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. this is a procedure that is currently hugely in fashion. We’ve been performing the surgery in our practice for over ten years.
Here at W Cosmetic Surgery®, we are pleased to offer lip lifts to patients who want to feel more confident and youthful and show their teeth when they smile.
- What is a Lip Lift?
- Lip Lift Surgery Results
- Benefits of Lip Lifts
- Good Candidates for Lip Lifts
- What to Expect During a Lip Lift Consultation
- The Lip Lift Procedure vs. Fillers
- The Lip Lift Procedure
- Recovering from Lip Lift Surgery
- Frequently Asked Questions About Lip Enhancement and Lip Augmentation
- Why Choose W Cosmetic Surgery® for Lip Enhancement?
- Schedule a Lip Lift 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 your 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.
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. A lip lifs 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 the teeth. After undergoing a lip lift, many patients report feeling younger and more confident. While lip lifts are simple to perform, they can be just what some patients need to go from looking fine to looking and feeling great. A facelift can restore a jawline, but if the upper lip has descended in excess, it creates a disconnect which is easily solved with this procedure and makes the overall rejuvenative result more harmonious.
Good Candidates for Lip Lifts
Patients should be non-smokers, in good health overall, and have realistic expectations.
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.
Ideally a good candidate for the procedure would be as non-smoker, in good health overall, and have realistic expectations. During a consultation at W Cosmetic Surgery® in Philadelphia, we can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a lip lift.
What to Expect During a Lip Lift Consultation
A lip lift consultation begins with our review of your medical history, evaluating your existing lip tissue, and learning about your aesthetic goals. We will thoroughly explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. We will share before and after pictures so that you know what to expect during the healing process. We may also suggest complementary cosmetic surgerical procedures to help you meet your 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 address cosmetic issues of the lips. To determine what procedure may be right for an individual patient, we encourage patients 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 this type of patient that has upper teeth showing at rest. 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 us at W Cosmetic Surgery®. It is only designed to demonstrate the different possibilities available. At W Cosmetic we can thoroughly evaluate a your lips and recommend a customized treatment to enhance this beautiful area and to keep it natural.
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.
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, or fat grafting.
Recovering from Lip Lift Surgery
An upper lip lift is a cosmetic surgicsal procedure that involves minimal to no pain and slight bruising. In most cases, pain medication is not necessary. Post procedure we suggest that you use an antibiotic cream over the incisions and in the nostrils. If you experience temporary tooth show and an exagerratedly short upper lip, it will disappear on its own in several days.
You are able to go home right after the lip lift and return to work and other responsibilities less than a week after the surgery. We encourage you to stick to soft foods such as mashed potatoes and pudding for the initial three to five days after the lip lift as chewing may be uncomfortable initially, and to avoid smiling and other emotions early on for about two weeks.
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, these side effects 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 around a week after their procedure.
Will a lip lift alter the movement of my mouth or how I speak?
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 your mouth moves –or your speech. While there may be a bit of a challenge enunciating certain words at first, the tightness following the lift usually resolves within a few days. Lips usually move naturally as the healing process progresses.
Is a lip lift right for patients with teeth that already show?
Since a lip lift will increase the amount of tooth show, it may not be a good option for those patients that already have a sufficient amount of tooth show. A procedure like lip augmentation with filler 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.
Are lip lifts safe for patients with skin issues?
Patients who have an infection, cold sores, or an active skin disorder are usually not good candidates for a lip lift surgery or lip augmentation. Surgery can be performed with appropriate antiviral or antibiotic therapy, but there is a risk of scarring and recurrent infection that needs to be discussed with us prior the any intervention. Surgery should probably be avoided if there is a history of keloid scarring.
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 and unnatural results, at W Cosmetic we stay within the safe 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. Our incision is typically at the base of the nose and termed a bullhorn incision because it looks like a bull’s horn. We’ve never performed a gull wing lip lift; it carries an increased risk of very visible scarring.
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. Wulc ensures that each lip lift he performs leads to attractive, natural-looking results rather than the infamous “duck or trout 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.
Serving customers from Plymouth, Philadelphia, Main Line, PA and surrounding areas.