A lip lift (aka; upper lip shortening procedure) is a surgical procedure that improves the cosmetic appearance of the lips by decreasing the upper vertical lip skin length which allows an appropriate amount of upper central incisor tooth exposure at rest. Hence the procedure is performed mainly for three reasons; first to shorten a long upper lip and second, to increase the amount of upper front teeth exposure, and third to increase the “pouty” appearance of the upper lip.
Historically, most surgeons have avoided this procedure in order to avoid an unaesthetic scar between the upper lip and skin. However, newer techniques have been developed to avoid the visible lower lip scaring by the placement of the incision between the junction of the nose and lip. In addition, modification of the lip lift (gull-wing configuration) allows an elevation of both the central portion of the lip and the lateral portion of the lip in order to avoid the classic “rabbit lip” appearance.
The upper lip length is defined by the distance between the nasal base to the reddish-pink portion of the upper lip (vermilion border). Typically the distance between the nasal base and the upper portion of the lip is around 11-15mm. At this ideal lip length, the central incisor exposure at rest in a youthful female should be around 3-4 mm. In males, the ideal central incisor exposure at rest should be around 0-2 mm.
Individuals with long appearing upper lip length greater than 15 mm with no central incisor exposure at rest (mouth open without smiling) can be great candidates for a lip lift. In other words, if your upper lip length is greater than 18 mm and you show no front teeth at a smile, you are a candidate for a lip lift!
An incision is made in the junction between the nose and upper lip skin in the shape of a gull-wing. If the simultaneous elevation of lateral corners of the lip is needed, the incision can extend into the groove between the ala of the nose and the nasolabial groove.
All of our lip lift procedures can be performed with local anesthesia. However, at our practice, you have the option of a light or deep sedation at no additional charge.
The gull-wing-shaped lip lift usually requires approximately 30 minutes of OR time.
No, placement of filler in the lips only increases the anterior projection of your lips. In fact, lip filler placed in a long upper lip can create the appearance of the so-called “duck lips.” So, the only way to shorten the upper lip is really by surgically removing the excess skin via the lip lift procedure.
After surgery, the swelling of the lips subsides in about 1 week to allow public appearance. Redness along the incision line has usually resolved by day 30. If there is still residual redness, localized laser skin resurfacing can be performed to decrease visibility.
Price ranges from $1900 to $3900.
Yes, go to the Before and After gallery below.