Why Did my Upper Lip Get Longer After Rhinoplasty?

After rhinopalsty my upper lip covers my teeth when at rest. When I smile it does not lift as much as it did before. I also notice when I speak my lip moves out and forward instead of up and down like it used to. My nasolabial angle was decreased as well. Can it be changed back?

Doctor Answers 7

Impaired lip movement afte nose job (rhinoplasty)

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It is difficult to provide you with any defintiive answers without knowing the details of the procedure and the amount of time that has elapsed since your surgery. Interference with movement of the upper lip as well as swelling of the upper lip are quite common after rhinoplasty and tend to resolve with time.

This is common

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I need more information to completely answer your questions; however, when the tip of the nose goes up the upper lip looks longer and while there is some swelling in the upper lip muscles the lip seems to move less.  Give it time and all should even out.

Lip Longer After Rhinoplasty

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Sometimes the muscles of the upper lip that are attached to the base of the nose are released during rhinoplasty.  This is performed in patients with short upper lips, and in patients where the rhinoplasty surgeon wishes to remove the forces of the lip pulling down the tip of the nose during the healing process.  Usually the effects that you are experiencing are temporary until the muscles re-attach and function normally again.  It is best to speak with your rhinoplasty surgeon regarding your concerns.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Upper lip longer after rhinoplasty

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The most likely reason is the lip has the appearance of looking longer is because the nasal tip has been raised. There is some degree of contraction and healing forces that have lifted the nose upwards from the lip. The nasolabial angle can be changed a little bit, but it is going to be very difficult to put your lip/nose relationship back to its presurgery state.

Long Upper Lip after Rhinoplasty

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Not knowing exactly what was done or when you had surgery, I'll offer a couple possibilities. Removal of any fullness at the base of the nose could make the upper lip look longer. Cutting muscles at the base of the nose, which pull the tip of the nose down with smiling, can temporarily give the illusion of a longer lip. Swelling may do this as well as interfere with normal lip movement. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

upper lip get longer after rhinoplasty

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Causes for the issue you describe are: Swelling, Cut labii superioris muscle or anterior nasalis muscle, Removal of anterior nasal spine, a combination of the previous scenarios. Go disscuss with the operative surgeon.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Upper lip changes following rhinoplasty

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How long ago was your rhinoplasty and was the depressor septi released which would have been done to prevent the tip from drooping while you smile?  Did you have any plumping grafts to increase the Nasolabial angle and correct a retrussive maxilla?  All of these questions need to be answered and you may not know the answers but they would be in your operative report.  You would benefit from a consultation with a revision rhinoplasty expert, but the upper lip changes may resolve with time.  The decrease in the Nasolabial angle can be corrected easily.

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.