As we age, the upper lip can lengthen, making it so our teeth do not show when we smile; this can contribute to a patient looking older than they really are. While surgical or non-surgical lip enhancement can create a fuller and more shapely pout, some patients find that fat transfer or lip filler techniques (i.e., those used in lip augmentation) cause their lips to go “out” rather than “up.”
These patients may be candidates for a lip lift, a surgical procedure designed to reduce the distance between the nose and the upper lip.* Lip lifts are performed to create subtle, natural results. Our female plastic surgeon, Alexandra Hart, MD, is a member of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. She can meet with you to determine whether a lip lift would be an ideal fit for your aesthetic goals.
- Recovery Time: One day – one week
- Procedure Recovery Location: Outpatient
Should I Get a Lip Augmentation or Lip Lift?
Some women feel lip augmentation (with either autologous fat or fillers) will make their lips more beautiful. However, this can often result in the “duck lip” appearance we recognize in the actresses on TV. In these cases, augmentation is not the answer. Augmenting a flat, undefined lip will only create an outward, pouty lip rather than accentuate the shape and design of the mouth.
The fear of having “duck lips” can be put to rest if a qualified surgeon performs the surgery. Most individuals who end up with pouty “duck lips” were likely fitted with implants in a lip that would have received more benefit from a lift.
How Is A Surgical Lip Lift Performed?
There are currently many approaches that are commonly employed during a lip lift surgery. The techniques most frequently used by our team are the modified bullhorn and corner lift strategies.
The modified bullhorn technique was designed to reshape the Cupid’s bow by removing a portion of skin and tissue from under the nose. Once the small piece of tissue is removed, the lip is lifted and raised.* The lift is secured by tight sutures so a small section of teeth can be exposed when the mouth is at rest. This process exposes a large portion of the upper lip vermilion and visually increases the volume of the pink area of the lip.
Meanwhile, the corner lift method involves the elevation of the corners of the mouth, which can increase both volume and height.* To perform this technique, the surgeon removes a small piece of skin to expose more of the lateral lip. It is often ideal for patients with “droopy” or downturned lips.
What Can I Expect After Lip Lift Surgery?
Lip lift surgery is performed under oral sedation and may be combined with another procedure under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at an accredited surgical facility. The surgery generally takes one to two hours to complete. During the first few days after surgery, there will likely be some swelling and moderate pain, but the results should be visible almost immediately. It can take several months for the final look of the enhanced lip to take full effect.
Will A Lip Lift Cause Visible Scarring?
In general, lip lift surgery will leave a very minimal, inconspicuous scar. The incision is tightly closed deep within the inner lip to help relieve stress on the incision. Most patients can barely notice where the incision was placed.
Ready to book your lip lift consultation? Reach out to Plastic Surgery Group of Atlanta today.