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Lip lift is a popular surgical procedure that can be done for patients of all ages, and whose benefits revolve around the improvement of the patient’s smile and the general appearance of the mouth area. The most common type of lip lift surgery is upper lip lift. Through this procedure, the surgeon reduces the distance between the upper lip and the base of the nose, which gives the appearance of full lips and an overall youthful complexion. The other type of lip lift surgery is corner lip lift, which only targets the corners of the lips, elevating them slightly. This procedure is recommended for patients who have lip corners pointing downwards, making it look like they are frowning.
Lip lift surgery is a relatively simple procedure that is recommended for patients of all ages. Anyone who feels that the skin space between their upper lip and nose is too large can have this problem fixed and, as an added benefit, obtain youthful, fuller lips as well. The ideal space between the lip and the base of the nose is considered to be between 1 – 1.2 cm in women and larger for men, between 1.3 – 1.5. As we age and bones start to retract, the bones around the nose no long support the skin, making it saggy.
Also, anyone with dropped lip corners can rest assured that corner lip lift surgery is extremely effective and can get rid of that unpleasant frowny look.
People who have had lip filler injections done are also candidates for this procedure. After getting fillers, the “duck face” effect is quite common, so lip lift is an excellent way to fix it.
Another problem that occurs with age (or hereditarily, in some cases), is that teeth do not show when smiling, because the lip covers them too much. People dealing with this aesthetic concern can resort to lip lift and achieve balance and definition.
As part of the consultation, you will first communicate your requirements to our surgeon, indicating the issue that concerns you and then possible solutions will be discussed. Depending on the problem, the surgeon will recommend either upper lip lift or corner lip lift and, in the case of the former, you will establish how much skin should be removed. This part of the consultation is done in front of the mirror, so that you know exactly how you will look like after the procedure.
Because this type of surgery is not very complex, only local anaesthesia is required, so the doctor will not ask you to do blood tests. However, you should refrain from consuming alcohol or aspirin for 14 days before surgery.
Upper lip lift
The vast majority of patients can go through this procedure only with local anaesthesia, so the doctor will not put you on an IV. After the area is numbed, the surgeon will start by making an incision at the base of the nose, removing a small portion of the skin and surrounding tissue. No muscles and nerves are cut here, because it’s very important for them not to be affected. Then, the skin is lifted and placed in the new position, so that the lip no longer covers the teeth, revealing younger, fuller looking lips.
Corner lip lift
This is done under similar conditions to upper lip lift, under local anaesthesia. You can have this done on its own, just to correct lip corners, or together with upper lip lift, in the same day. Also called “smile surgery”, it involves two excisions on both corners of the lips. Then, using two dissolvable sutures, the corners are slightly lifted. Again, the tissue removed does not include any muscles and nerves in this procedure either.
Our team here, at the Centre For Surgery, includes only highly trained, professional surgeons who are familiar with the particulates of lip lift surgery, so you can rest assured that the work done is very meticulous and subtle. Our surgeons are always careful to remove only one small portion of tissue and raise the lip corners only slightly, without extending them.
In general, recovery after lip lift surgery is very smooth and last for about one month. Immediately after the procedure, you will be allowed to go home for recovery, no hospital admission being required. In the first couple of days, it is perfectly normal for your mouth area to remains swollen and you not be allowed to eat anything other than soft foods. After four days, you will be able to get to work, but you will still experience a feeling of tightness and swelling. The sutures placed during surgery are dissolvable, so you will not need to return to the clinic to have them removed.
Over the next weeks, the swelling will steadily go down, so that after one month the area will be completely healed. The redness should go away within two weeks, but if it doesn’t, topical applications of steroid cream will accelerate scar healing.
Like any surgical procedure, lip lift has certain risks and complications which, though rare, could occur, and you should be aware of them. These include:
- Uneven healing of the lips
- Swelling around the nose and lips
- In rare circumstances and if the patient has a history, keloidal scars can occur.
Can’t I have lip fillers instead of lip lift surgery?
Although lip fillers also slightly lift the lips, the results aren’t the same as after a lip lift. They are meant to fill the lips, not raise them, and definitely not remove unwanted skin tissues. In fact, if you have a lot of skin between the nose and lip and have lip fillers, you risk getting the unwanted “duck face” effect.
Are the effects of lip lift permanent?
Yes, they are. This is a permanent procedure and you will not have to return to the clinic to have the procedure redone.
Is the surgery painful?
During the procedure, you will not feel anything, because you will be under local anaesthesia. However, once the effects wear off, you will experience some discomfort which will go away in time. If the soreness becomes too bothersome, you can take pain medication.
Will I get any scarring?
The scars will only be visible for a couple of weeks after surgery and then they will fade away because we only use the highest quality dissolvable sutures. To accelerate skin healing, you can apply over the counter creams.
What is the ideal amount of skin to be removed?
Every patient has different features and we do not use a template when deciding how much tissue will be removed. This is established together, based on your preferences. In general, we remove between 5mm and 7mm of skin, depending on the sagginess and how plump you want your upper lip to be.