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What is the Lip Lift?

What is the Lip Lift?

Dean Kane, MD, FACS (DK): [The Lip Lift including lip enhancements have been desired and the need for reconstruction following congenital, traumatic and tumor surgery have been needed since cavemen existed.

Jolene Edgar@joleneewrites (JE): presents the current nuance of a cosmetic surgical lip lift as an alternative to minimally invasive lip fillers as we experience the swing of shorter to longer lasting results in Cosmetic options. The article includes many global experts and [my opinions] are edited for space.]

JE: The path to enhancing your lips for more than a bee-stung-second [using fillers, has now led to the surgical] lip lift. “No one knew this procedure existed two years ago, but now I have twentysomethings requesting it by name,” says Dara Liotta, a facial plastic surgeon in New York City and Dubai.

Typically done under local anesthesia in less than an hour, the operation shortens the space between the bottom of the nose and the top of the lips (aka the philtrum) by carving out a bullhorn-shaped strip of skin just below the nostrils. “The procedure raises the vermilion border (the edge of the lips), causing the lips to look more enhanced and defines the ‘Cupid’s bow, so its curves are prominent and crisp”, says Jennifer L. Walden a plastic surgeon in Austin.

Why not just get fillers? “A lot of patients are tired of repeat injections, bruising or maybe their lips don’t always turn out exactly the same. They want something more permanent and consistent”, says Michelle Henry, a NYC Dermatologist. The “lip craze” is evolving. People are focusing on the more nuanced structure and shape of their lips, which this surgery can address elegantly, rather than just wanting to be full at all costs.”

Courtesy of Dr. Lara Devgan, MD, MPH

Doctors are removing a customizable wedge of skin when they perform a lip lift; making subtle changes in the Cupid’s bow, more obvious peaks, minimizing asymmetries, [reducing the long lip] and [rotating the upper lip creating a more youthful appearance], says New York City plastic surgeon David Shafer.

Courtesy of Dr. Lara Devgan, MD, MPH

“Blame it all on dwindling collagen and stretching ligaments [during the aging process, loss of upper tooth show and a tighter, flattened smile],” says Lara Devgan, a Plastic Surgeon in NYC.

“That bulk can cause the top lip to curl under — an issue commonly mistreated with an abundance of filler.” Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon, Sheila Nazarian blames the flock of duck lips she’s remedied on injectors “trying to roll up top lips with filler when what those patients needed was this surgery.”

A lip lift will run you anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000, depending on where you live. We recommend choosing a [talented, artistic and skilled] Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. You can definitely expect downtime: “Maybe three days of a slight pulling sensation and two weeks of swelling,” says Nazarian.

Most patients don’t need prescription pain medication — just ice and Tylenol. After about one week, stitches come out, and redness can be veiled with concealer. “This new acceptance of downtime is an interesting phenomenon among millennials,” says Liotta. “They want the most perfect result and realize it can’t always be found in a syringe”.

[On the other hand, maybe an artistic injector can use the right filler in the right amount to augment, harmonize and pout the right anatomy of the lip, notes Kane. Considerations include: philtral ridges, Cupid’s bow and peaks, central lip keel and dip, upper lip volume/length/shape, lateral commissure definition and support, proper projection for that side profile balance, lower lip smooth roundness with central volume and tufted pout, filled lip-chin crease and cleft chin.]

Keep in mind: When the tool at hand is a scalpel and not a needle, the result isn’t going to wear off in a few months. If you indeed consider it perfect, that’s great news. If you don’t — or eventually tire of it — permanence is far less thrilling. So when in doubt, use lip liner, says Edgar!

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