50 Years Old Upper Lip Lift - Baltimore, MD

I have always been bothered by my excessively long...

I have always been bothered by my excessively long upper lip. As I got older it seemed to get even longer. I was developing "smokers" vertical lip lines as well and I don't even smoke. I think they were caused by my skin length. I tried lip filler but all it did was make my lip project outward, not up. I came across a website talking about my problem and realized I needed a lip lift to get my desired result. I spent 2 months researching doctors that perform this type of surgery. Lots of P.S will say they will do it, but it's important to find a surgeon that does a lot of them and specializes in the procedure. It is in the center of your face after all, and since that is where our eyes naturally go, watching someone's mouth as they talk, you don't want a botched job done and end up with a terrible result. I narrowed it down to 2 surgeons, Dr. Hayworth and Dr. Rodriguez. Dr. Hayworth does a muscle hemming technique (muscle is not cut but folded) that sounded superior to skin only lip lift, but after finding a patient blog and many of his patients saying they couldn't fully move their upper lip properly even 9 months after surgery, I decided I didn't want to take that risk. I chose Dr. Rodriguez because he uses skin only and deep suturing technique which I thought was better for me. The deep suturing, which is done under nose, keeps lip lift in proper position and has better long term lift result than having all tension at incision line under lip. I sent in pics t his office, then had my phone consult. I was confident I picked the right doctor and booked my surgery. I flew out to Baltimore, M.D on a Thursday, had my consult later that day, Surgery on Friday, and flew home on Saturday. Dr. R measured my skin at 2.4 cm, which he agreed was excessively long and out of proportion. He said ideal measurement is 1.1, but with my face proportion, felt I would be good with a 1.3-1.5. He would determine during surgery. I told him I wanted him to be as aggressive as possible since I did not want to fly out for a revision. I find most reviews on lip lifts the doctors are too conservative and patients usually always go back for more skin removed. If too much is taken off, you can end up with tension lines so I know there is a fine line between too much taken off and not enough. I ended up with 1.2. c.m. I am 7 months out of surgery and my measurement is now 1.4, which is perfect for my face. I have some tooth show when in repose and overall it gives me a more youthful appearance. Having a touch of filler added has also completely removed my vertical lip lines. Part of them seemed to be gone after surgery (from swelling maybe) and after filler I don't see any of them.
I am very happy with my results but there are some things to know for after surgery. I had a crazy amount of swelling, especially in the tip of my nose and nostrils. It gave me a piggy face for about 4 months. The reviews that say they were back to work in 2 weeks and no one knew they had surgery are either the quickest healing people on the planet or they are fabricating their recovery. My nostrils took on a different shap, which you can see from my pics, and they were like that for about 4 months. The swelling in tip of nose lasted about 3 months, with it being the worst for the first 2 months. I had facial swelling in different areas of my cheek area and lower face for about 4 -5 weeks. My upper lip felt extremely tight and it is hard to talk, eat, etc for at least a month. I had a lot of burning, stinging, tightness the first few days after surgery. I also can't handle pain pills so this may be relieved by pills. My upper lip still feels kind of tight, especially first thing in the morning. It took abou 2 months for my upper lip to move properly while talking (and eating). Closing my lips was difficult to near impossible for the first week after surgery, nor did I want to do it since I didn't want put tension on my newly lifted lip! The stitches under my nose dissolved about 7 days after surgery. The stitches with the glue on top of them made me look super attractive, as you can see in some of my pics.... ????. I still have a visible red scar line under nose but it is easily covered with makeup. I expect it to be red until about a yar, then I am hoping for it to turn white. Another thing to consider for this surgery is that you will most likely have some form of a scar and you will have to decide if it's worth it. For me, I would rather have a small scar than a long upper lip so it was not a deal breaker for me. I am in the process of getting veneers on my top 8 teeth. My teeth were very short from years of clenching/grinding at night, so I am getting them to add much needed length to my teeth. I have the temporaries in right now and I have even more tooth show while in repose and when talking and I just love it. I am very happy with my lip lift and don't regret it, even though I may always have a small scar and some tightness in upper lip. So for those interested in this procedure, do your homework, find the right doctor for you and the results you want, and know that it may take many months for you to look "normal". Since I wanted a dramatic result, I told everyone that I was getting it done.. That way, I didn't have to hide out for 3 months until I looked normal.

