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Upper Lip Lift

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The upper lip lift is an incredibly elegant and subtle procedure. Most of our patients visit our practice to discuss this procedure to learn about it after having been filled improperly for years. It is a fantastic solution for so many issues related to the upper lip, yet so few people know to look for it.

Procedure:
What is a Lip Lift?
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There are many forms of lip lifting procedures for the upper lip. Most surgeons rarely perform these procedures, so they hesitate to perform them in order to avoid unsightly scarring in their patients. Older forms of lip lifts focused on lifting the lip at the vermillion lip border. This would leave them with a poorly defined lip border with blunted definition and a never-ending need for makeup.

Newer techniques have emerged recently, which are better able to improve the appearance of the upper lip and mouth. Procedures like corner lip lifts are used judiciously in older patients to lift the corners of the mouth. Although the gull wing and bull’s horn upper lip lifts were utilized sparingly in the past, newer modifications have made this a truly stunning procedure.

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About the Procedure
What is a Modified Upper Lip Lift?

The modified upper lip lift is a newer procedure pioneered by Dr. Ben Talei in order to address all the issues patients were having with the classic bull’s horn or gull wing lip lift. Dr. Talei is one of the only lip lift revision specialists in the country. As a revision specialist, he has had to deal with dozens of issues classically associated with the way most surgeons perform this procedure. This has led to several subtle modifications, which, when combined, make this a virtually scar-free and painless procedure.

The procedure can be performed awake or under twilight anesthesia. Nearly all patients have the procedure performed awake, as the numbing process hurts about as much as a mosquito bite. Incisions are hidden under the base of the nose in a natural crease. The modifications in flap elevation and tension-free skin closure allow fast healing, rapid disappearance of incision sites and avoidance of nostril widening typically seen with other lifts.

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Why Would I Need a Lip Lift?

This procedure may benefit younger and older patients alike. In younger patients, the procedure is typically used to avoid obtaining a plastic appearance with fillers. It is important to understand that not all lips will benefit from fillers. The lift gives the upper lip a lighter and more defined appearance with greater volume and tooth show. As you age, the upper lip loses volume and increases in length. When performed in older patients, the lift helps restore a more youthful facial balance and sensuality around the mouth. It also works wonders for improving lost lip volume as well as lipstick bleed lines and wrinkles.

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    Results
    What Does a Lip Lift Do?
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    The end result of a lip lift is subtle, but the benefits are substantial. Several changes are noted almost immediately:

    • Shortening of the lip length between the nose and mouth
    • Increased tooth show
    • Increased sensuality of the mouth
    • Shortening of the perceived length of the lower midface
    • Turning the Cupid’s bow upwards – lip eversion
    • Increasing the volume of the pink and white lip
    • Improvement of lipstick bleed lines and wrinkles
    • Subtle improvement of the corners of the mouth
    • Makes the lips and lower face appear younger
    • Improves the definition of the philtral columns and Cupid’s bow
    • Improvement by offsetting the balance seen in patients with a simian appearance around the mouth
    • Decreased need for fillers
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    Q&A / QUESTIONS AND SD ANSWERS

    Q: What are the treatment options for lowered corners of the mouth on young people?
    A: – fillers plus a neuromodulator such as Botox® (this treatment is good for mild cases, but corner lip ptosis progresses with age);
    – a traditional corner lip lift will elevate the drooping corners of your mouth while at the same time, help eradicate the small fold (marionette fold) that originates from the corner;
    – the DAO release is performed in the mouth, but it is a less effective treatment option than the traditional angled lift (the effects of which can be predicted by injecting Botox into the aforementioned muscle).
    Q: Is there a way to reduce the area between the base of the nose and the upper lip?
    A: The procedure for lifting the lips is done by removing a patch of skin under the nose, hiding a scar at the junction of the nose and the philtrum (the area between the base of the nose and upper lip). Since this removes some of the skin of the philtrum, you will want your plastic surgeon to evaluate the position and shape of your upper teeth and gums and jointly examine your upper jaw and nose shape.
    It is crucial to not remove too much skin. Obtaining a natural upper lip with the right amount of tooth show, with a smile or at rest, is most important. The vast majority of patients with this concern are candidates for simple lifting of the lips, but make sure that you receive a good, comprehensive exam from a qualified plastic surgeon!
    Q: Will the lip-lift help show my upper teeth when I smile?
    A: The procedure for lifting the lips is ideal for reducing the distance between the upper lip and the base of the nose. A simple office-based procedure, often done with local anaesthesia, can help you achieve more tooth show when you smile as well as more lip show.
    Q: Am I a candidate for an upper lip lift?
    A: An upper lip lift can produce unique benefits for someone with a long distance between the nose and upper lip (> 1.5 cm) and no dental show. The procedure removes the skin and raises the lip toward the nose. This not only shortens the lip, but can show the upper teeth, and slightly increase the size of the upper lip, all producing a more youthful and more attractive look.
    The only caveat is that the scar is placed in a location that is difficult, if not impossible, to hide during the healing process. In the end, however, it looks rather hidden and almost invisible, so you probably need about 3 months to really "get there." It is worth saying that the results of lip-lifting can not be reproduced with the help of injections or other procedures.
    Q: What is the recovery time for lifting the upper lip?
    A: During the first few days after the operation, there will be a slight puffiness and soreness. You will be able to resume your daily schedule within 7-10 days. The incision will take 2 to 3 weeks to completely heal.

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