Not just for older patients suffering from an elongated upper lip due to aging, on the contrary, the Upper Lip Lift has become a very popular procedure among patients in their 20s. It is a procedure for anyone seeking to enhance their smile, their pout, and the prominence of their upper teeth. Ideal candidates include patients who:
This procedure is not ideal for patients who may not be satisfied with a possibly noticeable scar; have infections that affect the area of the mouth (such as herpes); smoke and are unwilling to quit pre- and post-surgery; or suffer from lupus, diabetes, or diseases that prevent their blood from clotting properly. In addition, an Upper Lip Lift does not correct birth defects and is not a form of reconstructive surgery.
The goal of the Upper Lip Lift is to evert the vermilion and produce the effect of a “rolled-out lip” by shortening an upper lip that is excessive in length (longer than the ideal length of 10mm to 20mm from the top of the vermilion to the bottom of the philtrum), thereby changing the shape of the upper lip and moving it to a more favorable position.
A minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure, the Lip Lift provides the appearance of fuller, younger-looking lips, with greater tooth show while the lips are animated or in repose.
The Upper Lip Lift procedure is performed in about 30 to 60 minutes under general anesthesia using classic techniques such as the bull’s horn or gull wing lip lift. During surgery, Dr. Salama creates a small incision at the crux of the nose and lip, cutting off the excess skin and lifting the lip to correct sagging and droopiness while enhancing Cupid’s bow.
Immediately following your Lip Lift surgery, you may experience discomfort due to tightness and swelling of the mouth. You can also expect redness and bruising around the surgical area and possible wound eversion.
For post-op treatment, you will be given thorough instructions as well as antibiotics to prevent infection, ointment or salve to promote healing and scarring, and pain medication.
Do not resume normal activities for 24 hours after surgery, but rather spend time resting. Rest on your back with your head elevated. Do not sleep on your face or open your mouth too wide to prevent stitches from breaking.
Avoid salty foods and hot liquids for 48 after surgery and only eat foods that do not require much chewing.
To clean your teeth, use a children’s toothbrush and rinse your mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide following meals. You can moisturize lips for up to three weeks after surgery using Vaseline or lip balms such as Carmex.
Avoid strenuous activity for 2 to 3 days after surgery. And, exercise is to be avoided for 7 to 14 days.
To help limit swelling, the application of ice packs to the upper lip is recommended for the first few days. Swelling should diminish in about a week and should be almost completely gone within four weeks. Note, the swelling may also temporarily affect the appearance of the nose. If non-dissolvable stitches are used, they will be removed within 5 to 7 days after surgery. Final results can be seen in about six weeks.
As with any surgery, there are risks to the Lip Lift procedure. These include unsatisfactory results, scarring, wound separation, and infection.
Patients tend to heal with a very acceptable scar and generally report they are highly satisfied with their results.