Lip Lift Surgery
A lip lift is a surgical procedure which aims to shorten the vertical distance of the upper lip between the nose and the upper lip. This is also called a ’bullhorn’ lip lift or ‘subnasal’ lip lift.
This lifts the upper lip making it appear naturally fuller without the need for filler injections. At the same time the shortening of the upper lip skin improves the aesthetics of the upper lip proportions . This provides benefit in younger individuals who simply want a fuller appearance to the upper lip. However, in older individuals where the lip has dropped with age the shortening of the upper lip provides an anti-aging effect and helps to make this area of the lower face and mouth more youthful and attractive.
Who is suitable for lip lift surgery ?
In younger individuals this surgery is suitable for providing a fuller uppper lip since it aims to provide more of the pink ( vermillion ) part of the lip to show. This is because the shortening of the upper lip rotates upwards the edge of the vermillion .
In older individuals the natural effect of gravity and the thinning of the tissues can cause the upper lip to drop and appear thinner. This produces a very ageing appearance to the mouth since the distance between the nose and upper lip becomes lenghtened. Shortening this distance with a lip lift rejuvenates this area.
The surgery for a lip lift
The surgery for a lip lift is usually performed under local anaesthetic so you are awake during the procedure.
Local anaesthetic injections are used to numb the whole of the upper lip. A strip of skin is removed from under the nose in the shape of a 'bullhorn' which is why this procedure is also called a 'bullhorn' lip lift. Sutures are placed to lift the skin and very neat sutures are used to close the incision and hide the scar in the natural crease under the base of the nose. These stitches are dissolvable.
The recovery after a lip lift
The recovery is not unpleaseant and is relatively quick. You should not experience pain after surgery. There may be a mild degree of swelling for a few days and very mild brusiing. Healing is approximately 2 weeks although it always takes a few months for the scar to settle but since it is in the natural curves and shadows under the nostrils it is hardly visible during this period.
The risks of lip lift surgery
The risks from liplift surgery are minimal. Infection is rare but since the incision line is near the nose antibiotics are provided in the first few days after surgery. Bleeding is very rare.
The scars are usually excellent but rarely in certain skin types and ethnic individuals the quality of the scar may be variable.
It is possible to notice some temporary disturbance in sensation but it is very rare for any permanent loss of sensation.
Some mild asymmetry can occur but this is usually due to underlying facial asymmetry which is common in the majority of individuals.
Lip lift in 56 year old patient
This patient underwent a lip lift and you can see in the photo below the skin removal which is in the shape of a bullhorn. This skin closure is very meticulous with neat stitches which when healed will hide the scar in the natural curves and shadows under the nose. Scroll down to see the final result in this same patient.
You can see below the before and after result at 3 months post surgery with a completely hidden scar and improved upper lip proportions.