Lip augmentation has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in facial plastic surgery. As we age, our upper lip elongates and we lose volume in our lips. Lips that once were full and luscious now appear thin and deflated. Fine lines and rhytids begin to appear around the mouth which can make someone appear older than their stated age. A more youthful lower lip is one that is full, but short, exposing the upper teeth when smiling.
Patients with an elongated upper lip often have little visible red lip and their upper lip hangs over their teeth. These patents are excellent candidates for a lip lift. A lip lift is an office based procedure that can highlight the red lip, increase tooth show and bring the upper lip into balance with the rest of the face. Often times, a lip lift can provide a more natural result then filler alone.
A lip lift procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia. An incision is made in a natural crease at the base of your nose in the shape of a bull horn. This hides the incision in the natural crease, resulting in a scar that is unnoticeable once healed. A portion of the upper cutaneous lip is excised, pulling the lip upwards. The incision is then meticulously closed with small sutures.
There is typically little to no pain associated with the procedure, other than the discomfort associated with the anesthetic, and patients are able to take Tylenol for pain relief afterwards. Sutures remain in place for one week. Mild swelling and bruising is normal which gradually improves over time. The incision can appear slightly pink for a few weeks to months which will resolve. Patients are able to wear makeup after their sutures are removed to further conceal the incision if necessary.
A lip lift is best for patients with long, thin lips, with little visible red lip and upper teeth show. The procedure is designed to shorten the vertical height of the upper lip to a more youthful position while increasing the visibility of the red, mucosal upper lip. Patients whose main concern is volume loss are often better suited for lip augmentation with fillers such as Juvéderm, Volbella, etc.
Fillers are a great option to volumize the lips, resulting in a fuller, more plump appearance. They can achieve some lift and increase in red lip show but not as dramatic as a lip lift. Fillers can be performed quickly in the office with minimal downtime. The results typically last anywhere between six to twelve months.
At your consultation, Dr. Hall will be able to go over each lip enhancement procedure in detail and formulate an individualized treatment plan for you. The limitations and advantages of each procedure will be reviewed thoroughly. Sometimes, a combination of procedures provides the best outcome.