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Lip Lifts – An Overlooked Procedure to Complement Facelifts

It’s easy to notice facial aging when your jowls start to sag, and the rest of your face seems to drop. Today, dermal fillers, neuromodulators like Botox injections, lasers, threads are all procedures that can help make you look more refreshed. However, everyone at some point will have enough aging signs that a facelift in San Antonio becomes the best treatment.

An often overlooked aspect of aging is the elongated upper lip. Start paying attention to people around you, look at magazines, and observe people on TV. You will see that a youthful, more attractive appearance usually have a shorter upper lip than the lower lip.

Define the Lips

Before going on, it’s important to clearly define the lips. In anatomy, the upper and lower lips have both a white and red portion. You and the public likely think of lips as the red part. But the upper lip really has two portions—the white lip and red lip. The white lip is the skin between the base of your nose going to the upper part of the red lip.

This is the part that I’m talking about. The same delineation applies to the lower lip—a red lower lip and the white lip—which is really the chin. A youthful upper white lip should be about half the height of the lower lip.

Another way to measure is the distance from base of your nose to the lower part of your upper red lip should be about one third the distance from lower part of your nose to lower part of your chin. These are just rough guidelines, but anytime the upper white lip exceeds these ratios, the upper lip is elongated and can make you look older.

Options for Lip Enhancement

So what are some options to shorten this? There are not a lot of effective non surgical options. You could try to plump up your red lip and roll it up to give illusion of shortened upper white lip. Very small aliquots of Botox to the red lip can roll up the lip and show more red, but the results are subtle.

The definitive technique to shorten your upper lip is to do an upper lip lift. This is a very simple procedure that can be done in the clinic. The most popular technique is the “bullhorn” technique, named after the resemblance of the planned excision to a bull’s horn. It’s very important your surgeon plans the incision precisely so that the scar is hidden in the natural curves under your nose.

In addition, it’s crucial your plastic surgeon does not remove excessive skin. It’s extremely difficult to correct an over resected upper lip. You won’t have a complete mouth closure, and there will be a constant opening where everyone can see your upper teeth. It’s better to be more conservative.

The procedure can easily be done in the clinic under local anesthesia. The worst part is the injection of the anesthesia. But once that takes effect, you won’t feel any pain. You will feel your surgeon dissecting the tissue, and you will smell cauterization of bleeding vessels. The wound will be closed in layers and your surgeon will tell you when to return for suture removal.

If you take care of your wound carefully, the scar will be imperceptible. I mentioned that the elongated upper lip is an often overlooked sign of aging. Many patients who want a facelift may also benefit from a lip lift. This can easily be done at the time of the facelift surgery. A long upper lip isn’t restricted to only old people.

Some young people will also have an elongated upper lip. This isn’t abnormal; it’s just their anatomy. If you are young and have a long upper lip, a lip lift is also a great office procedure to enhance your features and make you look more attractive.

The best thing to do if you are bothered by your perioral aging signs is to see a San Antonio board certified facial plastic surgeon or an in office evaluation and discussion to see if a lip lift is a good procedure for you.

For more information about lip enhancement procedures in San Antonio, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  We are a qualified team of facial plastic surgery experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area.  Contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868.