A sign of facial aging that is often overlooked, but nonetheless experienced by countless patients involves the growing distance between the nose and mouth as you get older. The length of the upper lip tends to elongate over time, which can create a facial imbalance and decrease your dental show when smiling or speaking. In addition to reducing the visibility of your teeth and smile, a stretched upper lip can also have the effect of making your lips look thinner than they actually may be.
While the length of the upper lip can contribute to an aged appearance, any concerns can be powerfully resolved with a cutting-edge treatment known as a “lip lift.” During this quick, in-office procedure, a portion of excess length is removed to naturally lift the upper lip and better define the red/pink portion of the lips. Minneapolis board-certified plastic surgeon Joe Gryskiewicz, MD skillfully performs a lip lift to restore the natural shape and peaks associated with more youthful lips.
What is a Lip Lift?
In general, the optimal length of the upper lip should be approximately 13 mm to 15 mm. This distance can grow to as much as 18 mm to 20 mm over time, at which point there is usually little to no dental show when smiling or speaking. As a result, the lips often appear out of proportion with the upper face. A lip lift is designed to rejuvenate the area by lifting the upper lip and restoring the correct proportions, offering lifetime results, no noticeable scarring, and a brief recovery period.
Is a Lip Lift Right for Me?
If you’re dissatisfied with a stretched or aged look in the upper lip, a lip lift can be a relatively simple procedure to increase facial harmony. Many patients are surprised by how a minor adjustment of 1 – 2 mm can result in a powerful enhancement in the proportions of the upper lip relative to the rest of the face. You may consider a lip lift if:
- You have a long upper lip that measures more than 16 mm
- Your smile/dentition isn’t visible when speaking or while your face is at rest
- You feel your lips look thinner because of your upper lip length
- You want to achieve long-term results with a surgical procedure
In addition to looking more youthful and rejuvenated, the lips also tend to look fuller and more defined after a lip lift. Adjunctive benefits often include increased lip and tooth show, as well as an improved pout. This procedure offers the most surgical control over the outcome you seek, but patients who prefer a non-surgical alternative may still be able to achieve their goals with a Lip Flip. Dr. Joe would be happy to discuss your options with you during a consultation.
How is the Lip Lift Procedure Performed?
A lip lift can be completed during a quick, in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon may use a “bullhorn” technique to lift the upper lip, placing incisions meticulously along the base of the nose. This location allows very minimal scarring after the procedure, which generally blends into the natural crease where the nose meets the upper lip once incisions are fully healed. After incisions are placed, Dr. Joe resuspends the deeper muscles and ligaments in the lip while removing excess skin, allowing tension-free closure at the incision site.
What Can I Expect During the Recovery Period After a Lip Lift?
Bruising and swelling are to be expected after a lip lift, with most bruising subsiding after one week. Residual swelling may last as long as two weeks, but sutures are usually removed after seven days. Due to Dr. Joe’s technique in working within the deeper tissues of the upper lip, there’s minimal scarring after the procedure and the outcome is much more enduring. To see the beautiful outcomes often achieved after a lip lift, we invite you to explore our before-and-after photos of previous patients who were able to attain their goals with the procedure.
A lip lift is a relatively minor procedure that can significantly refine the lip shape while providing natural-looking, long-lasting results. Contact Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery to speak with our plastic surgeon about how lip augmentation with a lip lift can help achieve your goals.