A lip lift is commonly referred to as “upper lip shortening”. A lip lift candidate is someone with an elongated upper lip, better described as the space between the top of the upper lip and bottom of the nostrils. As we age, the distance between that area can become elongated, which some patients feel makes them look older or somewhat less balanced facially. In some cases a long upper lip occurs naturally. The ideal distance of this area is between 12-15 millimeters. This minimally invasive procedure that creates more balance and can make the upper lip look fuller when lifted. Both Utah facial plastic surgeons, Drs. Scott Thompson and Douglas Henstrom, perform lip lifts in Utah often with beautifully natural results.
A lip lift procedure is typically done in-office under local anesthesia. Valium can be taken prior to treatment to help patients relax during this one hour surgery. Patients are awake and the most discomfort patients experience are the initial injections administered to numb the upper lip.
Before local anesthetic is injected, our surgeons will measure and draw a ‘guide’ on the excess skin that will be excised during surgery. The most popular technique involves and excision just below the nose where there is a natural crease that camouflages the scar once healed.
A pressure bandage is placed immediately after surgery and can be removed after 24 hours. Bruising is uncommon and swelling is typically minimal but there are sutures in place for 5 days so many patients choose to take that time for recovery. Most patients manage pain with either Tylenol Extra Strength or a low dose of Norco along with ice to aide in the recovery process.
Patients are instructed to clean the incision morning and night with a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water solution and then apply an antibiotic ointment (bacitracin) until sutures come out on day 5. We recommend that patients wait until day 10 to before applying makeup directly on the incision. Exercise can usually be resumed one week after surgery but it’s always best to consult with your surgeon before doing so.
This lip lift surgery is a minimally invasive procedure with low risk, simple recovery and high-satisfaction rate. Oftentimes the smallest “tweaks” can have a big impact on the overall balance and appearance of the face.