I've been researching this procedures for years...
I've been researching this procedures for years now - my rhinoplasty (as well as aging I guess) left my long philtrum exposed and I've wanted to address this for a while. My distance prior to the operation wasn't huge at 1.8/1.9mm but I had no tooth show and my upper lip had began to flatten. I'm grateful to those of you who have shared your experienced as it educated me on all aspects of the procedure. I considered several surgeons - dr. Howard in CA who has the most spectacular before/ after, dr. Horndeski in Sugar Land who has such clean technique and does corner lift through extension of the bullhorn incision as well as dr. Ricardo and dr. Rafizadeh who have a lot of experience with lip lift and some very positive reviews. However, with two small children and a busy job I was not able to travel even for a night and I had to be able to go back to work in no more than a week. Therefore I went with dr. Rafizadeh who is only an hour away from Manhattan. I wanted to have 5mm removed but I was hoping to have the corners lifted but dr. Rafizafeh's technique "tapers off the incision around the nostrils to avoid tension in that area. Dr. Rafizafeh uses several deep dissolvable sutures which are attached to the muscle to alleviate the tension on the skin as well as regular stitches at the surface.
The procedure lasted half an hour under local anesthesia but those injections were painful. After that - pain was limited. I didn't take the prescribed Vicodin as Tylenol was quite sufficient. I left the office with steri strip so I wasn't sure how my lip looked until the day after when the strip fell. It's hard to tell with the swelling, even now, 5 days later with my stitches removed, I'm still swollen and my nostrils are still huge. Yet, my lip looks nice. I have. Dry little tooth show, I wish I had more skin removed but the dr. Was worried about my gummy smile becoming "gummier". I also feel that my lips would have looked better if there was more skin excised on the size to lift the corners but I'm happy with my results. I hope my scar heals well, so far it looks good, but if things change, I'll update my review.
Overall - a positive change with little downtime ( I ignored the stares when I went outside on day 3-5). It's a subtle procedure but very impactful - the pouty lip and the shortened philtrum take years off...
One last thing - I used Medihoney which is a wound dressing based off manuka honey. I read that it's recommended by plastic surgeons to reduce healing time and scarring. I'll wait a few more days before I start applying silicon gel ( I bought kelo-cote).
A week later
I am happy with how the scar is healing, I don't even need to cover with makeup as its barely visible. My only regret is that I didn't do a corner lift as well. My corners point down which makes me look sad or angry:(.
I still have some swelling but miraculously no scar. There is some redness but the scar is invisible. Part of the reason is my oily olive skin which camouflages it but also the precise incision and sutures Dr. Rafizadeh used. I regret not lifting the corners as well, it would have worked much better.
I have trouble uploading pictures but I'll try again today. The good news - no visible scar except for a small indentation where one of the stitches was too tight and left a mark just under the nostril but only cam be seen with a magnifying glass. Redness has subsided and there is some residual swelling in the tio of my nose and the nostrils.
The bad news- I don't see much difference from before in repose, my lip look the same but a tiny bit lifted. I still have some tooth show when I open my mouth but it seems less than just a few days ago. I guess I was hoping for a more dramatic difference. I still do not regret doing this but as time passes I'm less thrilled about the outcome.
A year later
It has been more than a year since my lip lift and I must say that I am so glad I did it. I was looking at some pictures from a few years back and comparing it to some recent ones and yes, there is a marked improvement. The good thing about this procedure is that if scar heals nicely, the change looks so natural that nobody will be able to tell that you have done something. It's a subtle but impactful change, I wish I did it earlier. I will still do corner lip lift some day but for now I am still enjoying the positive change.
14 months later, still happy about the restults
I think the difference is more obvious when you look at the whole face; it's a subtle way to rebalance features. I am surprised that this procedure is not more popular. A lot of surgeons are put off by the visible scars, and yet, an experienced one can make the scar nearly invisible.