Can the Function of the Upper Lip Change After Tension Nose is Released?

I had septorhinoplasty 4.5 years ago for a deviated septum and hump removal.To my suprise,after the surgery,I was told my anterior nasal spine was removed to fix a tension nose. I am very unhappy with the results.My upper lip was long to begin with and now it is even longer.It covers my upper teeth and functions differently when I speak.I also formed a horozontal line in the middle of my upper lip when I smile.The doctor has no explaination for my issues.Why did this happen and can it be fixed?

Doctor Answers 3

Upper Lip Appearance after Release of Tension Nose

The appearance of your upper lip is secondary to the removal of your nasal spine and probable lysis of the depressor septi muscle. There is nothing that can be done to repair the muscle, but the changes in lip appearance can be improved with the placement of a cartilage graft at the base of your nose at the posterior margin of the columella.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

A Longer Upper Lip After A Rhinoplasty Can Be Corrected With A Subnasal Lip Lift

Removal of the anterior nasal spine and release of the depressor septi muscle can make the upper lip longer afterwards. It can also cause a horizontal line to form when smiling in some rare cases. These are well known effects from that exact procedure. The muscle is there for a reason and, while removing it may have solved one problem, this can be the trade-off. One fairly simple solution would be a subnasal lip lift. By removing some skin directly under the nose, you can shorten the middle third of the lip and 'resuspend' it so to speak. This is the only good option worth considering.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

A rhinoplasty can affect the appearance of the upper lip

When you have a tension nose--typically caused by a septum that is "too large" for the nose--there is a fullness of the junction between the base of nose and the upper lip. This can effectively cause a shortening of the upper lip because it is being pushed outward at the nose/lip junction. This problem can also occur if there is a large anterior nasal spine as you mention in your case. Regardless, when the problem is corrected the upper lip is allowed to "relax" and it can make the lip appear longer. If you had a long lip to begin with, then this "relaxing" of the lip could have made your upper lip seem even longer. A lip lift might help shorten the lip a little, in order to allow for more of your teeth to show when you smile. Hope this helps! Dr. Y

Haresh Yalamanchili, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 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.