As part of the aging process, the upper lip elongates resulting in less visibility of the upper teeth when the lips are slightly parted and a typical “down-in-the-mouth” or angry appearance. A lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that corrects this aging appearance by shortening the distance between the upper lip margin and base of the nose, allowing for more visibility of the upper teeth when the lips are in a relaxed, slightly separated position. It also creates additional upper central lip fullness by rotating it upward and outward and can restore improved lip balance in individuals with comparatively thin upper lips. Performed as a brief outpatient procedure under local anesthesia in a State Licensed, Nationally Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility (see ‘about Keystone Surgery Center’), a lip lift involves a tiny incision placed within the natural crease just beneath the base of the nose to precisely elevate and reposition the upper lip. Recovery time is rapid and the concealed incision generally heals imperceptibly. By enhancing lip position and projection, a lip lift creates a happier, more youthful appearance around the mouth, often leading to improved self confidence.
When considering a lip lift, or indeed any cosmetic procedure, be sure to select a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). As a board certified plastic surgeon with over 15 years of clinical practice experience and member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (The Mark of Distinction in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery® ASAPS), Dr. Robert Kimmel welcomes the opportunity to help you achieve your goals for cosmetic enhancement and enjoy a happier, more confident lifestyle.
When Dr. Kimmel performs a lip lift, the goal is to add shape and elevate the upper lip, not to add volume. This contrasts with using dermal fillers to add shape or volume to your lips. With this simple surgery, you don’t need to return for new injections of Restylane Silk or Juvéderm Volbella every year or so. These changes are permanent and beautiful. Plus, the secondary benefit is that by subtly tightening the area between the lips and nose, lip lifts also remove vertical lines that form in the area.
A lip lift is a great surgery for people with very thin lips. In younger patients, this procedure enhances the lips, and the patient doesn’t need the obvious volume increase that comes with dermal filler injections. By adding definition and contour to the upper lip, a lip lift can provide a more natural result, not just plumping. For older patients, as we age our upper lip loses volume and increases in length, straightening in the center. This procedure effectively shortens the upper lip by gently pulling the skin upward in the Cupid’s Bow area.
This seems like it would leave your upper lip with some sort of dog snarl rise, but that’s not the case at all. People cannot tell you’ve had anything done. They just like the shape of your lips.
If you don’t have much space in your philtrum (at least 1.5 centimeters), this isn’t a good procedure. Dr. Kimmel needs to remove some of this skin to provide the lift.
Patients with oral herpes may not be candidates, but Dr. Kimmel can give you an idea if that’s the case during your consultation.
Dr. Kimmel views every consultation as a complete give and take of information with the patient. He will have you start by detailing the aspects of your lips, especially your upper lip and the corners, that you’re unhappy with. Do you wish your lips had more definition? Do you wish the center elevated more? Do you simply want more volume (dermal fillers could be a better choice in that case)? What do you think you can achieve with this surgery?
Then it’s Dr. Kimmel’s turn. He will examine your lips and the surrounding areas. He’ll make sure you have enough space between your nose and your upper lip, as he will need to remove at least a slim portion of skin to achieve the lift. He’ll examine how the corners of your mouth function to see if addressing the corners is necessary.
If he feels you’re right for a lip lift, he’ll then discuss the procedure in detail. He’ll discuss what you can expect for your recovery along with the risks involved. He’ll detail what you can expect your lips to look like after the swelling has resolved. Throughout his discussion, he’ll encourage you to interject any and all questions you may have.
Whether you choose to go ahead with your lip lift or not, at the end of your consultation you’ll be well-versed in the entire procedure.
Dr. Kimmel only uses local anesthesia for most patients, although he does offer sedation as well, if desired. For the center, he makes an incision in the junction between the nose and the skin above the upper lip. The incision shape is usually like a gull wing, but it can be modified depending on the characteristics of the individual patient’s lips. If the corners of the patient’s mouth droop, the incision can extend further into the groove between the nose and the mouth, the nasolabial crease. This can elevate drooping corners, another common problem with aging lips. If the corner drooping is more pronounced, Dr. Kimmel may make two small incisions at the corners of the mouth to remove a small amount of the skin. This elevates the corners into a neutral or even slightly upturned position.
These surgeries at our fully accredited Keystone Surgery Center take only about 30 minutes.
No, Dr. Kimmel places the incision where the nose meets the skin above the upper lip, so it becomes virtually invisible after healing. If he makes tiny incisions at the corners, those are hidden in the natural corner creases.
You will have some swelling after your lip lift, and it can be dramatic. This will obviously cloud your results. Swelling will begin to run its course in two to three weeks, but it can return, especially at night if you’ve been on your feet a lot during the day. Generally, plan on two to three months for your final results.
These changes made by Dr. Kimmel are permanent changes. You will have some degree of sagging as you continue to age, but this will not overwhelm your results. You’ll enjoy your lip lift for the rest of your life.