In our youth, approximately 2–3mm of our upper teeth typically show when the mouth is relaxed and the lips are slightly separated. As we age, however, the upper lip tends to gradually lengthen, decreasing “tooth show” until the upper teeth are fully hidden. In addition, the upper lip often begins to curl inward, losing much of its fullness and pout. Fortunately, these common aging symptoms can generally be treated with a lip lift performed by Dr. James F. Boynton, our board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston.
What Is a Lip Lift?
A lip lift—also referred to as an upper lip lift—is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the appearance of an elongated upper lip by elevating its position, regaining youthful tooth show, and enhancing natural pout. When performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Boynton, recent advances in lip lifting techniques allow for an exceptionally natural-looking rejuvenation with virtually no visible scarring for patients both young and mature.
What Are the Benefits of a Lip Lift?
While the physical effects of lip lift surgery are relatively subtle, the benefits are numerous. These can include:
- Reduction of the space between the nose and mouth
- Greater tooth show
- Improved pout and sensuality
- Increased upper lip visibility and volume
- Enhanced definition of the Cupid’s bow
- Rejuvenation of both the lips and entire lower face
Along with these benefits, a lip lift can also potentially reduce the need for dermal fillers in the lips—which can sometimes create an “over-plumped” or “unnatural” look when performed improperly—as well as improve the appearance of wrinkles and lipstick bleed lines.
How Is the Lip Lift Procedure Performed?
Lip lift surgery is typically performed in-office using local anesthesia to decrease any potential discomfort. To begin the procedure, Dr. Boynton will make a tiny incision hidden in a natural crease along the base of the nose. He will then remove a small quantity of skin and slightly elevate and evert the upper lip. Lastly, the incision will be closed with a “tension-free” technique that helps to significantly minimize any potential scarring. If the corners of the patient’s mouth are downturned, Dr. Boynton can also conduct what is called a “corner lip lift,” if desired. To do this, he will remove a tiny amount of skin near the corners of the lips, restoring a more youthful neutral or slightly upturned angle.
The entire procedure usually takes about 30 minutes or less to complete, and as an in-office treatment, patients are able to return home following surgery.
What Is Recovery from a Lip Lift Like?
Immediately after a lip lift, most individuals will experience some degree of swelling and/or bruising in the treatment area, but these symptoms should gradually resolve as time passes. Though pain is rare, any tenderness or discomfort within the first couple of days can be alleviated with narcotic medication. To help promote an ideal outcome, Dr. Boynton typically advises patients to avoid opening the mouth too widely for about a week, as doing so may place excessive tension on the treated region and jeopardize one’s final results. The majority of individuals are able to return to office jobs, school, or other non-strenuous daily routines after about two to five days, though strenuous activities should not be resumed for several more weeks to ensure the healing process is complete.
Will I Have a Lip Lift Scar?
In all surgeries, Dr. Boynton takes great care to ensure incisions are made as discreetly as possible. By hiding the lip lift incision in a natural crease below the nose, the resulting scar should be virtually undetectable once it reaches its final appearance. To help further reduce the visibility of scarring, he utilizes incredibly meticulous suturing techniques, as well as provides specific scar management instructions to follow throughout the healing process. With proper care and adherence to Dr. Boynton’s recommendations, patients usually have no issues with lip lift scarring.
Contact Boynton Plastic Surgery
To learn more about lip lift surgery, or if you wish to meet with Dr. Boynton in person to discuss an individualized treatment plan, please feel free to contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.