Enhancing your smile with an upper lip lift
There are few things in this world that can make you feel as good as receiving a warm, welcoming smile, and the impact of a pleasant smile in everyday social interactions cannot be underestimated. When we see a person with a good smile, we assume they are kinder, happier, and more approachable than their scowling counterparts. However, some people feel self conscious about their smile—unhappy with their thin lip shape or dislike that they are unable to show their upper teeth.
If your lips are thinner than you’d like them to be, you have two main options to change their appearance: One is lip injections—a simple procedure wherein a doctor injects the lips with a dermal filler so they appear more plump. The other option is a lip lift surgery. This is a lesser-known procedure offered by Dr. Vivian Hernandez that offers longer-lasting and more natural results than lip injections.
Candidates for a Lip Lift
The majority of candidates for lip lift surgery typically have naturally thin lips, however other common reasons can be a resting frown, the inability to see your teeth while smiling, a large separation between the nose and lips, a significant prominent upper lip, or unsatisfactory injection results.
Lip Lift Surgery
The lip lift is a surgical procedure that reverses the natural effects of gravity and age by shortening and reshaping the area above the lips and under the nose, allowing the upper teeth to be more visible when smiling and at rest. The normal length of this area is about 12 to 15 millimeters. The placement of the incision can also allow Dr. Hernandez to create a more pronounced “cupid’s bow” as well. The incision scar is well hidden and scarring is minimal.
The quick procedure is done under local anesthesia and affects only a small area of the face. Dr. Hernandez will make an incision underneath the nose and remove a small strip of skin and tissue. The doctor leaves a measured amount of skin—approximately 1.2 centimeters in females and 1.5 centimeters in males—from the base of the nose to the border of the upper lip.
Dr. Hernandez then connects the remaining skin at the incision site with absorbable sutures, lifting the lip to an aesthetically appealing position. This results in a fuller upper lip that is permanent and looks natural.
Dr. Hernandez offers three types of Lip Lift Surgeries:
Bullhorn or Sub Nasal Lip Lift
The Bullhorn Lip Lift is performed by removing an ellipse of skin tissue underneath the nose, therefore shortening the distance between the nose and the upper lip. The skin is then lifted and sutured to the base of the nose, exposing the upper-lip vermilion (pink lip) creating a fuller and more youthful looking lip. This is a straightforward procedure that offers patients a minimally invasive option with a speedy recovery time.
Gullwing or Vermillion Advancement Lip Lift
A Gullwing Lip Lift is performed by creating an incision at the border of the red lip so the excess of skin can be removed and lifted upwards, therefore improving the red lip show.
Corner Lip Lift
The Corner Lip Lift is performed by removing a small amount of skin at both corners of the mouth along the vermillion border (commissure) in order to elevate the down-turned corners of the mouth.
Recovering from a Lip Lift with Dr. Hernandez
Following a lip lift, Dr. Hernandez takes great care to ensure that your recovery is smooth and comfortable. She advises patients to apply cold compresses to the upper lip in order to minimize swelling. Patients can return to work and normal activities after four days—however any rigorous exercise routine should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. For most patients, swelling subsides after one week.