Frequently on the face patients have procedures to lift areas such as the brow, eyes, face cheek and jawline as well as neck, yet do not address the mouth area, most notably the upper lip.
It has been shown that as we age the upper lip indeed does lengthen. This is exhibited as an increased distance from the nose to the vermilion of the lip as well as exhibiting less show of the upper teeth.
At repose or just normal appearance, as well as during normal speech; in youth it is common to to see the upper teeth significantly; which not only is associated with youth but also being happy, satisfied, and successful.
As the upper lip lengthens less of the upper teeth are seen, and at times it gets to substantial enough that the lower teeth become visible and not the upper teeth. This gives the impression being angry, aggressive and/or sad.
The lip lift procedure addresses that by removing white skin with an incision under the nose that extends around the outside edge of the ala of the nose then curves around into the nostril comes back out across the columella and then across the rest of the nose.
This allows removal of the white skin, to shorten that overall length, while at the same time rolling the red vermilion outward to show more fullness in the upper lip as well.
For years the fullness of the lip has been addressed by adding fillers to the lips themselves, at times being overdone and leading to a fake, “plastic” look while correcting a true deficiency that is indeed present in the red vermilion but also perhaps trying to fix the long white skin component at the same time.
Risk of procedure
The greatest risk is that the scar does not heal very well. Even though parts of it are buried within the nostril itself some of it does come along the outside edge of the nose as well as across the columella. Generally this procedure is performed in older individuals who in general make better scars.
Injury to the underlying structures notably the muscles is possible.
Numbness to the nasal tip is also possible.
This procedure is generally performed in the office under local anesthesia. Sutures are removed 7 days post procedure. Since the sutures generally are visible most people will require at least 7 days off work. For some the swelling present will necessitate 10 to 14 days