During social interactions, we are naturally drawn to someone else’s face, especially the lips, whether it is to help determine what words are spoken, what emotions are conveyed, or what non-verbal cues are attached to their feelings. While younger men and women are sometimes susceptible to drooping or sagging at the outer corners of the mouth, age plays a large role in how the lips and mouth change over time. As we age, the skin of our upper lip becomes longer with the pink lip becoming thinner, reversing the favorable upper lip ratios. Because of this, many clients become self-conscious of the appearance of their lips. Many individuals who are unhappy with the shape or size of their lips can become self-conscious. An upper lip lift is a great solution for those who wish to achieve a more prominent upper lip restoring that youthful look or to improve the symmetry between the top and bottom lip. Walker MD is 19 minutes from Downtown Atlanta and 16 minutes from Buckhead.
What is an Upper Lip Lift?
An upper lip lift is a delicate and elegant outpatient procedure to reduce the vertical height of the upper lip skin (white lip), thereby also curling out the pink upper lip and making this portion of the lip poutier. There are many different forms of lip lifting procedures that have been around for quite a while. However, this procedure has regained popularity over the past few years, and new advancements in technique have improved this procedure. If well-executed, scars are barely perceptible and well concealed in natural creases just under the nose. With this simple in-office procedure, Dr. Walker will lift the downturned corners just enough to bring back that youthful appearance you previously enjoyed.
What are the Benefits of an Upper Lip Lift?
There are many benefits that an upper lip lift can provide, including:
- A shortened length between the nose and mouth.
- Increased volume of the upper pink lip.
- Turning up of the Cupid’s bow (lip eversion).
- Subtle improvement of the corners of the mouth.
- Increased upper tooth show.
- Improved definition of the philtral columns and Cupid’s bow.
- Decreased need for lip fillers.
What Types of Upper Lip Lifts are There?
When it comes to upper lip lift techniques, there are a variety of methods that are used today. These include:
Gullwing Lip Lift
When employing this technique, an area of excess skin in the shape of a flying seagull is removed from the rim of the upper lip. This is where the “white lip” meets the colorful “pink lip” portion of the lips. This technique requires that clients have ample excess skin in the upper lip area for the procedure to be successful.
Bullhorn Lip Lift
This technique removes excess skin from beneath the nose in the shape of a bull’s horns. A small incision is created below the nose to help individuals with a large space between the nose and lips to achieve a more plump upper pink lip with decreased upper lip skin. Through the incision, underlying skin is lifted and attached to tissue atop the bones that are beneath the nose. This causes the “pink lip” to roll outward, resulting in a pouty lip.
Modified Upper Lip Lift
The technique used with this lift is similar to the bullhorn lip lift, but instead of just removing excess skin beneath the nose, this technique goes deeper in the same plane as a deep plane facelift. This technique also reduces the risk of creating wide nostrils, as the incisions are placed in the natural crease below the nose.
Corner Lip Lift
A corner lip lift improves the corner edges of the lips for individuals whose lips curve downward. Small portions of excess skin in the shape of triangles are removed from each corner of the mouth. This causes the corners of the lips to lift upward, creating a friendlier appearance.
Italian Lip Lift
This technique is similar to the bullhorn lip lift, only that the incisions are created as two small crescent shapes beneath the nostrils. This technique allows for fewer visible scars and produces a lift that is especially pronounced in the peaks of the lips.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Lip Lift?
Both men and women may benefit from the lip lift procedure. In younger patients, this procedure is often done to avoid an “overly done” appearance that can sometimes be the result of fillers. In older patients, a lip lift can help restore facial balance around the mouth, as the upper lip can lose volume and increase in vertical length as we age. A lifted lip vs. filled lip has a different look and really addresses a different problem. The lift gives the upper lip a lighter and more defined appearance with greater volume and tooth show. The best candidates will be overall healthy with realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure. There are very few scenarios where a lip lift is not advisable, the main one being someone with a higher proportion of tooth show. A cosmetic dental consultation may be advised to see if you can have a tooth-shortening procedure and become a lip lift candidate.
How is the Upper Lip Lift Procedure Done?
The upper lip lift procedure is performed in the office using local anesthesia or “twilight sleep”. The majority of individuals undergo the procedure while awake, as the numbing process is virtually pain-free. While a lip lift is a surgical procedure, it is a minor one. Most lip lift procedures take about 60-90 minutes to complete.
Incisions are created under the base of the nose in a skin crease to ensure camouflage. The modifications in flap elevation and tension-free skin closure allow fast healing, rapid disappearance of incision sites, and avoidance of nostril widening.
Upper Lip Lift Recovery
Recovery from a lip lift is fairly short, with clients seeing noticeable results in as little as three weeks. Swelling is to be expected, can be controlled with ice packs, and will dissipate with time. Dr. Walker will provide you with specific instructions on how to minimize swelling and ensure safe healing. Any sutures will be removed 5-7 days after surgery. Final results are typically seen a few weeks after the procedure with complete healing after a few months.
Clients should refrain from exercise for 1-2 weeks following the procedure to ensure optimal healing. It is also recommended that you eat soft foods that do not require significant chewing for 48 hours after surgery. Be sure to sleep on your back with your head elevated, as sleeping on your face may disturb healing.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you would like to learn more about the lip lift procedure in Atlanta, contact our office today. We will be happy to schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Walker, during which you can discuss your aesthetic goals and vision for your new lips. Dr. Walker is a dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon with significant experience performing upper lip lifts. His goal is to help your cosmetic goals become a reality while providing professional and beautiful results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of an upper lip lift?
The best way to determine the price of your upper lip lift procedure is through a consultation with Dr. Walker. During this appointment, Dr. Walker will discuss your treatment goals, and his team will discuss pricing with you. Pricing is dependent on the type of lip lift technique chosen, and if you are undergoing any other procedures in conjunction. Always keep in mind that rather than seeking the best deal, you also should consider credentials and training, all of which impact procedure safety and outcome.
How can I prepare for my upper lip lift procedure?
Before undergoing a lip lift procedure, clients should refrain from smoking at least four weeks prior and after their lip lift. You should also avoid aspirin or any other medications that can thin the blood for two weeks before surgery. Please consult with a physician before stopping any medication.
Does insurance cover the cost of upper lip lift?
An upper lip lift is considered a cosmetic procedure and is hence not covered by insurance.
Can a lip lift be combined with other cosmetic procedures?
Yes, an upper lip lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift, neck lift, rhinoplasty, eyelid lift, brow lift, or other cosmetic facial surgeries. During your consultation with Dr. Walker, you can discuss your treatment options.