Am I a Candidate for an Upper Lip Lift? (photo)

I feel that the space between my upper lip and my nose may be a little too much and I would like to know if I am a candidate for an upper lip lift? I heard the scar can be quite bad, so I am unsure.

Doctor Answers 4

Lip Lift for Long Upper Lipt

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Thank you for your question and the photo. If we were having an in-person consultation, I would ask you to smile and wrinkle your nose to get a sense of how your lip moves and how much your teeth show. The ideal candidate for a lip lift is an older woman with an elongated upper lip (from gravity and/or from thinning of the upper jaw bone). Other candidates include people with a long upper lip that is aesthetically unpleasing. A very minimal upper lip lift in a younger person can do wonders to highlight the smile and even add to the contour and fullness of the upper lip. A careful discussion of your goals with a surgeon dedicated to lip surgery will help you decide.

Are you a candidate for an upper lip lift?

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Contrary to the other opinions cited in response your question, I do feel you are a candidate for an upper lip lift. However, the way I perform it with "muscle hemming" can add time to the recovery in terms of stiffness and swelling. Yet, most people look very good after 1 to 2 weeks. 

And upper lip does three things:

1. Shortens the distance of the base of the nose to the upper lip Vermilion.

2. Allows your upper teeth to be seen, which is aesthetically beneficial in most cases.

3. Everts the upper lip Vermilion (rolls it outwards) to a very minor degree. I tell my patients that if they are coming to me for an upper lip lift and expect a a good deal of added "real estate" to their upper lip, they will be disappointed. Therefore, I am not that concerned in your case that your upper lip will be larger in a unbalanced fashion with your lower.

 Given your skin type, you may be at an increased risk of some temporary hyperpigmentation for which fractional laser and IPL may be performed along with bleaching creams. Also, do you have a slightly higher risk of minor hypertrophic scarring (especially around the ends of the upper lip scar). Fortunately, this generally responds very well with strategic injections of dilute Cortisone and 5-fluorouracil. An upper lip lift will give you an alluring, model-type look as you see in the glossy fashion magazines. To get a complete assessment, a plastic surgeon needs to see you in person and also assess your upper lip against the backdrop of your upper teeth when your mouth is slightly parted.

Randal Haworth, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

A Lip Lift is Good Option for Only a Small Group of Patients

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Thank you for your question and photo.  I would not recommend a lip lift for you based on several reasons.  First, the fact that you have a nice, full upper lip now would make you a poor candidate for the lip lift.  The lift rotates your upper lip outwards more than it is now, and will make your upper lip too large.  Also, the scar will likely be quite noticable at the junction of your nose and lip and would not be worth it!   You have an attractive look to your mouth area and nice skin.  I would hold off on doing a lip lift. 

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Candidate for upper lip lift?

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In my opinion, I do not think an upper lip lift will improve your appearance.  Although the distance from your nose to your lip may be longer than other people, I do not believe shortening this at the present time will help you.  In addition, this procedure would make your upper lip appear more full, which I don't think would be desireable.  In the future, this distance will become longer and perhaps at this time, it may be worthwhile to pursue this.

It is true that the scar can be visible.  If the surgery is done so that the scar is placed at the borders of the nose and within the nostril, the scar can be very minimal.  Having darker skin does increase your risk for visible scarring and I would weigh this carefully with any potential benefit you would have from surgery.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.