Full lips are a sign of youth and enhance the shape of the mouth. Having full lips has always been considered a desirable trait and plastic surgeons are seeing a significant rise in demand for upper lip lift procedures. In fact, interest in this cosmetic surgery increased 50 percent in just the past 5 year, so if you’re considering an upper lift lip, you’re not alone.
Why Do Lips Change with Age?
Collagen and elastin are responsible for maintaining firmness and elasticity in your skin. Hormone changes during aging cause a reduction in these two substances, and your skin becomes less supple as a result.
In both men and women, the upper lip begins to thin out, the lower lip becomes slightly thicker and the nasolabial fold, commonly known as “laugh lines,” changes orientation, causing the space between nose and lips to lengthen. This results in an older and what some interpret as a less aesthetic appearance.
The best candidates for lip lift surgery are those whose lips have thinned and or those whose upper lip looks long reducing the amount of show of their upper lip, particularly with smiling.
What is a Lip Lift?
During an upper lip lift, an incision is made in the crease between the upper lip and nose. A variation in this incision that Dr. Epstein describes is to have the incision extend up into each nostril, further reducing its visibility. The surgeon removes the desired amount of excess skin before closing the incision. This results in a shorter distance between the nose and the upper lip and makes the upper lip appear more prominent.
Depending on the amount of skin versus the amount of deeper tissue, an experienced surgeon can control how much “pouting” versus how much shortening of the upper lip can be achieved. In some cases, patients want one or the other outcome, while sometimes both of these are the goals.
What Are the Risks?
You should always weigh the potential benefits of cosmetic surgery against the risks. Overcorrection and a distortion in the appearance of the nostrils are concerns for many patients; however working with an experienced surgeon like, Dr. Epstein, this risk is largely eliminated. As with other types of surgery, there’s always a risk for scarring and infection. Talk with Dr. Epstein during your consultation to alleviate any concerns about how this might impact you.
If you feel you may not be ready to make such a permanent change, ask Dr. Epstein about non-surgical methods for lip-enhancement such as using fillers and injectables. In fact, particularly in younger patients, Dr. Epstein will recommend fillers prior to surgery, for the surgery is permanent while fillers need to be repeated typically every 8 to 14 months. Fillers can create more volume to the upper lip and enhance the pout, however they cannot actually shorten the lip.