50 year old upper lip lift

I am adding some more close up pics of under nose and face for those that want to see scar area. I do have light cover up on. Also, something to consider. For those with a small top lip like mine, getting a lip lift will raise your upper lip but won't do much in terms of making it fuller or more pink show. I was at first disappointed in this because I assumed I would all of a sudden have a full upper lip. You will need to get a bit of filler like I did to give some volume to lip after procedure. Those with a full upper lip but simply have a long distance, will have greater results with pink show and volume after surgery. Just something to consider for those with a lip like mine.

50 year old lip lift

A few more close up pics. I like how the shortened skin makes my profile better. I guess I didn't think much about that pre-surgery because you typically don't see your own profile. I didn't realize how the excess skin affected my profile (negatively) until I took before pics to send to Dr. R for consult.......

50 years old lip lift

It has been almost 8 mos since my upper lip lift. I am very happy with my results, even though my scar is still red. Not as red and 'angry' looking as it was right after surgery, but a blurred red line at this point. I fully expect it to keep getting better and become a white line at about the year mark. I think most people will have some type of small scar after this procedure, but I would gladly have a small scar that no one ever can see on me, even when I point it out, than have a long philtrum. The scar is so easy to put a small dab of concealer on to make it invisible. The key is having the scar smooth, where the two parts of skin will be sutured together. I think a bumpy scar is way more noticeable than a flat one. I have a very defined and raised 'sil', which is where the philtrum skin meets the nostrils. Some people have no sil, so that if you were to put your finger in your nostril (not when anyone is looking of course????), you don't have that ridge or raised skin that separates the philtrum skin from the nostril. I think having the 'sil' gives higher potential for a bumpy scar line because it's an uneven surface to suture the philtrum skin to, so I am fortunate that my surgeon did a good job. My scar started out very bumpy so I was concerned that it would stay like that, but as with any surgery, you always have to give it a full year to smooth out. Since I told everyone that sees me a lot that I was getting the surgery, it surprises me that those that I didn't tell, know something is different but can't put their finger on what it is. They all say I look younger and for some reason think it has to do with my cheeks or lower face looking younger, but they never realize it's my shortened Philtrum until I tell them. I guess it's a good thing that everyone doesn't point to my mouth and say what the heck did you do..... The consensus from everyone I ask is that I have a more youthful appearance without looking surgically different. Also, trying to explain a lip lift is pretty funny because no one remembers me having a long philtrum, nor did they know this surgery existed, but when I show them before pics, they totally get why it bothered me. I have added some more close up pics for those that want to see scar.

50 years old lip lift

Here are some pics I took tonight after my shower to show some close ups of scar with no make up on. Obviously the angle is not very flattering so sorry for the looking up the nose shots!

50 years old lip lift - it's been one year!!

Well, it's been a year since I had my lip lift. I am still happy with my results and am glad I did it. I still have a bit of swelling in the tip of my nose but nothing that bothers me since I have gotten used to it. Fortunately I had a very skinny nose and tip to begin with so the minimal swelling still looks 'normal'. My nose shape and nostril shape is exactly what they were before surgery. Because of my doctors deep suturing technique, I still have a little bit of stiffness in upper lip, but it does not prevent me from smiling, eating or talking normally. It's just something I feel but it does not distort my face or facial movements at all. I was 2.4 cm (yikes!) before surgery, 1.2 cm right after surgery and once my swelling settled, I am at 2.4 cm and have held at that, which is a good length for my facial proportions. I couldn't have gone with any more skin removed because my mouth in repose naturally wants to stay slightly open. If my lift was any higher, I would have the dreaded rabbit look, or like I am smelling something bad. Because my upper lip had no volume, I get a small amount of filler about every 5 months to keep it balanced. I would love to have really full lips, but that wouldn't look right on my face so I am sticking with my lips looking more natural and smallish. My scar is pretty smooth now but still slightly pinkish in color. I takes my skin about 1 1/2 years for scars to turn white. I don't put much makeup on scar anymore because I seem to be the only one that notices it. I took some pics of scar area today (I don't have makeup on over scar) to show how I have healed at this point.

It's been one year!

Not sure why pics didn't load but I will try again!

It's been one year!

Regarding my follow up review above this, I mean to say my lip height is holding at 1.4 cm, NOT 2.4, which is what I started with.....
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are very professional and easy to talk to. He made me very comfortable in my decision to have him do my surgery. I texted him a few imes after my procedure with questions and he got back to me very quickly. His office staff are very helpful and also got back to me very quickly when Needed. I highly recommend Dr. Rodriguez for this procedure!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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