Long philtrum: lengthen nose or lip lift? (photo)
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Doctor Answers 14
Be very careful of a lip lift!
You have no guarantees on how a scar will result. It ain't worth the risk.
This is from a guy with over 40 years of private practice experience in plastic surgery.
Lip lift to shorten the upper lip and philtrum.
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Long philtrum: Lip Lift or Lengthen Nose?
The long upper lip is a subject that comes up in the surgical treatment of facial aging, because as we age, the upper white lip gets longer (along with other changes around the mouth, like the lower lip and chin dropping and showing the lower teeth, marionette lines or "bitterness folds" at the corner of the lip).
Many procedures have been proposed and done for this but they have the disadvantage of scars around the lip or under the nose, and if they do not heal perfectly they are visible and detract from the intended effect. One of the worst is a lip lift that places an incision all the way across the lip above the lip roll.
Better and less visible scars are placed in the nostril sill or under the alae (lateral nostril). In the older patient this shortens the white lip and pulls up the vermillion to look more youthful. The closure has to be done with attention to get the least visible scar. Dr. William Little in Washington, D.C. is a proponent of this technique.
For a young person with a long upper lip, one would say that either it should be accepted as a natural and unique feature of who you are, or if you are considering surgical shortening of the lip, think long and carefully before doing it, because if the scar turns out less than optimally, it will then be the visible feature of your upper lip, and not the lip itself. I would personally suggest not doing any surgery on the lip because of these concerns.
Long philtrum: lengthen nose or lip lift?
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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.