Plump lips are not just the latest Hollywood beauty trend. For centuries, cultures around the world have viewed full lips as a sign of good health, beauty and sensuality. Unfortunately, many of us are born with lips that are thin or out of balance with the rest of the face, and all of us are at risk of losing volume and definition in our lips as we age.
With an upper lip lift, Katy surgeon Dr. John Freeman can give your lips a more lush and shapely contour, improve symmetry and create the appearance of more volume. To discuss how a lip lift can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, please contact the office of Dr. Freeman to schedule a private consultation.
A lip lift is a surgical procedure that shortens the philtrum — the space between the top of the upper lip and the bottom of the nose. During the procedure, a small strip of tissue is removed just below the nostrils. This raises the vermillion border (the edges of the lips) of the upper lip so more of the pink area is exposed and the distance between the mouth and the nose is reduced. A lip lift may also give more definition to the Cupid’s bow. The results are subtle but elegant. The lips have more prominent and crisp curves, with improved volume and a more attractive, youthful-looking smile.
With only one incision, a lip lift can achieve immediate changes:
In recent years, lip enhancement has focused heavily on injectable dermal fillers. Fillers are regularly used to add volume to the lips, improve definition at the vermillion border and minimize the appearance of fine vertical lines around the lips (“lipstick lines” or “smoker’s lines”). There are pros and cons to using fillers for a non surgical lip lift or lip augmentation. For patients who want to avoid surgery, fillers are a minimally-invasive alternative that can produce beautiful results with no incisions, no anesthesia and no downtime. The potential downside to using dermal fillers is that they are temporary — if you like your results and want to keep them, you will have to return for regular maintenance treatments.
A lip lift is a surgical procedure, meaning it does involve incisions, anesthesia, a small amount of downtime and a scar. The good news is that the procedure and the recovery are relatively short, and the incision is placed so that the resulting scar is hidden by the natural structures of the nose. For patients who want long-lasting results that don’t require upkeep, a lip lift may be a better option than fillers. It may also be the more appropriate choice for mature patients with an elongated philtrum, as dermal fillers cannot address this issue effectively.
Lip lift patients tend to fall into two categories. One group has always had slim lips and would like to improve what they were born with. The other group is noticing signs of aging around the mouth that they would like to correct. Common signs of aging in this area include loss of volume in the lips, lengthening of the philtrum, fine lines, a “rolling in” of the lips toward the teeth and reduced visibility of the teeth while talking or smiling. Patients who fall into either — or both — of these categories may benefit from a lip lift.
Dr. Freeman’s lip enhancement procedures are carefully designed to suit each patient’s unique features and proportions. If you’re interested in a lip lift, your first step will be to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Freeman so he can discuss your concerns and get a feel for your goals. Once he understands what you hope to accomplish, Dr. Freeman will assess your lips and your facial structure to identify what a lip lift can do for you. He will also answer any questions you have about the procedure. Based on this discussion, Dr. Freeman will create a personalized treatment plan based on your aesthetic goals and the current shape and size of your lips.
A lip lift is a relatively minor procedure that’s typically done in an outpatient setting with local anesthesia and light sedation. When the area is numbed, Dr. Freeman makes an incision along the underside of the nose and excises a small amount of skin. The remaining skin is then anchored to the sturdy tissue at the nose base. This elevates the upper lip and shortens the distance between the nose and the top of the mouth. The result is a more youthful and aesthetically-pleasing philtrum along with an upper lip that is fuller and more defined. A lip lift can be completed in less than one hour.
Lip lift patients usually prefer to take a bit of time off from work and social engagements. After surgery, you may experience some swelling, bruising, redness and numbness in the area. Stitches are removed within a week. After one to two weeks, any redness or bruising that remains can be covered with cosmetics. This is when most patients feel comfortable being seen by friends and colleagues again. Discomfort is minimal after a lip lift and can be managed with pain medications if necessary. Dr. Freeman will provide you with aftercare instructions to make your lip lift recovery as quick and comfortable as possible.
Your lips will look fuller immediately after a lip lift, but you won’t see your final outcome until the incision is healed and the swelling, bruising and redness have settled down. The results of an upper lip lift are subtle and natural-looking. Your lips should be full and smooth without looking stretched or “done,” and should be the right vertical height to create a flattering smile and pleasing proportions in the lower half of the face. A lip lift scar is discreetly located at the base of the nose and may go completely unnoticed by other people.
Beauty is about balance. A youthful and attractive face doesn’t just have elegant features — it’s the way the features work together, with symmetry and pleasing proportions that create an overall sense of harmony. For patients in Katy and Houston, a lip lift with Dr. Freeman can enhance the harmonious balance of your face and give you the full lips you desire.