A lip lift can help you achieve a natural-looking and full lip. Instead of attempting multiple filler injections, a lip lift is a popular alternative to get the perfect pout.  

What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a straightforward surgical procedure to enhance the upper lip. The procedure can elevate the position of the top lift to give a more youthful, fuller-looking result. It can help to create a more attractive upper lip shape and therefore improve the overall balance of the face. 

Lip Lift: Quick Overview

Lip Lift Anatomy, The Harley Clinic, London
Lip Anatomy

How is a Lip Lift Performed?

A lip lift takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to perform, usually under local anaesthetic. The entire area will be numb during the treatment so that you won’t feel any pain. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove a strip of skin under the nose. It’s known as a bullhorn excision because of its shape. 

You can use several techniques to perform a lip lift, but the bullhorn is the most common. A precise amount of soft tissue is removed from above the upper lip just below the base of the nose. The incision is then hidden in the lower part of the nose. Because of the incision placement, the scar is as hidden as possible.  

Lip Lift Bullhorn Excision, The Harley Clinic, London
Lip Lift Bullhorn Excision

What are the Benefits of a Lip Lift?

As you get older, the upper lip tends to thin. At the same time, you may have a naturally thin upper lip at any age. When you shorten the distance between the upper lip and the nose, it can give a more youthful, lifted, and rejuvenated look. The increased amount of “red show” also provides the lip with greater fullness.     

Who is a Good Candidate for a Lip Lift?

If you feel like the distance between your lips and nose is too long, and you have a relatively thin upper lip, you may be a good candidate for a lip lift. Sometimes, patients who are a good candidate for a lip lift are those who have had a previously bad experience with lip filler or are looking for a more permanent change to their lips. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Lip Lift?

After the first few days following your lip lift surgery, the cheeks and lips may look and feel swollen. Pain and swelling tend to be mild to moderate but can be managed by over the counter painkillers. Usually, you can use ice packs in the first 48 hours to help with the swelling. Your surgeon will send you home with an antibiotic-based cream to apply twice a day. 

Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 2 weeks while you’re healing. When the incision site is completely dry and scabbed over, you can start using silicone therapy and massage. Typically, this is around 2 weeks after surgery. Silicone tape helps the scar to heal after cosmetic surgery. 

What are the Potential Risks and Side Effects of a Lip Lift?

Like all surgeries, lip lift surgery has some potential risks and side effects, including:

  • Noticeable scarring 
  • Poor wound healing 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Asymmetry
  • Smile distortion 
  • Widening of the nostrils 
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