What is a W-Y (triple flap) operation for lips? (Photo)

Dear RS doctors, I have been told that my upper lip, which is rather flat and thin compared to the very full, everted lower lip, could be improved by something called a W-y triple flap plasty. It was only explained to me briefly, but I don't quite understand. My questions: how is it done? What kind of effects does it produce, and do they look natural? What are the risks and complications? I've not managed to find any before and after photos, and I'd really like to see the results. Many thanks!

Doctor Answers 2

What is a W-Y (triple flap) operation for lips?

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Hi, I have performed many Lip Augmentations, over the past 30 years, using dermal fillers, lip implants and V - Y advancement flaps.  The V to Y advancement flap is an older technique used to increase the amount of forward facing (red portion) of the lip.  In reality, it does this to a very limited degree and does not add any volume to the lip itself.  For those reasons, I reserve the V-Y for very specific cases where the sides of the lips are curved inward.
In my humble opinion, after looking at your photo, the upper lip would achieve far more volume and fullness using a dermal filler or a lip implant (Permalip) for a permanent enhancement.  From the photo, it's also important to note that your chin is quite weak.  A weak chin creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin.  Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face. 

 I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick, highly effective and far less invasive than a sliding genioplasty.  I perform chin implant surgery in 30 minutes or less, often using a local anesthetic alone.  In my opinion, you are a good candidate for chin implant surgery.

Hope this helps.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lip advancement procedures

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Hello Raven McCoy, thank you for your question. The surgery you are describing is likely a variation on a V-Y advancement to increase the size and prominence of the red lip. For most patients that I see with your issue, I typically am recommending hyaluronic acid fillers. These fillers are quick procedures and if done correctly have excellent results and high patient satisfaction.

Jordan Rihani, MD
Southlake Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.