What Is A Lip Lift?
As we age, the lips not only lose fullness but the area between the upper lip and nostrils can lengthen due to lack of structural support. In other cases, a person may naturally have a long upper lip even during their youth. When this happens, the “red lip” area that is central to a youthful and feminine mouth becomes small, thin, and less visible overall. The upper teeth often are not visible at rest. The result of these changes is a more aged appearance to the perioral area. Fillers and other methods of volumization of the red lips partially improve this situation, but if the “white lip” is elongated, no amount of filler will return the lips to their youthful and attractive appearance.
A lip lift procedure at Utah Facial Plastics involves permanent reduction of the length of the white lip. The end result is a more youthful and attractive perioral area with an aesthetic and appropriate balance between the lips and teeth. A lip lift is not a replacement for volumization with fillers such as Juvederm and Volbella, but rather in appropriate cases serves as an adjunctive procedure that serves to improve the effectiveness and end result of lip fillers. When performed by an experienced facial plastic surgeon, a lip lift can create subtle but significant improvements to overall facial aesthetics.
Our lip lift surgeons in Utah, Drs. Henstrom and Thompson, understand the proportions of the face and provide beautiful, subtle results for many lip lift patients. Learn more about how to choose a plastic surgeon in Utah HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
A good candidate for a lip lift in Utah is someone desiring a more permanent option for upper lip enhancement and/or has a disproportionate length between the upper lip and nostrils. Lip lift patients are typically in their 50s or older, but younger patients with a naturally longer lip are also excellent candidates.
Drs. Scott Thompson and Douglas Henstrom, double board certified facial plastic surgeons in Utah, have extensive experience with all facial surgeries, including lip lifts. They will discuss your concerns with you during an initial consultation and review your health history. They will then examine the structures of your face and eyes, and will make recommendations they feel will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. At this time, risks and complications are discussed as well as what to expect with recovery from a lip lift.
It is recommended that patients avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen products, Vitamin E and certain herbal medications before surgery, as these medications can cause increased bleeding and/or bruising. Smoking needs to be stopped one week before and after surgery as well to ensure proper healing.
Your Patient Care Coordinator will then provide you with all the financial details on any procedure discussed at your consultation and give financing options if applicable. She can also help facilitate the next step in the process and/or provide additional resources, such as before and after photos, articles, educational videos, etc.
A lift lift can be performed in-office at either our Layton or Draper locations in Utah, though many patients may have a lip lift done at the same time as facelift surgery in the operating room. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes and can be performed under local anesthetic while the patient is still awake. A Valium prescription is provided to make the procedure more comfortable.
An incision in the shape of a bullhorn (bullhorn technique) is made directly underneath the nostrils so that the thin scar will be hidden in the crease where the upper lid meets the bottom of the nose. It is then closed in layers, and sutures are taken out 5 days following your procedure. Our surgeons understand the appropriate proportions of the perioral area and will work with you prior to surgery to establish a plan together.
An alternative method that is rarely used, called the “gull wing” technique involves an incision at the vermilion border (the junction between the red and white lip). This technique is reserved for unusual circumstances since the incision is more difficult to conceal.
Following lip lift surgery, a pressure bandage is placed on the incision and then removed 24 hours later. Patients are instructed to clean the incision with diluted hydrogen peroxide and apply antibiotic ointment morning and night until the sutures come out on day 5. Exercise can be resumed one week after surgery and makeup can be worn after 10 days. Bruising and/or swelling can occur but is uncommon. Lip lift surgery is considered to be a ‘less-invasive’ procedure with low risk and fairly easy recovery.