I am considering a lip lift, as I find my philtrum overly elongated, but I remain reticent due to fear of ineradicable scars.

I have read numerous reviews for lip lifts and observed that although most patients are satisfied, some complain of irremediable, lifelong scarring. I am keen to obtain your opinion, dear doctor, as I wish to find out whether the propensity toward and duration of scarring is dependent upon the technical expertise of the surgeon, the patient's genetic susceptibility to scarring or some other variable that I am unaware of. What advice would you accordingly give me? Thank you for your guidance.

Doctor Answers 4

Lip Lift Scarring

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It sounds as though you have done your research and are well prepared for discussing your specific lip lift options and concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon.

In general, you are correct in thinking that both the patient's genetic susceptibility and the surgeon's expertise and technique can both contribute to final results, including the look of the scar that remains.  Any surgical procedure that involves an incision will involve a scar. This new scar tissue is formed from myofibroblasts and collagen fibers which are produced by your body in response to the injury.

As with most cosmetic surgery procedure, there are many ways of doing a lip lift. Scarring is not a typical problem here in our office because we use deep fixation sutures - the sutures are tied to the underside of the lip skin.

Be sure to discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon and view as many before and after lip lift photos as you can before determining whether the risk is worth the gain in your case.

Best wishes!

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Lip Lift Scars

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Thank you for asking about your lip lift.

  • Most lip lift scars fade to a fine, white, at times, invisible line.
  • Technique does make a difference - I do my surgery under magnification with fine sutures. This greatly increases the likelihood of a good scar.
  • I also never use internal sutures - for some reason the lip does not tolerate them. The sutures will be rejected, leaving unsightly scars.
  • However, different people scar differently - some people heal with better scars than others.
  • The surgery itself matters - if the lip is shortened too much, tension on the scar will widen it.
  • It also depends on how patients look after the incision - if an out of town patient removes her own sutures, as some will despite despite my advice, they can pull the incision apart and have a wider scar. 

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Scarring after lip lift

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I commend you on being as informed as you possibly can.  The lip lift procedure is one of those procedures that can have a dramatic impact on rejuvenating the lower face - and most of the time the incisions are so well hidden that you really can't see the scar.  That being said, if a patient has a propensity for hypertrophic scarring or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, it is possible to have noticeable incision for some time.  This can all best be discussed with your doc during consultation.  As always, the more questions you ask, the more you will know.  Best of luck on your consultations.  

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Lip lift scarring

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You are right to be skeptical. I think healthy appreciation for potential scarring or complication is essential when giving informed consent. This applies to all procedures, not just the lip lift. However, the lip lift procedure, when performed correctly, tends to heal very well with nearly invisible scarring.  Patient characteristics and one's individual healing factors always play a role. Find a surgeon you trust and study photos of similar cases. Don't be afraid to voice your concerns. Good luck!

Justin Cohen, MD
Washington DC Otolaryngologist

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.