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Lip shortening surgery or Upper Lip Lift is an increasingly popular, in-office procedure that improves the appearance of lips by reshaping them, removing excess skin and achieving balanced facial proportions. Results are immediately visible after an Upper Lip Lift procedure and the barely noticeable scar is hidden at the base of the nose in a natural crease. The purpose of an Upper Lift surgery is to increase the prominence of the vermillion border (demarcation between the lip and the adjacent normal skin), providing a more aesthetically pleasing shape to your lips. The modifications in flap elevation and tension-free skin closure allow fast healing, quick disappearance of incision sites and avoidance of nostril widening typically seen with other lifts.


Upper Lip Lift Candidacy

Patients who wish to reduce the distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the lips (also known as the philtrum) may be good candidates for an Upper Lip Lift. According to experts, the ideal philtral length would be 11 to 13 millimeters for women and 13 to 15 millimeters for men. As we get older, this space can increase 1 to 3 millimeters every decade due to dwindling collagen and stretching ligaments. Similarly, the upper lip becomes larger with age and this is associated with thinning of the lip. An Upper Lip lift procedure may help older patients recover the sculpted look of the lip, restore a more youthful facial balance and sensuality around the mouth.

Younger patients who wish to avoid obtaining a plastic appearance with fillers may be also good candidates for a Lip shortening surgery. This one-hour, minimally-invasive procedure gives the upper lift a lighter and more defined appearance with greater volume and tooth show than the temporary results that fillers can provide. Sometimes plastic surgeons have treated patients with disproportionate philtrum by injecting the upper lip with fillers, causing it to look like it has been stung by a bee. Have in mind that every patient is unique and not all lips will benefit from fillers. More esthetically pleasing and permanent desired effects may be achieved with a single Upper Lip Lift procedure, instead of repeat lip filler sessions, every 4-6 months.

Typically, Dr. De La Cruz conducts an in-depth evaluation of his patients during the initial consultation to ensure that they are suited for Upper Lip Lift surgery. It’s important noticing that this procedure may not be optimal for patients who have a gummy smile, desire added volume to the lips, possess a narrow nose at the base, or have unrealistic expectations, among other factors.

What to expect during an Upper Lip Lift

Lip shortening or Upper Lip Lift is a facial rejuvenation procedure, performed in-office, in less than an hour, and under local anesthesia. Dr. De La Cruz carefully designs the bullhorn-shaped incisions in the natural fold under your nose, at the beginning of the procedure. Afterwards, he usually excises a panel of skin, and the skin below is then lifted and anchored into place with the help of absorbable sutures. There’s no need to remove these sutures since they will dissolve within 7-10 days. Downtime for Upper Lip Lift is minimal. Most patients may return to their desk-type employment and regular activities, as soon as five days after surgery. After Upper Lip Lift procedure, a cold compress may be applied to the treated area to help minimize swelling. Dr. De La Cruz usually prescribes pain medication to handle any pain and pulling sensation that might be involved and help patients feel much more comfortable. Over the counter medication as Extra Strength Tylenol may be recommended in some cases.  Overall, patients can expect an improved smile that naturally showcases the teeth. Scarring is minimal and is virtually unnoticeable once healed. A week after surgery, redness can be conveniently veiled with make-up. The result is permanent and subtle, a poutier appearance with an enhanced vermillion.

Benefits of Upper Lip Lift surgery

The shape and volume of a person’s lips are of great importance in the perception of beauty by humans. The appearance of the lips in part determines the attractiveness of a person’s face. Fuller women lips in relation to facial width as well as greater vermilion height (which can be safely achieved with a lip lift) are considered to be very attractive. The final results of an Upper Lip Lift are subtle, but the benefits for patients are substantial. The following list includes some of the changes that are visible immediately after surgery:

  • Shortening of the lip length between the nose and mouth.

  • Increased tooth show.

  • Increased sensuality of the mouth.

  • Decreased need for fillers.

  • Shortening of the perceived length of the lower midface.

  • Increasing the volume of the pink and white lip.

  • Improvement of lipstick bleed lines and wrinkles.

  • Subtle improvement of the corners of the mouth.

  • Rejuvenation of the lips and lower face.

  • Improves the definition of the upper lip.

  • Improvement by offsetting the balance seen in patients with a simian appearance around the mouth.

Natural Lip Gloss

Lip shortening surgery restores a youthful shape to the lip and improves facial aesthetics.

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