested in finding out whether you’re a good candidate for a lip lift or lip augmentation, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule a free, private consultation at our Philadelphia, PA office. Call us at 610-828-8880 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to bringing your aesthetic dreams to life.