The lips play a major role in aesthetic facial rejuvenation, especially in women. Full, shaped lips are considered youthful and beautiful. Facial filler injections, such as Juvederm® and Restylane®, are the most popular treatments as a “lipstick in a syringe” to enhance the lips of all patients. However, plastic surgery may be a better option than injections for some patients.
First, a basic understanding on natural lip aging. The lips, along with the face, changes with age gradually. Some are born with thin lips, but everyone’s lips slowly shrinks and thins with loss of volume. We also loose facial bone structure and the upper lip rolls inward into the mouth, hiding the red portion of the lip. As a result, the lips develop excess skin and lengthen with time, especially the upper lip. Lastly, the lip flattens and develops creases and wrinkles.
Lip injections with filler can improve many aspects of the lips. Lips injections can help restore some shape, plump up lips, and fill wrinkles. However, lip injections can’t improve this excess length of the upper lip that develops with age. Cosmetic surgery is required.
Upper lip lift surgery
An upper lip lift is a minor procedure to remove excess skin of the upper lip. This cosmetic surgery is a minor procedure performed by facial cosmetic surgeons, which takes a few minutes and can be performed via awake, local anesthesia. A bandage is not required and recovery has been described as very easy by patients. Upper lip lift surgery can be performed alone or combined with other facial procedures, such as facelift or eyelid surgery.
Candidates for upper lip lift surgery generally include those that have:
- teeth that are hidden when smiling
- a long upper lip, with excess length between the nose and the lip line
- thin, flat lips
- “duck lips” after lip injections with fillers
An evaluation is required to determine if one is an appropriate candidate for upper lip lift surgery. As with all cosmetic surgery, the surgeon will help determine possible options for each patient and help the patient choose the “best” option for them.
Have you considered lip enhancement procedures? If you have a long upper lip, then you may be a candidate for an upper lip lift. Speak with a facial plastic surgeon to review options. Share your thoughts below.