Lip lifts (Subnasal lift)

Lips are a vital part of a woman’s appearance and while full feminine lips are a principal feature of an attractive face, a thin upper lip can completely imbalance an otherwise pretty face. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with full lips. Especially as women age, the upper lip can become so thin that it becomes difficult to apply lipstick. Fortunately, there is a simple procedure that addresses this very effectively.

Although filler injections are very popular and quite effective at enhancing the volume of the lips in most cases, for some patients the upper lip is inverted in the mouth with limited exposure of the pink portion, rendering the use of fillers for volume enhancement limited. For those patients, a subnasal lift, often called lip lift, is ideally suited.

The procedure consists of removing a small portion of skin from the space between the nose and upper lip. The upper lip is then lifted toward the nose, which exposes the pink portion of the lip where lipstick is applied. The procedure is short, painless, and associated with a quick recovery. The result is a full, feminine upper lip, which is now more visible and amenable to the application of lipstick or even fillers if more volume is desired.

Lip lifts can be performed alone or in combination with another procedure such as a facelift to rejuvenate the aged, thinning upper lip. For younger women born with a thin upper lip, lip lifts are frequently performed to provide a fuller lip. Finally, there are patients who have a long distance between the upper lip and the nose, which creates an imbalance that is noticeable even by the untrained eye. A lip lift is a great solution for those women as well.

Generally performed under a local anesthetic and mild sedative, the 30-minute lip lift procedure is painless. The scar is unnoticeable as the incisions are concealed in the face’s natural creases or inside the nose. The sutures are removed within five days and there is usually no pain or bruising. The upper lip does have a tendency to swell in the first 3-4 days after surgery. However, seven days after the surgery, swelling has resolved and patients can return to daily life with a fuller and more feminine lip. The satisfaction level after this procedure is very high with patients reporting feeling younger and more confident.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about lip lifts

What is the recovery like after undergoing a lip lift?
Recovery is painless with very little limitation. The principal factor is the swelling of the upper lip, which can be significant, but relatively short-lived, subsiding after 4-5 days. Sutures are removed on day five and the lip looks normal on the 7th day.

Will there be any scars or bruises after the procedure?
Technically there are scars after any surgery, but a masterful cosmetic surgeon knows how to hide any trace of the procedure. Subnasal lift scarring is hidden in the natural creases under and in the nostrils. While there may be some redness at first, the scars become thin, unnoticeable lines with time and can only be found upon close examination. Bruising may temporarily occur in very sensitive patients, but it is rare.

How long does a lip lift last?
Lip lifts are usually permanent. The lip does not go back to its inverted position despite aging. The upper lip remains lush for a lifetime once it undergoes this procedure. Lip lift patients don’t need to come back for another surgical procedure.

Are there restrictions on smiling, eating and talking?
After undergoing a lip lift surgery, recovering patients shouldn’t have much trouble resuming basic facial activities, be it showing emotion, talking or eating. The upper lip will feel a bit swollen for a few days, making it stiffer than normal. However, patients can expect that feeling to go away within the first 5 days.

Is a subnasal lift right for me?
Lip lifts are ideally suited for young women whose upper lip is thin or inverted inside the mouth. As commonly, women in whom aging has thinned or inverted the upper lip are excellent candidates. As mentioned previously, these women often undergo a lip lift procedure as part of an overall rejuvenation, which may include facelift, eyelid surgery, or other procedures. Finally, Women in whom the distance between the upper lip and nose is long and unbalanced, a lip lift can improve those proportions significantly.

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