The distance between the opening of the mouth and the base of the nose tends to be longer in males than in females and when a female mouth is open and relaxed the upper incisors are often exposed by a few millimeters. To feminise a mouth an incision is usually made just under the base of the nose and a section of skin is removed. When the gap is closed it has the effect of lifting the top lip, placing it in a more feminine position and often exposing a little of the upper incisors. The surgeon can also use a lip lift to roll the top lip out a little making it appear fuller.
Best Candidates for Lip LIft
The best candidates for a Lip Lift are patients with ultra-thin upper and/or lower lips, a long, thin sagging upper lip that covers most of the teeth, and where the corners of the lip droop down.
The mouth undergoes many changes as it ages. The upper lip lengthens and sags, the vermilion thins out and takes on a “set” look, the corners droop, and the architecture becomes muted as the “lip roll” and the philtrum flatten and the “cupid’s bow” loses its curves.
Where the corners of the lip turn down, a Lip Lift performed on the corners of the mouth will rejuvenate an ageing lip. For an upper lip that has thinned and drooped, no longer showing the upper teeth when smiling, a Lip Lift can give a more youthful look.
Lip Lift Overview
A Lip Lift involves removing the extra skin from the upper lip by making a small incision below the nose. This has the effect of lifting the vermilion (pink portion of the lip), which in turn results in more visibility of the vermilion. It also shortens the vertical height of the skin portion of the upper lip between the nose and mouth.
There are two types of Lip Lift surgery available where the incision is either made in the lip itself, or at the base of the nose at the junction of the nose and the upper lip.
The incisions are closed with very fine absorbable sutures, and the scar is inconspicuous after healing. The procedure takes 30-90 minutes and is usually performed under local anaesthesia.
A lip lift will remove about 6-8 mm (about 1/4 inch) of skin along the “sill” or bottom of your nose, just below your nostrils. Because there is a natural crease there, a scar is typically inconspicuous. A lift often results in an upturn of the vermillion (the “pink” of your lips), thereby accomplishing two things at once.
In comparison to a lip lift are lip fillers. Fillers include many possible substances such as collagen, Restylane, fat, etc. THese substances are often used to bulk up the area into which they are injected, and they last for varying lengths of time. Fillers will make your lips bigger and bulkier, which is ideal if that is your primary concern. However, fillers will not shorten a long lip or make the vermillion (pink part) appear higher. In many cases, both are employed.
So, if your main concern is that your upper lip is too long, you should seek a lip lift. If your main concern is thin lips, you should seek fillers. If you have both concerns, you should keep both options open.
Recovery After Lip Lift
The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or sedation and takes less than an hour. you may return to work the next day but may be limited by appearance (especially visible stitches). Pain is minimal.
When You Return Home
Swelling is very mild and peaks at two to three days then disappears rapidly over the next week. Recovery time is minimal as is any pain or discomfort. You can shower and apply make-up 24 hours after surgery.
Lip Lift Results
The result of the lip lift is a more youthful and pleasant shape to the mouth and lips. The teeth will show more and the patient almost always looks happier and relaxed.
Possible Lip Lift Risks
Complications are uncommon with this operation but could include infection, wound separation or unsatisfactory scarring.