What Is A Lip Lift?
You’ve likely already heard of lip injections, sometimes called fillers or lip implants. These procedures give that bee-stung look to the lips. There’s another surgical procedure known as a lip lift that can give you a different kind of pout. Unlike lip fillers, it’s permanent.
A lip lift is an in-office surgical procedure that shortens the space between the nose and the top of the lip, known as the “philtrum.”
The procedure increases the amount of pink tissue that’s visible which makes the lips look fuller and more pronounced. It also increases how much of your upper central teeth show when your lips are resting.
It’s a good option for people who want to add height instead of volume to their lips.
What Are the Benefits Of A Lip Lift?
When people look at faces they focus mostly on the eyes and the mouth, so the lips have a very important role in how others perceive you. Secondly, we all recognize the appearance of the lips as a marker for aging. Finally, the relation of the upper lip to the nose determines the relationship and harmony between the lower and middle thirds of your face, so the length of your upper lip plays a big role in facial proportions.
What Are The types Of Lip Lifts?
There are several types of lip lifts. It’s important to know the types and techniques so you can have an informed discussion with your surgeon about which is right for you.
Direct lip lift: A direct lip lift, sometimes called a gullwing lip lift, creates a more defined lip border. A thin strip of skin is removed just above the upper lip, and the skin is pulled upwards, creating the illusion of a more pronounced vermillion (the pink part of the lips). This procedure typically leaves behind a scar on the upper lip area.
Subnasal bullhorn: The subnasal bullhorn is one of the more common lip lift procedures. A surgeon will make an incision that’s typically hidden along the base of the nose where it’s less visible. The incision is often made in the shape of a bullhorn and the center, right, and left of the lip are all pulled up toward the nose.
Central lip lift: A central lip lift is similar to a subnasal bullhorn lift. It shortens the space between the nose and the lips by an incision at the lower nose.
Corner lip lift: A corner lip lift is sometimes called a “grin lift” because it gives the face a more smiley appearance. It’s done by making two small incisions at both corners of the mouth and removing a small amount of skin. Some people will get this in tandem with another lip lift to give fuller lips. It’s an option for people who feel they have downturned lips.
Italian lip lift: An Italian lip lift requires two incisions below each nostril, and other than that detail, it’s very similar to the bullhorn. It typically doesn’t involve a noticeable scar.
Who’s A Good Candidate For A Lip Lift?
A lip lift can be a good option for older people who want to reduce the space between the lips and the nose. With age, this space typically increases and can make lips look thinner.
Younger people who haven’t achieved the look they want from fillers, or if they find that fillers make their lips look unnaturally plump or duck-like, may prefer a lip lift.
Lip lifts are also a permanent solution, so they can be helpful for people who are tired of the upkeep of filler.
Who’s A Not A Candidate For A Lip Lift?
You’re not a good candidate if…
- you don’t have a lot of space between the base of your nose and the top of your lip (typically about 1.5 centimeters)
- you’re a smoker and you’re not willing or able to quit for the postsurgery healing period (about 2 to 4 weeks)
- It’s a good idea to speak to your surgeon if you have diabetes or any other condition that affects your blood’s ability to clot, or if you have oral herpes.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Lip Lift?
Pros: A lip lift is a permanent solution to create fuller lips, without the ongoing maintenance of temporary lip fillers. It’s a relatively simple facial plastic surgery procedure that’s done under local anesthesia. Because the procedure lifts tissue, rather than adding volume, a lip lift surgery won’t give you the “duck lips” look that can sometimes happen with fillers. It can give your mouth a more proportional look relative to the rest of your face, enhance your lip shape, and expose more of your upper teeth, a look that’s considered more youthful.
Cons: If your surgeon removes too much skin, it’s very challenging to restore that length.
It will reveal more of your top teeth, so if your upper teeth are crowded, discolored, or uneven, you might want to either consider other lip augmentation options like fillers—or also spring for teeth straightening and whitening. You will be left with a small scar. There’s always scarring at the base of the nose. But [if the lip lift is] performed well, with meticulous closure, there is just a very fine line scar that forms.