Lip Lift Surgery
Our lips are certainly a focal point both in terms of our own perception of beauty but are also very much the focus in mainstream and social media and in popular culture. We very much focus on lips as a key element of facial anatomy. The recent boom in nonsurgical Lip augmentation is a testament to how important they are in our self image.
Lip lift surgery has a couple of primary goals. There is a small group of people for whom the natural proportions of their face are slightly mismatched. Often in people with quite long faces, the middle third including the nose and upper lip can be additionally elongated creating a slight disproportion compare to the rest of the face. For these patients, the primary goal is to shorten the upper lip and return this central portion of the face to the perfect ratio.
A second group of patients, often those you’ve had lip filler multiple times, have decided that they want a more permanent option to augment their upper lip fullness. Lip lift surgery can shorten the upper lid skin, rolling the mucosa of the upper lip upwards and outwards creating some more vertical height to the lip itself at the expense of the upper lip skin below the nose.
In patients typically in their late 40s towards 50s and 60s, lips tend to deflate and in these patients, sometimes combined with other rejuvenation surgery, a lip lift can add vertical height to the top lip creating an appearance of youth and balance.
Is Lip Lift Surgery for me?
If you believe your central face is disproportionate to the rest of your face in terms of the ideal aesthetic, then lip lift surgery to shorten the upper lid lip skin may well be worth a consideration.
Lip lift surgery is one of the simpler way to change the soft tissue anatomy of this area. Otherwise, more extreme techniques involving shortening of the bony anatomy are another option but these techniques often prove too extreme for many.
If you are a patient who has had lip filler more than three or four times then I strongly recommend you should consider alternatives. Although marketed as temporary, lip filler leaves behind dense rigid scar tissue which never fades. The more times the lip is injected the more scar tissue is created.
I have seen young ladies in whom the lip filler itself has completely dissolved but the overall effect of fullness swelling and potential lumpiness with scar has persisted. If it’s only your upper lip that you wish to be full then fat transfer instead of further filler is a good option. A second reasonable option is lip lift surgery.
If you are a patient for whom your lips were full but are now thin, especially if you’re considering other rejuvenation surgery like a facelift, then lip augmentation by one means or another maybe again something you might consider.
Lip Lift: The Surgery
Lip lift surgery is typically performed under local anaesthetic. The procedure takes 30 to 35 minutes. The goal is to lift the entire central portion of the upper lip. There are a number of techniques to do this but the most common in my practice is something called a bullhorn lift. This employs a scar which sits immediately below the nostril columella and wings of the nose. The scar sits in this natural indented crease and is therefore very well hidden.
After photos and consent, local anaesthetic is injected and the procedure is performed without pain or discomfort. Dissolving stitches are used. And you will be discharged home after less than a total visit of one hour.
Lip Lift Recovery
Lip lift surgery is mild to moderately uncomfortable in the recovery period. Because dissolving stitches are used, the stitches can be easily seen and therefore it would be sensible to take time off work and exercise activity for between one and two weeks following your operation especially if you want to keep the surgery to yourself.
Excessive bruising and swelling are rare. Discomfort when eating especially in the first two or three days can be improved by simple pain medication but is not uncommon.
Lip Lift Surgery Complications
The main complication of lip lift surgery is scar quality. Although well hidden, not all people make good quality scars. Some skin types can make very challenging scars. Although rare around the nose difficult scars are not impossible. Be aware that your scar quality cannot be guaranteed following any surgery but especially in the capable case of lip lift surgery where the scars are clearly on show then be aware of this is a possibility. In adequate or over lifting the lip is a concern. Millimetre accuracy of the final result cannot be predicted as it’s dependent on an individuals healing and tissue type.
Subtle asymmetry will unlikely not be corrected by lip-lift surgery. A wonky smile, equally, is unlikely to change following this type of operation. Please discuss at your first appointment what you’re hoping to achieve and any subtle changes that you might expect.
Lip Lift Surgery
Time in Theatre
Time in Hospital
Recovery to Comfort
Recovery back to work
Back to full exercise