Elongated Lip or Aging Lip

A long upper lip can be the result of aging or heredity. In part due to hormonal changes and in part due to skin changes with aging, the upper white part of the lip elongates and the red part of the lip loses volume. This creates the effect of a lip turning inward. Some individuals inherit a long upper lip. Like a heavy curtain, the white lip weighs down on the red lip, creating the appearance of a thinned upper lip. A lip lift treats an elongated lip by decreasing the height of the white lip, rolling the red lip outward, and thus increasing the height of the red lip.

Traditionally, a lip lift was the recommended treatment for the aging lip. As we age, the skin thins, loses elasticity and actually elongates the skin of the upper lip over time – much like the earlobes. A lip lift removes excess skin to shorten the upper lip and everts the lower lip, thus increasing the height of the red lip. Volumization with fillers, fat grafting or such may still be needed for complete rejuvenation. Lip lift will often times make the upper lip more receptive and responsive to fillers.

What Can a Lip Lift Treat?

The younger patient that would most benefit from a lip lift may have a long upper lip and poor teeth show. The procedure helps improve the ratio of skin to red lip and suspends tissues in way to improve natural teeth show. The end result is also the appearance of a fuller upper lip.

What to Expect?

Lip lift is a surgical procedure usually performed under local anesthesia that removes excess skin between the nose and upper lip. The incision is hidden in the crease along the base of the nose. By shortening the “white lip,” there is increased show and height of the “red lip.” This results in the appearance of a fuller upper lip. Ideal results require an in-depth understanding of lip anatomy. There is a particular shapeliness to youthful lips with features such as a more peaked cupid’s bow and upturned corners. There are certain proportions of the upper lip to lower lip and the white lip to red lip that should be respected for natural results. The lip profile and position of the upper lip in relation to the lower lip should also be considered for optimal results. Much like fillers, if performed by someone who does not have a detailed understanding of lip anatomy, a lip lift can have unnatural, “altered” results. But unlike fillers, results of a lip lift cannot be reversed!

What are the side effects and downtime for a lip lift?

    • Recovery from this procedure ranges from 1-2 weeks. Results are long-lasting, typically not requiring any additional procedures.
    • Contraindications to lip lift surgery may include prior skin cancer, active skin infection, and excessive teeth show with smiling.

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Make an appointment any time of day or night. If it is made after our normal working hours, someone will reach out to you to confirm your appointment by the next working business day.