Lip lift – A technical description of the procedure

If you want a more youthful and sexy looking mouth, keep in mind that big lips are not the only way to go!

Ideal length of space above upper lip

I have been doing more and more Lip lifts. An alternative to lip augmentation, the Lip lift is a procedure which reduces the space between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lips. Some people are born with a longer space, while other people start to notice it more with the aging process. The ideal distance is 1.1 cm.

An illustration of an upper lip length 1.1cm.

Often times a patient will come to me thinking she needs a Lip augmentation. However,  a closer examination of her lips reveal that her teeth are not showing when her mouth is at rest and the distance between her nose base and the top of her lips is greater than 1.5 cm. If I augment the lips with a filler, I run the risk of the lips just moving outward, and not lifting upward. When there is no space for the lips to go but outward, this creates a ‘duck lip’ look. Since the goal is NOT ‘duck lips,’ the alternative is to raise the upper lip so that her teeth become visible. This refreshes the mouth area and results in a more youthful appearance.

Once the upper teeth are showing, there is usually no need to increase the actual size of the lips, as more of the red portion of her upper lip is now prominent. The Lip lift simply corrects the anatomical distance of the upper lip so that her mouth is more shaped and youthful. Remember, it’s not just about big lips.

Lately, my patients have been quite educated about the various techniques that surgeons use. Recently a patient asked me if my technique would cut muscle or nerves. This is a good question and I would like readers to know that my technique does NOT cut muscle or nerves!

Technical description of a Lip lift

In summary, this is a description of the Lip lift technique that I have been using for many years:

  • An incision is made at the base of the nose in the natural ridge between lip skin and nasal skin
  • Skin is elevated only to the level where preoperative markings were made, leaving the muscle intact.
  • We spread muscle fibers at 5 points to reach the membrane covering the septum and nasal bones. Three tunnels are made centrally: one through the septum and the other two on either side of i, corresponding to the middle and ridges of the philrum in the upper lip. One tunnel at the outer border of the nostrils.
  • The sutures are tied to the underside of the lip skin. The sutures do not tie muscle, and do not tie nerves. There is no cutting of any structure once we cut skin.

Before & after Lip lift photos

With the Lip lift techniques I use, described above, the results are just great! Remember, the Lip lift simply corrects the anatomical distance between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lips, as shown in the following photos:

Lip lift patient one
before and after lip lift
before and after lip lift profile view
Lip lift patient two
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient three
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient four
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient five
before and after lip lift
Lip lift patient six
lip lift photos

Lip lift VS. Lip augmentation

Watch my Lip lift video to learn more about the difference between a Lip lift and a Lip augmentation. If the space above your upper lip is too long, fillers will give you duck lips!

Fly in for a Lip lift

Many of our Lip lift patients live outside the Baltimore area. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the required stay is one night in Baltimore. Contact our office for more details.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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