Can I Get Tissue Expansion to Reverse Lip Lift?

I'm a young college student and got a lip lift. I really did not need one. The length of my upper lip was 16 mms, the surgeon removed 5 mms. I look horrendous. It's been over 6 months and I'm devastated. I want to get a tissue expander in my upper lip to gain a few mms back. Is this possible? Will it distort the shape of my lips, or will the results be even? Please give me any advice, I've already found a PS that will do this procedure, I just want to know if it would be beneficial. Please help.

Doctor Answers 3

Hard to Reverse Lip Shortening Procedure

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There are not many good options to lengthen the lip following shortening without trading deformities. Tissue Expansion is impossible in this area. Physical stretching of the lip on a regular basis might help a little but probably not worth it. Most patients with a long lip to nose distance to start may not see much benefit from muscle division near the nasal spine, skin grafting would cause its own deformity. Although not much conciliation, your lip length will grow over time.

Reversing an upper lip lift

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Tissue expansion in the upper lip will not really work. However, one can go into your pre-existing scar and divide the muscle between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip. This is a similar technique used as an adjunct in rhinoplasty when the nose to lip distance is very short and one has a gummy smile("Tethered lip"). by dividing the muscle, the upper lip will drop down to a certain degree. I would start with this technique first.

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

Effectiveness of Tissue Expansion of the Upper Lip

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It is not really possible to do effective tissue expansion of the upper lip. Tissue expansion works best when it is pushing off of a hard bony surface and the overlying soft tissue is tight and near where the expander is located. Neither is the case in the upper lip. While a tissue expander can be placed on the bony pyriform aperture, it will just push out the entire nasal base, including the nostrils, and will not really produce much skin stretching of the upper lip skin. You will likely be just as effective as doing regular stretching of the upper lip downward manually as you would get from a tissue expansion procedure. Conversely, you have little to lose by trying tissue expansion other than how well it works and whether you have a complication such as tissue expander extrusion or infection.

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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.