What is a Lip Lift, and Is It Right for You?
Over the last several decades, concepts of facial beauty have increasingly focused on having lush, full lips. In the 2000s, lip fillers such as collagen were popular, but the results were temporary and unpredictable. Repeated injections were inconvenient and sometimes led to scarring. The lip lift was developed as an alternative to fillers. In the hands of skilled board certified cosmetic surgeons, your smile rejuvenation results will be more individualized, long lasting, and natural. At Modern Surgical Arts of Denver, Dr. Dastoury or Dr. Zwiebel utilizes his background in oral and maxillofacial surgery and facial aesthetics in order to tailor the treatment plans for his patients.
What is a lip lift, and why are so many people getting them? Is a lip lift right for you? What are the surgery and recovery like? Learn more about lip lifts and how they can enhance your appearance.
What is a Lip Lift?
A lip lift is what it sounds like – the surgeon makes a subtle incision below the base of the nose and gently lifts the upper lip in order to shorten the lip so that it appears more youthful, and exposes more of the deep pink color of the lip. The result is a lip that looks rejuvenated and more defined. A lip lift also slightly narrows the space between the upper lip and the base of the nose, which gives you a more youthful appearance. It can also help reveal a patient’s smile and teeth which his also a more youthful appearance. After a lip lift, your upper lip will appear fuller because more of the lip is exposed that once was “rolled under” toward the teeth.
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Why Do People Get Lip Lifts?
There are several aging changes that occur with the lips. They reduce in volume, become longer in length, lose the sharp architecture, and less visible upper teeth. A common misconception with lip filler is that it can shorten the lip or help expose more of the pink color from the inside. Although there are techniques with lip filler than can achieve some of those goals, the results are always temporary and do not fully address the patient’s aging concerns. This is why we recommend receiving a consultation for lip rejuvenation or aging lips before receiving any filler as it can mask the signs of aging and interrupt the proper sequence of treatment for lip rejuvenation. The following is the proper recommended sequence adopted by Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel for peri-oral and lip rejuvenation:
- Consultation for aging lips or long upper lip
- Surgical lip lift: This places the foundation of the lip in the desired youthful and shorter position
- Volume augmentation: Here is where we utilize lip filler for volume after a minimum of 3 months. Different types of fillers can be used for lip architecture vs. volume or in combination
- Skin rejuvenation: Treatment of fine lines and wrinkles can be treated with BOTOX Cosmetic/Dysport; Microneedling, and laser resurfacing to polish the skin for a more youthful appearance.
- Cosmetic Dentistry: Once fully healed, at 3-6 months post-op is where patients can pursue cosmetic dental restorations or procedures such as veneers, bonding, or teeth whitening at their leisure for a complete smile makeover!
Lip Lift Before & After:
- Lip Lift Case
Are You a Good Candidate for a Lip Lift?
A lift lip is not suitable for everyone. For optimal results, you should fall into one or more of these categories:
- You cannot see any of your upper teeth without smiling
- Your upper lip overhangs your lower lip
- Your lips are too far from your nose
- The corners of your mouth look like you are frowning
- You have a long upper lip
- You show substantially less pink tissue of your upper lip than your lower lip
- There is no definition to the Cupid’s bow of the lips
Is There More Than One Kind of Lip Lift?
At Modern Surgical Arts, we perform four types of lip lifts depending on your needs, the structure of your face, and the results you desire.
Indirect Lip Lift
This is the most common type of lip lift and generally has the best results. Your surgeon will cut a small portion of skin out just beneath the nose, lifting the skin below to raise your lips and expose more of the pink skin of the under edge of the lip. Recovery is relatively quick, and the results can be impressive. Most commonly Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel will utilize the sublabial incision also known as the “bull horn” incision. The incision itself is hidden very well below the nose and modern suturing techniques are utilized for improved healing as you can see on the before/after photos below.
Direct Lip Lift
This is a more complicated lift surgery and focuses on enhancing the color of your lips by lifting tissue and skin directly above the lips rather than under the nose. The Cupid’s bow peaks at the top of the mouth are pushed outward, and small incisions beneath the lower lip also enhance them. Some patients develop scar tissue after this surgery, so follow your post-operative care instructions carefully to minimize the risk of scarring.
Corner of the Mouth Lift
During this procedure, the skin at the mouth’s outer corners is drawn up using small incisions. If you always look like you’re frowning or feel like your face “sags” around your lips, a corner lift can turn your frown into a smile. For downward turning corners of the mouth, Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel actually prefers to utilize facial filler for correction of this area as this technique is scar-less and more predictable with less risk of asymmetry.
This is the mostly utilized for lengthening the upper lip in cases where the lip is short. This type of lift lip and the only one performed solely on the inside of the mouth. Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel will use surgical tools to cut V-shaped flaps under the upper lip, then draws them together to form a Y shape which can length to the lip in a downward direction. The recovery period for this lift can be painful and leave scars inside the mouth.
Lip Lift Before & After:
- Lip Rejuvenation Case
What Happens After Lip Lift Surgery?
You will have some bruising and swelling for a few days and up to a week, but it will be minimal after the first few days. There are several strategic tapes along the lip. In certain cases Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel may recommend treating the upper lip with BOTOX 2 weeks prior to your procedure in order to relax the muscles around the lip and relieving the tension on the sutures during the healing process. Mild swelling may last up to two weeks, but at Modern Surgical Arts of Denver we utilize several organic supplements both pre- and post surgery for minimal bruising and swelling. Eat only soft foods for the first two or three days to give yourself time to heal. Once the sutures dissolve or are removed at 7-10days, you should be able to resume normal eating and drinking. If you still want to get lip fillers or Botox injections around the lips, we recommend waiting three months before proceeding. You can apply makeup to the area one week after surgery.
Your smile is one of the first things others notice about you. A beautiful smile has two elements – straight, white teeth and gorgeous lips to frame them. Drs. Dastoury or Zwiebel often uses the analogy of the picture and the frame as one of your most recognizable features of the face. Thus a comprehensive consultation and treatment for a smile makeover can help achieve your best first impression on your next big social event.
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